Strategic Planning This project is one of the largest undertakings of the UTSU as an organization. With staff and Executive support I have been supporting and overseeing the Strategic Planning Focus Groups which have been working to acquire consultation from members of our Board.
Meetings with Administration This month has been packed with various meetings with different levels of administration. This includes the Committee for Review of the Office of the Ombudsperson, the Council on Student Service (COSS), the Student Life Strategic Plan Steering Committee, and our monthly meeting with the Office of the Vice-Provost Students (OVPS).
Elections & Transition As we enter the homestretch of our term, we are ramping up elections and transition planning both through the Executives and the full-time staff. This also encompasses a transition process for incoming Board members alongside their Executive counterparts which we hope to have finalized and begin implementing right after the Spring 2021 Elections.
VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONs
Governance Reform I’ve been working throughout January on a comprehensive reform of our approach to policy development (and governance overall) at the UTSU. These new proposals will be moving through our governance process in February, and I’m hopeful that they will have a positive impact in making our operations more efficient, accountable, and meaningful.
Strategic Planning For several months, we’ve been laying the foundation for building a new 5-year strategic plan. Over the past month, I coordinated with our staff to hold four focus groups consisting of members of the Board and FYC to do a major “SWOT analysis” of the UTSU. We received incredible feedback, and will be expanding this model to other stakeholders soon.
Student Commons The Student Commons is getting closer to completion, and as we prepare to change offices, I’ve been working hard with certain staff on establishing our game plan for its finances, management , policies, emergency procedures, and more. There will be no shortage of work that needs to be done in this area for the next three months.
VICE PRESIDENT PUBLIC & UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS
Tuition Fee Framework In late December, I submitted recommendations on behalf of the UTSU to the provincial government for the new tuition fee framework that’s expected to be released before the 2021-2022 academic year. These recommendations included maintaining the tuition freeze on all programs, increasing operating grants, and eliminating deferral and late fees on tuition payments.
Ontario Pre-Budget Submission This month, the UTSU made a pre-budget submission for the 2021 Ontario Budget. In it, we advocated for expanding OSAP, creating a two-year interest-free grace period on student loans, creating a residential rent relief program for tenants, more funding for post-secondary mental health services, permanent operating funding for the TTC, and more!
Same Degree, Same Fee The UTSU has been working with CSSU, ASSU and BCBSU to lobby the university and the provincial government to reduce tuition in CS, BCB, and DS programs, which have higher fees than other FAS programs. This month, we’ve been holding consultation sessions to hear how students are affected by U of T tuition, to guide our advocacy going forward.
VICE-PRESIDENT STUDENT LIFE
Frost Week I had an amazing time working with our Communications team to put on a really great Frost Week. From baking to tie dye, we had an excellent turn out and are excited to host great events across this semester.
Scholarships Fund I am really excited to be working with our VP Pro Fac, Paul, on launching a new set of scholarships for students at the end of this year. It has been a goal of mine and something I included in my platform to achieve and I really look forward to working with Paul across the month to put out the applications soon.
Fall Clubs Funding I am really pleased that my team and I had a great start to the year reviewing applications for funding and look forward to processing disbursements to clubs shortly. Applications for the winter semester will be released shortly!
VICE PRESIDENT EQUITY
XAO: Equity in Action! Reflecting on our own communities, Equity in Action! encourages students to engage in equity work while furthering their knowledge and understanding of ways they can apply an equity lens to their daily lives. Through collaboration with local equity-seeking businesses and organizations, this year’s XAO will help further knowledge of actionable strategies and initiatives.
EDI Policy As was brought forward by the EDI body review, an EDI policy is integral to our commitment to ensuring that equity is embedded within all aspects of the organization. This policy aims to articulate our actionable commitment to upholding the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion while centering a community-based approach.
Multicultural Fair Held in collaboration with the Woodsworth College Students’ Association, the goal of the Multicultural Fair is to bring together cultural and ethnic groups across campus for an event filled with intercultural interaction, networking, and engaging activities. Groups are invited to promote their culture through performances, art, dances, online cooking classes, etc.!
VICE-PRESIDENT PROFESSIONAL FACULTIES
UTSU Scholarship Program Over the next month, I am hoping to create a scholarship coming out of the UTSU to celebrate student leadership at UofT. This will be especially valuable is connecting students to the UTSU and all the supports and resources that we offer students.
Mental Health Inventory Over the next months, I will be compiling a mental health inventory of all the resources and supports that ProFacs have. Through this, it will uncover the gaps within the university system and allow the UTSU to better support students in terms of mental health and provider recommendations to university administration.
ProFacs in Residences I am close to completion of my report on Residences and Professional Faculties. The findings of the report from compiled statistics, survey, and publicly available information are used to curate this report. The goal is to present it as the working groups specifically targeting the role of colleges at the St. George Campus.