Report: University Affairs Board - April 27, 2020

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Virtual Meeting via ZOOM

REPORT NUMBER 217 OF THE UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS BOARD

April 27, 2020


To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Board reports that it met on Monday, April 27, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. via virtual meeting with the following members present:


Present:
Andrew Szende, Chair; P.C. Choo, Vice-Chair; Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students; Harvey Botting; Catherine Bragg; Reshma Dhrodia; Avrum Gotlieb; Ira Jacobs; Mallory Jackman; Amin Kamaleddin; Mark Lautens; Clayon Levy; Joseph Leydon; Ron Levi; John F. Monahan; Sandhya Mylabathula; David Newman; Tayyab Rashid; Stephanie Rose; Gurvir Sangha; Mark Seymour; Daman Singh


Non-Voting Assessors:
Anne Macdonald, Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services; Mark Overton, Dean, Student Affairs, UTM; Meredith Strong, Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students and Student Policy Advisor;

Secretary:
David Walders

Regrets:
Apefa Adjivon; Jayde Jones

In Attendance:
Muntaka Ahmed, President-Elect, University of Toronto Students' Union; Laura Berneaga, President, Engineering Society; Joshua Bowman, President, University of Toronto Students' Union; Chanel Chow, President, Faculty of Music Undergraduate Association; Josh Hass, Coordinator, Student Policy Initiatives; Elizabeth Hii, Vice-President, Finance, Engineering Society; Cheryl Gibbs, Assistant-Director, Office of the Vice-Provost Students; Jaime Kearns President, Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students; Emma Puddicombe, President, Museum Studies Student Association; Danielle Stella, President, University College Literary & Athletic Society


ITEMS 4(c) and 6 ARE REPORTED FOR APPROVAL AND ALL OTHER ITEMS FOR INFORMATION.

  1. Chair’s Opening Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting.
  2. Report of the Senior Assessor

    Professor Welsh offered updates on the following matters:

COVID-19

Professor Welsh provided an update on the University’s response to the COVID-19 virus as of April 27, 2020. She noted that the University was now moving into Phase 2 of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, namely Crisis Recovery Planning. Professor Welsh offered specific updates on the following matters in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: enrolment; convocation; student bursaries; non-tuition incidental fees; student services.

The discussion that followed focused on various impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students. Members enquired about additional resources that were available to students, improving communication to graduate students (especially those conducting laboratory-based research), as well as possible reductions in student fees. Professor Welsh outlined the many health and wellness supports available to students, including ‘just-in-time’ supports to students in residence and the continued partnership with between the University and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Professor Welsh also highlighted resources that were available for incoming students expecting to commence studies in the Fall term.

Turning to communication with graduate students, Professor Welsh noted the questions raised by members and would communicate these to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Finally, regarding student fees, Professor Welsh outlined the ways in which non-tuition incidental fees had been reduced. The University would connect with student groups regarding their Fall 2020 fees. She noted that, at present, there was currently no plan to reduce tuition fees.

The Chair thanked Professor Welsh for her report.

  1. Update: Proposed Revisions to Policy on the Recognition of Campus Groups

    Professor Welsh provided an overview of the proposed revisions to the Policy. She noted that consultations had taken place between February 11 and April 5 and comments that had arisen during those consultations had been incorporated in the current draft. Final comments on the proposal could be sent to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students until May 4.

    In reply to a member’s question, Professor Welsh noted that representative student groups (student unions) were not governed by the Policy. In addition, funding for recognized campus groups by representative student groups was also not governed by the Policy and such funding decisions were made by the student groups themselves.

    A member suggested that the University explore the possibility of vesting the power to recognize campus groups solely with the representative student groups.

    The Chair thanked Professor Welsh for her comments.
  2. Student Societies: Requests for Fee Increases

    Professor Welsh noted that all requests for student society fee increases must be supported by constitutional and fair processes within student societies. The administration relied on the assurances of the officers of societies that proper procedures have been used.
    1. University of Toronto Mississauga

      There were no questions or comments regarding the request for fee increases from the University of Toronto, Mississauga. The request for fee increases from student societies from the University of Toronto, Mississauga were received for information.

    2. University of Toronto Scarborough

      There were no questions or comments regarding the request for fee increases from the University of Toronto, Scarborough. The request for fee increases from student societies from the University of Toronto, Scarborough were received for information.

    3. University of Toronto, St. George

      Professor Welsh provided an overview of the request for student society fee increases from the University of Toronto, St. George.

      A member raised the issue of low voter turnout in referenda concerning fee increases, and suggested that the University work towards mechanisms to ensure that fee increases were supported by a greater number of eligible voting students.

      On motion duly made, seconded and carried

      It was Resolved

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students fee be increased as follows:
      (a) an increase of $0.09 per session in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) portion of the fee.

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the Engineering Society fee be changed as follows:
      (a) an increase of $0.55 per fall and winter sessions in the Society portion of the fee ($0.52 part-time & PEY);

      (b) the establishment of $0.34 per fall session and $0.33 per winter session in the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students portion of the fee for full-time, part-time, and PEY students through 2021-22;

      (c) an increase of $0.23 per fall and winter sessions in the Human-Powered Vehicle Design portion of the fee through 2021-22 (full-time only);

      (d) the continuation of the Skule Endowment Fund portion of the fee through 2021-22; and

      (e) the continuation of, and an increase of $0.05 per fall and winter sessions in, the Skule Night portion of the fee through 2021-22 (full-time only).

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the Faculty of Music Undergraduate Association fee be changed as follows:
      (a) the continuation of, and a decrease of $50.00 per fall and winter sessions in, the Endowment Fund portion of the fee through 2024-25; and

      (b) the continuation of the Special Projects Fund portion of the fee through 2024-25.

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the Master of Information Student Council and Museum Studies Student Association fees be changed as follows:

      (a) a decrease of $5.00 per fall and winter sessions in the Tech Fund/Tech Levy portion of the fees ($2.50 part-time).

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the University College Literary and Athletic Society fee be changed as follows:

      (a) an increase of $0.24 per fall and winter sessions in the society portion of the fee ($0.08 part-time).

      Subject to confirmation of approval of the following fee change requests by the General Council of the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union at its April 28, 2020 meeting,
      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union fee be changed as follows:

      (a) an increase of up to $0.66 per session in the society portion of the fee ($0.33 part-time);

      (b) an increase of up to $0.01 per session in the Bikechain portion of the fee (full-time students only);

      (c) an increase of up to $0.17 per session in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) portion of the fee (up to $0.09 per fall session and up to $0.08 per winter session part-time);

      (d) an increase of up to $0.06 per session in the Centre for Social Justice - OPIRG portion of the fee (up to $0.04 per fall session and up to $0.02 per winter session part-time);

      (e) an increase of up to $0.01 per session in the Sexual Education Centre portion of the fee (up to $0.01 per fall session part-time);

      (f) an increase of up to $11.64 per fall and winter sessions in the Health Plan portion of the fee; and

      (g) an increase of up to $8.04 per fall and winter sessions in the Dental Plan portion of the fee.

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (legally, the Students’ Administrative Council) fee be changed as follows:

      (a) an increase of $0.41 per session in the society portion of the fee;

      (b) an increase of $0.01 per session in the Bikechain portion of the fee;

      (c) an increase of $0.18 per session in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) portion of the fee;

      (d) an increase of $0.07 per session in the Downtown Legal Services portion of the fee;

      (e) an increase of $0.02 per session in the Student Refugee Program portion of the fee;

      (f) an increase of $10.21 per fall and winter sessions in the Health Plan portion of the fee;

      (g) an increase of $8.53 per fall and winter sessions in the Dental Plan portion of the fee; and

      (h) the establishment of $1.00 per session in the Student Aid Program Fund portion of the fee.

      Subject to confirmation of approval of the following fee change requests by the University of Toronto Students’ Union Board of Directors at its April 28, 2020 meeting:

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the University of Toronto Students’ Union fee be changed as follows:

      (a) an increase of up to $2.99 per session in the Student Commons Capital Levy portion of the fee.

      THAT beginning in the Fall 2020 session, the Varsity Publications fee be changed as follows:

      (a) an increase of $0.02 per session in the society portion of the fee (graduate); and

      (b) an increase of $0.06 per session in the society portion of the fee (undergraduate).

  3. Student Societies: Report on Financial Statements and Internal Auditor’s Opinion

    Professor Welsh provided an overview of the Report on Financial Statements and Internal Auditor’s Opinion, highlighting one particular raised in the forensic audit.

    There were no questions from members.
  4. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 216, March 11, 2020

    The report of the previous meeting was approved.
  5. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  6. Date of Next Meeting: May 21, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

    The Chair confirmed that the next meeting would be held on May 21, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. and would likely be held virtually.
  7. Other Business

    There were no items of other business.

    The meeting adjourned at 5:53 p.m.


April 28, 2020