Who We Are

Founded in 1901, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) is the official student government of more than 43,000+ students at the University of Toronto. If you’re a full-time undergraduate student at the St. George Campus, you’re automatically a member of the UTSU. As a student government, we operate independently of the University and strive to be a democratic, member-driven organization.

The UTSU’s Executive, led by the President and six Vice-Presidents, report to the Board of Directors. The President, the Vice-Presidents, and the Board of Directors are all elected annually by the members.

The UTSU has two essential functions: 1) advocacy and 2) service provision. Our advocacy work includes such things as lobbying the government and the university administration, organizing public education campaigns, and supporting student initiatives. Our services include such things as grants for students in need, funding for student clubs, and the student health insurance plan. Finally, all of our work is guided by a commitment to equity.

Welcome to the UTSU—we’re here to serve you.


Executive Committee

Chaired by the President, the Executive Committee manages the day-to-day operations of the UTSU. The executives are elected in the spring and work full-time throughout the year. The members of the Executive Committee are:

 

The President is the chief executive, primary spokesperson, and overall leader of the UTSU. They set the tone and direction of the organization as a whole. Joshua Bowman, President can be reached at: president@utsu.ca.
  The Vice-President, Operations ensures that the UTSU runs smoothly. They manage the finances, co-ordinate the full-time staff, and look after all of the services that the UTSU provides to students.
Arjun Kaul, Vice-President, Operations can be reached at: vpoperations@utsu.ca.

The Vice-President, University Affairs engages directly with the U of T administration, working on everything from academic advocacy to policy reform. They also represent the UTSU on a number of important university bodies.
Avani Singh, Vice-President, University Affairs can be reached at: vpua@utsu.ca.
  The Vice-President, External Affairs represents the UTSU outside of the U of T community, collaborating with other student organizations and lobbying all three levels of government.
Lucas Granger, Vice-President, External Affairs can be reached at: vpea@utsu.ca.
  The Vice-President, Equity advances the interests of marginalized students, organizing campaigns aimed at making U of T a more inclusive, equitable space. They also ensure that the UTSU itself is acting equitably.
Michael Junior Samakayi, Vice-President, Equity can be reached at: vpequity@utsu.ca.
  The Vice-President, Student Life works to improve the social lives of all students. They oversee Orientation and Frost Week, and host smaller events throughout the year. They also provide support to student clubs.
Ameera Karim, Vice-President, Student Life can be reached at: vpsl@utsu.ca.
  The Vice-President, Professional Faculties looks after the needs of professional faculty students, ensuring that they’re represented within the UTSU and working to improve their academic and social lives.
Dermot O’Halloran, Vice-President, Professional Faculties can be reached at: vppf@utsu.ca.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the UTSU. It’s elected in the spring and meets at least monthly throughout the year. The 49-member board is composed of:

  • 16 members elected by the colleges
  • 11 members elected by the professional faculties
  • 7 members appointed by the UTMSU
  • 6 members elected by academic communities
  • 1 member elected by the Transitional Year Programme
  • The 8 members of the Executive Committee

Meetings of the board are generally open to the membership.


Committees

The work of the Board is delegated to ten committees, which are elected by the Board and meet in between Board meetings. Each committee has a specific mandate. The committees are:

  • The Campaigns Committee works with the commissions to organize campaigns in which all members can participate.  Contact the Campaigns Committee at campaignscommittee@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Clubs Committee allocates funding to student clubs.  Contact Clubs Committee at clubscommittee@utsu.ca
      • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Elections and Referenda Committee oversees and administers all elections and referenda held by the UTSU.  Contact the ERC at electionsandreferenda@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Executive Review Committee investigates complaints against members of the Executive Committee.  Contact the Executive Review Committee at executivereview@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Finance Committee oversees the finances of the UTSU, including the budget. Contact the Finance Committee at budget@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Outreach Committee is responsible for direct engagement with the membership.  Contact them at outreach@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Services Committee reviews and recommends changes to the services provided by the UTSU.  Contact them at services@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Accessibility Committee is charged with making the UTSU, and the University as a whole, accessible to students with disabilities. Contact them at accessibilitycommittee@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Student Aid Committee provides financial aid to students in need.  It also supports a student refugee sponsored annually by the UTSU.  Contact the Student Aid Committee at studentaid@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Governance Committee discusses the Policies of UTSU and present a recommendation to the Board of Directors. Contact the Governance Committee at governancecommittee@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.
  • The Equity Committee advises the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee on matters of equity and inclusivity, reviews the Bylaws, Policies, and general operations of the UTSU, with a view to ensuring that the UTSU is acting equitably, and discusses the activities of the Equity Collectives and facilitate collaboration between the Equity Collectives. Contact the Equity Committee at equitycommittee@utsu.ca
    • Committee members will be announced once the 2019-2020 committee has been struck and members have been elected.

Staff

The executives are supported by a staff team, all of whom work full-time at the UTSU office.

  • The General Manager, or GM, manages the staff and keeps the organization as a whole aligned with priorities of the Executive Committee.
  • The Events Co-ordinator works with the executives to plan major events, including Orientation. 
  • The Outreach & Partnerships Co-ordinator develops partnerships and connections for UTSU.
  • The Internal Co-ordinator manages the UTSU office and the sale of the merchandise at the front desk. 
  • The Services Co-ordinator is the day-to-day organizer of the services provided by the UTSU. 
  • The Graphic Designer is responsible for all graphic design work at the UTSU. 

Mission Statement

As stated in the Letters Patent, the Mission Statement of the Union is:

  1. To safeguard the individual rights of the student, regardless of race, colour, age, mental or physical ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, personal or political beliefs, nationality, geographic or ethnic orientation, citizenship, class ancestry or status, including but not limited to marital, socio-economic, First Nations, Inuit or Metis;
  2. To foster the intellectual growth and moral awareness of the student in order to benefit him or her, the University of Toronto Student Community, and society;
  3. To provide facilities for the services and activities in which the interests of the University of Toronto Student Community are involved;
  4. To endeavour to bring about a fundamental redistribution of power so as to permit substantially greater participation by students in making those decisions which affect their lives;
  5. To engage in research and discussion of the broad educational philosophy and principles affecting the University of Toronto Student Community;
  6. To provide means of communication within the University of Toronto Student Community, among the campuses of the University of Toronto, with other members of the university community, with other universities, and with the general public;
  7. To engage in discussion with municipal, provincial, and national governments on issues that affect the University of Toronto Student Community;
  8. To encourage social action programs involving volunteer student resources;
  9. To press for such action as may be necessary to make higher education accessible to all classes of Canadian society.