UTSU General Meetings

Information

Thank you for your interest in the UTSU’s upcoming General Meeting!

The UTSU’s 2021 Special General Meeting (SGM) is coming up! General meetings provide you as a member with the opportunity to engage with and weigh in on the work of your students’ union.


For any questions about the business to be conducted at a general meeting, please email Dermot O’Halloran, Vice-President Operations by email at vpoperations@utsu.ca.

The 2020 Special General Meeting is tentatively being scheduled for Saturday March 20th at 2:00pm. Stay tuned to this page for updates.

We will be holding this meeting entirely online via Zoom. We ask that all attendees RSVP beforehand using Eventbrite once the online event is created. Registrants will be emailed the Zoom link on the day of the meeting.

Unfortunately, since we will be holding our meeting online due to COVID-19, we will not have samosas.

All attendees will need to sign in using Zoom with their full name displayed. As Annual Meetings are restricted only to those who are members of the UTSU (see: “Who?”), your display name must correspond with your Eventbrite registration so that we know you’re a member! You may be asked by the Speaker to privately confirm your student number.

This event is hosted exclusively for the purposes of UTSU members. As such, only members of the UTSU are able to attend and participate in this event.* Members of the UTSU include:

  • Full-time undergraduate students at the St. George Campus
  • Toronto School of Theology students
  • Transitional Year Program students

*excepting germane guests, including members of the press

Members are afforded three crucial rights at any UTSU General Meeting: (1) the right to submit items for consideration, (2) the right to speak on items, and (3) the right to vote on resolutions. At this point in time, the submission period for items has elapsed. As such, it is doubly important for members engaging now to exercise their speaking and voting rights. This year, there are three ways to participate in the UTSU’s AGM. In hierarchical order, you can participate:

  1. By being directly present online at the meeting. In-person participation is the single most powerful way to participate in the AGM. It allows you to experience discussion first-hand, makes reasoned judgements in real-time, voices your thoughts as they occur to you, and vote your mind in the confidence of their fidelity to your opinion.
  2. By proxy. Proxy voting is offered to members who are unable to attend and wish to give another person the authority to vote on their behalf. It is the responsibility of the proxy-giver to pick their proxy-holder well and to communicate their opinions and/or voting intentions well. Likewise, it is the responsibility of the proxy-holder to exercise fidelity to the intentions of their giver(s). 

For members wishing to assign their proxy to other members attending the meeting, more information will be made available here after notice of the meeting package and agenda is sent out to members.

The UTSU’s general meetings are analogous to general meetings (see Wikipedia Annual General Meeting) hosted by other organizations around the world. The meeting sees both informative and directive items of business concerning the past, present, and future work of the UTSU.

Informative items of business open the doors of the UTSU; they are meant to give assurance to stakeholders that the organization is doing worthwhile work and that it is doing it to an adequate standard. Directive items of business, on the other hand, put the UTSU on a designated path. Directive items come in the form of resolutions. Once passed, resolutions bind the organization to a specific course of action. The purpose of business in this category is, in circumstances of limited scope, to legally compel that the organization act in the interests of its stakeholders.

The items of business that come to UTSU general meetings from year to year vary. Some items are mandated for consideration at every annual general meeting; these are categorized as Ordinary Business. All other items, including those submitted by members, are distinguished as Special Business.

Every item of business to be considered at a general meeting is enumerated on the Meeting Agenda. Those items which warrant further information and/or documentation will have supporting materials included in the Meeting Package.

For any questions about business to be conducted at the AGM, please email Dermot O’Halloran, Vice-President Operations, at vpoperations@utsu.ca.

The UTSU’s standard proxy voting system will be made available at https://utsu.simplyvoting.com. If you cannot attend but would like to have your vote represented by another peer on your behalf, please follow the instructions available at that link once they become available by signing in with your UTORid and password.

Find the meeting package here.

If you have any accessibility requests, or have other inquiries, please contact Dermot O’Halloran, Vice-President Operations, at vpoperations@utsu.ca.

Please note: all attendees are asked to RSVP before the meeting using Eventbrite. If you do not RSVP before the meeting starts, you may experience some issues while trying to enter the meeting, as we may need to take extra steps to confirm that you’re a UTSU member.

If your Zoom username does not match the name of a U of T student member, you may not be admitted. Please use your full name in your Zoom username or email vpoperations@utsu.ca prior to joining.

Dermot O’Halloran is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: UTSU 2021 Special General Meeting
Time: Mar 27, 2021 14:00 America/Toronto

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 913 9278 1665
Passcode: 590410
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Submission of Items

The below information pertains to the submission of agenda items to be considered at general meetings of the UTSU. If you are seeking general information on attending general meetings, please read the information above.

Members of the University of Toronto Students’ Union are invited to submit bylaw amendments, certain policy amendments and proposals, and other agenda items to be considered at general meetings of members.

All agenda items are to be submitted to Dermot O’Halloran, Vice-President, Operations at email: vpoperations@utsu.ca

The deadline to submit is Wednesday January 28th, 2021, at 11:59 PM.

Members wishing to submit bylaw amendments to general meetings of the UTSU are asked to do so by writing a resolution, including any relevant whereas clauses and binding resolutions within the motion, with a title.

In addition, members are asked to include an appendix outlining additions in red and subtractions in red with a strikethrough.

The Board of Directors must first approve all member-submitted motions. For your item to successfully be considered and pass, it is strongly recommended that you provide a “briefing note” or rationale that clearly explains what your proposal is, why it is being made, and how it will facilitate change.

Members wishing to submit Policy Amendments or Policy Proposals are asked to do so in the same manner described for Bylaw Amendments.

Members wishing to submit items for general discussion are asked to submit the subject or spirit of their discussion item to be added to the agenda.

All items submitted by members are subject to the approval of the UTSU’s Board of Directors before being officially added to the agenda. Section 163(6) of the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act outlines the requirements by which the Board of Directors may not include an item submitted by a member:

Exception

(6) A corporation is not required to comply with subsections (2) and (3) if

  • (a) the proposal is not submitted to the corporation within the prescribed period;
  • (b) it clearly appears that the primary purpose of the proposal is to enforce a personal claim or redress a personal grievance against the corporation or its directors, officers, members or debt obligation holders;
  • (c) it clearly appears that the proposal does not relate in a significant way to the activities or affairs of the corporation;
  • (d) not more than the prescribed period before the receipt of the proposal, the member failed to present — in person or, if authorized by the by-laws, by proxy — at a meeting of members, a proposal that at the member’s request had been included in a notice of meeting;
  • (e) substantially the same proposal was submitted to members in a notice of a meeting of members held not more than the prescribed period before the receipt of the proposal and did not receive the prescribed minimum amount of support at the meeting; or
  • (f) the rights conferred by this section are being abused to secure publicity.

Meeting Package

Here you will find the meeting package for the UTSU’s next general meeting of the members. This page contains a collection of documents relevant to the coming meeting. Members planning to attend a meeting of the members are strongly encouraged to review the package contents, as various items on the agenda pertain directly to the information inside of them.

The meeting package can be viewed by visiting the link provided below:

The meeting agenda lays out all of the meeting’s activities in the order in which they are to be taken up.

In general, individual activities are enumerated and called “items of business”, or more colloquially, “agenda items”. There are both procedural and substantive items on the agenda. Procedural items include items such as the “Call to Order”, the “Approval of Agenda”, and “Adjournment”; these address logistical considerations of varying importance. All other items on the agenda are substantive items.

Substantive items come in two types: resolutions and discussion items. Resolutions propose a course of action that, if confirmed by an affirmative vote, is promoted to a binding directive. Resolutions can, among other things: affect a decision on the behalf of the UTSU’s membership, compel the UTSU to act in some specific way, and change various aspects of the UTSU. Discussion items, on the other hand, do not carry binding weight in them. They propose a subject of discussion to the meeting and invite opinions on the subject.

The distinction between “ordinary business” and “special business” is not as important as those mentioned above. These terms are inherited from legislation relevant to the UTSU’s general meetings. Ordinary business is simply business that is considered every year at the UTSU’s AGM. The special business comprises all other items of business outside of that, including business conducted at Special General Meetings. There are strict limitations on how much the meeting agenda can be manipulated (whether that be by adding new items, striking existing ones, or changing existing ones) in the meeting itself.

For questions regarding the relevant procedure, please email Dermot O’Halloran, Vice-President Operations, at vpoperations@utsu.ca.

The minutes of the previous general meeting are an official record of the discussions had and the decisions reached in that meeting. They are meant to reproduce substantive points brought in the assembly’s consideration of the items of business and to accurately document the voting outcomes on the resolutions.

Please note that audited financial statements only appear on the agenda at annual general meetings. For special general meetings, this item is not considered.

Each year, the UTSU’s auditors audit the UTSU’s financial statements, which comprise the statement of financial position, and the statements of operations, changes in net assets, and cash flows for the year then ended and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information. In the opinion of the UTSU’s auditors, the “financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of University of Toronto Students’ Union as at April 30, 2020, and its financial performance and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.”

The amendments laid out in the included documents are those which have been approved by the UTSU Board of Directors since the most recent general meeting. All amendments have proceeded through the UTSU Board’s full governance apparatus. That is, they have been considered and recommended for approval by the Governance Committee, and following that, considered and approved by the Board of Directors. Relevant bylaws and regulations require that, as the last step, all such amendments be put up for ratification at the next general meeting. There, the assembly of the members can either ratify, reject, or to a limited extent, amend these amendments. All amendments are emphasized in colour; please consult the document itself for information regarding the visual representation of amendments.

FAQ

What important times and considerations are there to note?

  • Please arrive early before all general meetings
  • There will be brief breaks provided throughout meetings

What types of food and beverage are being served?

Due to COVID-19, we will regrettably not be providing samosas this year.

Is the online event accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing?

Yes. We are working to ensure that closed captioning is available for the event.