Joint Endorsement and Position by: LGBTOUT, Queer Slam, and Queer Writes

The proposed new structure for UTSU that the UTSU AGM will discuss is complicated.

But it matters enormously. We support it. And, we need you to make it happen.

We hereby agree that:

Representing Equity Issues :

  • We believe issues directors on LGBTQ, commuter, racialized, gendered, indigenous, etc issues could positively influence how the UTSU plans programming. This change can build equity into the UTSU’s DNA. We will have a director to represent LGBTQ issues. We don’t have that now.
  • We hope that the new structure will encourage the stakeholder debates about race, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, commuter issues, and international student issues. These are conversations we should be having that the current structure makes more difficult to launch.
  • We encourage the name of directors be changed at the AGM. We believe LGBTQ Issues Director from LGBTQ Director, or Racialized Issues Director instead of Racialized Director better recognizes the fact no director can represent every group in larger communities.

The College System and its Discontents

  • We recognize the college system fails to include many students now. The current college system severely overlooks the issues of equity that matter to accessing education.
  • We agree Colleges will be adequately represented on new committees. College’s student societies will be preserved. College input in UTSU campaigns makes less sense than issue directors.
  • We agree that the Arts & Science and Professional Faculty committees should be made up of representatives from each college and faculty but that they should be elected for the sole purpose of sitting on the committees. We believe that representation from each college/ faculty need not only be from officers of their student society. Just as college and faculty directors have worked with the divisional societies under the current structure, so would these representatives.

Context, Controversies, and Challenges:

  • the UTSU legally has to reform under new Federal Non-Profit laws. Proposed alternatives risk extraordinary bureaucratic paralysis.
    • e.g. 19 bodies with independent vetoes over the whole union
  • there is evidence some groups, such as the TCM, have used undemocratic tactics (free beer) to gather proxies. Their actions secure privilege, not equity.
    • We feel the new structure will better represent all their students needs. The reforms are good for most students in even vocally opposed bodies.
    • For example, professional faculties (e.g. engineering) can be represented on the commuter, LGBTQ, Women’s, indigenous, etc positions.
  • We want to reiterate UTSU President’s point. This shouldn’t be an absolute good/bad issue. If you have concerns let’s talk about how to improve it.

Calls to Action:

  • Invite your friends to go with you to the AGM and our discussions.
  • Go to the AGM.
  • Vote YES! to the proposed reforms

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