Provost Releases Response to Student Societies’ Summit Report

You can view the Provost’s response here: http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=10716

Important Points:

  • There is no new policy or action regarding student societies happening at the next Governing Council meeting.  The Provost’s response is a report, for information.
  • In the short term (best guess=this year), the Admin will be proposing a Student Societies Appeals Board, as well as some other unspecified policies to ensure “open, democratic, and accessible” operation (probably similar to some of those suggested in the original report).
  • In the long term, the Admin will be designing a policy that allows for the restructuring of student societies, with a particular focus on the possibility of undergraduate students at the St. George campus being able to form their own student society.

Summary (from the Governing Council Cover Sheet)

The Report on the University of Toronto Student Societies Summit was received by the Provost’s Office on April 14, 2014, and discussed at a meeting of Governing Council on May 22, 2014. At the Governing Council meeting on September 11, 2014, the Provost stated that she would bring forward an administrative response to governors in Fall 2014.

HIGHLIGHTS:
The Provost’s Office has analyzed the Report and the recommendations and submits the attached administrative response, which contains an assessment of the Report and some related policy options and implications. The two significant recommendations envisage a staged process with the first occurring expeditiously and the second taking a longer-term approach:

1) That new processes (supported by a new Policy) be articulated with regard to student
societies and principles of open, accessible and democratic operation. A process for
review or appeal, such as an “Appeals Board” that has representation from both students
and the University must also be considered. Such an Appeals Board could be structured
in a way that preserves the autonomy of student societies but makes them more
accountable to their own members and objectively inspires confidence in their operations.
Extensive consultation on the draft policy will take place with various groups and
individuals to ensure a good understanding of issues, principles, and solutions.

2) That further analysis and consultation occur with respect to the development of a policy
dealing with the recognition, restructuring and evolution of student societies. Such a
policy should take into consideration the future scope of representation for broadly based
student societies, for example, a St. George campus first-entry undergraduate grouping.

I wrote a letter to the provost regarding this response in the summer.  You can read it here: Analysis and Recommendations Regarding the SSS Report

If you have any comments or questions, my email is ben[dot]coleman[at]mail[dot]utoronto[dot]ca

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