New Website!

I have a new site now: you can find it by navigating to It also has all the old posts and files from this website.


Student Commons Agreement to be Approved By Governing Council Next Thursday Feb 26th


  • After negotiations between UTSU’s lawyers and U of T’s lawyers, Governing Council will vote on approving the Student Commons Agreement next Thursday February 26 (Meeting starts at 4:30pm in the Simcoe Hall Council Chamber).
  • The major change from the original agreement is that the Management Committee will now be comprised of seven (7) students chosen by the members of the UTSU board of directors who are St. George students and six (6) students chosen by the UTSU Executive, along with one (1) non-voting Facility Manager.
  • All voting members must be full-time undergraduate students registered at the St. George campus, except for up to one member-who is an UTSU executive (or the UTSU executive director).
  • I will be voting and speaking in favor of approving this agreement, so that the student commons project can move forward.  I feel that the previously identified concerns which fall under Governing Council’s jurisdiction have been adequately addressed.
  • Estimated (revised) schedule is:
    • Governing Council – February 2015
    • Design Team Selection – May-July 2015
    • Construction Award – August 2016
    • Occupancy – September 2017

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Preliminary NSSE Results

Preliminary results for the NSSE survey were presented at the latest University Affairs Board meeting.  What is NSSE? (From their website):

Through its student survey, The College Student Report, NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about first-year and senior students’ participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college.

To view the preliminary NSSE results, click here: NSSE Presentation 2015 UAB

Provost Releases Response to Student Societies’ Summit Report

You can view the Provost’s response here:

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.

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Status on International Students on Governing Council

The following is from the last report of the Governing Council Executive Committee:

The Chair reported that the University administration continued to explore, with the involvement and advice of legal counsel, the concern which had been brought to the attention of Governing Council on several occasions previously, regarding the citizenship restrictions set out in the University of Toronto Act, 1971, with respect to membership on Governing Council. Since these considerations involved the University’s legislation, consultations with relevant staff within the Ontario Government had commenced. The political uncertainty in Ontario (which continued post-election) meant that there could be a delay in obtaining the guidance sought by the University. Accordingly, the intention would be to report on the matter again in the Fall to advise as to what progress had been made.

You can find the full report here:

As a governor, I will be following up to ensure that progress is being made.  As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at ben[dot]coleman[at]mail[dot]utoronto[dot]ca.

Huron-Sussex Plan/I Went To This Meeting: Business Board 22 Sept 2014

Huron-Sussex Plan

Do you like cool architectural plans?  Then check out the Huron-Sussex Plan, which, aside from setting out how development in the Huron-Sussex neighborhood will happen (it’s that area behind Robarts).  This plan also represents a step forward in community relations (we hope).

Business Board Meeting

Now that I have real class, I no longer have time to write long meeting notes.  I’ve listed the public agenda items for the Business Board below.  If any of them sound interesting to you, then send me an email at ben[dot]coleman[at]mail[dot]utoronto[dot]ca and I’ll tell you all about it. Continue reading

I Went To This Meeting: University Affairs Board 30 Sept 2014

Important Things

  •  The Provost’s response to the Student Society’s Summit will be presented at the next UAB meeting, which is on the 6th of November, at 4:30pm in the Simcoe Hall Council Chambers.
  • The response does not include a policy recommendation, but will probably give a good idea of what that would look like.  Actual policy will come to the UAB later, after consultation.  In particular, members were assured that groups that were left out of the Summit would be consulted before policy was brought to the UAB.
  • The student commons might be approved soon.  See this Varsity article for details.
  • There will be an info session on the student commons at the next Governing Council meeting, which is on October 30th at 4:30pm in the Simcoe Hall Council Chambers.

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