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Complaint against the University of Toronto Mississauga Athletic Council (UTMAC)

The complaint alleged that there were issues of non-compliance with UTMAC’s by-laws and constitution regarding election procedures that resulted in of several members of one slate being disqualified from the election. It was further alleged that one member of the opposing slate was not eligible to run.

The Panel recommended:

  1. UTMAC review and revise its constitution and by-laws. The Student Experience Office will be able to assist. The revised constitution and by-laws will be approved at a general meeting of the society’s membership (i.e., an AGM).
  2. The panel appreciates the time and effort that the candidates and the Election Committee invested; however, to ensure a fair and transparent election, the panel recommends the election be re-held. Given the number of student members decreases over the summer, the re-election may need to wait until the fall term.
  3. An arms-length CRO and DRO are hired, as per the Policy [on Open, Accessible, Democratic Autonomous Student Organizations].
  4. UTMAC should ensure that its by-laws are followed.

Complaint against University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU)

The complaint alleged that the UTGSU’s BDS Committee (now Caucus) violates the UTGSU’s Anti-Discrimination Policy and University of Toronto policies that prohibit discrimination.

The Panel recommended:

  1. That UTGSU should revise Policy G.5.7 (Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) Caucus) so that it does not promote BDS actions based on nationality, and so that it is fully aligned with the UTGSU’s own Bylaws and Policies. Any revisions to Policy G.5.7 must allow for all members of UTGSU to participate in the Caucus. This should be done within one year from the date of the CRCSS decision.
  2. That UTGSU should convert the BDS Caucus fee into a designated fee that is refundable.
  3. That UTGSU should review and revise Policy i13: Anti-Discrimination Policy to align with the Ontario Human Rights Code and develop and implement a mechanism for addressing concerns raised under this policy.
  4. That UTGSU should establish a framework to determine how motions put forward to UTGSU governance bodies are reviewed in order to ensure compliance with their Bylaws and Policies.
  5. That UTGSU should, as part of their appeal process, confirm to the appellant when a complaint has been exhausted. The UTGSU should provide clear information about their appeals process and ensure that there is a definitive end to the process.

Following the release of the decision, the CRCSS panel received several submissions from UTSGU and the Complainant. Based on their review of these materials, the Panel determined that UTGSU had not satisfactorily responded to their recommendations.  As a result, the Panel forwarded their recommendations to the Provost for consideration.

On March 4, 2022, the Provost informed UTGSU of her decision to withhold from the fees of UTGSU an amount that is equivalent to the BDS portion of the UTGSU society fee until such time as UTGSU complies with its obligations under University policies.

Complaint against University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU)

The complaint alleged that an email circulated among graduate students on the final day of the April 2020 spring election period had a direct negative impact on the election results.  They also contend that the candidates endorsed in the email engaged in “slate-like behaviour” that constitutes a violation of UTGSU Election Policies.

The matter was brought before the UTGSU Election and Referenda Committee (ERC) who rejected the appeal.  The complainant alleged that a member of the ERC previously submitted a formal complaint against one of the complainants – but did not declare a conflict of interest.

The Panel recommended:

  1. UTGSU should review its polices related to communications, listservs and data privacy, ensure that current policies are being followed, and consider additional controls (e.g., consolidating access to listservs and emails with one or two people rather than allowing access to individual Caucus or Committee Chairs).
  2. The membership of the Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC) should be shared with candidates in advance of the election. Candidates should have an opportunity to comment on membership and raise any concerns.  The ERC should have a clearly articulated process for addressing potential conflicts of interest.
  3. Clarify the definition of a “group or party affiliation” within the Elections and Referenda Policy and the behaviours that would constitute campaigning as a group (or slate).
  4. UTGSU should establish an impartial elections board.