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

Summary

  • 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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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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I Listened to This Meeting: Governing Council, May 22

U of T Publications with Intl Coauthors
International collaboration is important to President Gertler’s strategy. This graph shows where we are already doing well.

I streamed the audio of this meeting from the public library of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, home of Canada’s largest privately-owned inland grain terminal.  It’s an exciting place.  (Better than Wollerton, at least).

On the agenda: a report from the president, a presentation from the VP Research and Innovation, phase two of the new architecture building, and an update on the student societies summit. Like all student leaders stuck in rural Saskatchewan, I listened to this meeting.

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I Went To This Meeting: Governing Council 8th April 2014

I had been made to believe that this meeting would be an epic event, an annual showdown where the most contentious decision of the year was made.  The “Raise Tuition” vote.  When I ran for governing council, this was a huge deal, with a full-blown student politics Facebook debate on the subject.  People have strong opinions on what student governors should do at this most crucial of meetings.

It was (in all honesty) a little dull.

On the agenda: a report from the President, the annual financial aid report (again), the tuition fee schedules for publicly-funded and self-funded programs, the annual budget report, and final approval for the expansion of the Downsview book storage facility.

Like any student politician wanting to know what all the fuss was about, I went to this meeting. Continue reading

I Went to This Meeting: Business Board 31 March 2013

With a theme of “Human Resources and Equity,” I knew this meeting was going to be a non-stop thrill ride of business.  First on the agenda was the annual report of Angela Hildyard, the Vice-President of HR and Equity, followed by a high-octane review of employment equity and health and safety.  After that, the finance guys from the University of Toronto Asset Management corporation (UTAM) gave their annual report and presentation on the humongous pile of money that they look after, while making everyone feel like they had suddenly entered an economics lecture.  Transitioning from the pile of money we have to the pile of money we’ve borrowed, Sheila Brown, UofT’s CFO gave a report on our debt strategy.  Lastly, a motion was passed approving the budget for the group that looks after all those houses in the Huron-Sussex neighborhood that we own… apparently.

Like any student politician looking to procrastinate and snag a free coffee & cookie, I went to this meeting. Continue reading