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Student Organizations

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Student Organizations

The Student Organizations page provides student societies and recognized student groups with a range of resources relating to their obligations outlined in University policies and procedures.

What is a student society?

A student society refers to a student organization on whose behalf the University collects a non-academic incidental fee (see Fees: non-academic incidental page). Student Societies are broken into two main categories:

Representative Student Committees: The Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students (APUS), the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU), the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU), the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU), and the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU; legally, the Students’ Administrative Council)

Division and Faculty-based Student Societies: There are 39 other student societies; examples of some of the larger societies include the Arts & Science Students’ Union; The Medium, the Scarborough College Athletic Association, and the University of Toronto Medical Society.

What is a recognized student group?

Recognized student groups refers to the large and diverse directory of student clubs and organizations available across the three campuses. U of T currently has over 900 student groups recognized by the University. Learn more about recognized student groups at U of T on the Ulife website.

Handbook for Student Societies

The Office of the Vice-Provost, Students developed the Handbook for Student Societies as resource for student society leaders. It covers a broad range of issues relevant to student society leadership.

2021-2022 Handbook for Student Societies

 

Student Society Audits

The Policy for Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees requires all student societies to submit audited financial statements on an annual basis. Societies that collect less than $30,000 in student fees and generate less than $7,500 in other revenue are eligible to apply for an exemption from the audit requirement, but must meet criteria outlined by both the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students and the Internal Audit Department in order to do so.

Select the link below for a resource document on things to consider when submitting your society’s audited financial statements, or when seeking an exemption from the University’s requirement for audited financial statements.

2020-2021 Audit Memo

 

Student Society Fee Increases and Referenda

Each student society at the University of Toronto is required to seek approval for proposed fee increases at the University Affairs Board (UAB).

If you plan to bring forward a fee increase for your society, or are planning to conduct a referendum, there are a number of things to consider with respect to your society and the University Affairs Board.

The link below outlines these considerations.

2020-21 Fee Increase and Referenda Memo

 

Constitutional Revisions and CRCSS Appointments

The University requires that each student society have a constitution to demonstrate its open, accessible, and democratic functioning.

In addition to this requirement, each society also selects a delegate to the pool of appointees who may be called to serve on the University Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies (CRCSS) Panel. Recognizing that student societies face annual turnover, the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students has developed resources on each of the above items as a reference-point for organizations seeking assistance.
2021-2022 Constitutional Revisions and CRCSS Appointments Memo

 

For information about the CRCSS, please see the item below or visit the dedicated CRCSS page.

Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies (CRCSS)

The University affirms the value of autonomous student organizations operating independently and without interference from the University in their day-to-day operations. However, autonomy must be exercised in a manner that is compliant with the law and University policy. Further, all student organizations must conduct themselves in an open, accessible, and democratic manner.

Policy on Open, Accessible and Democratic Autonomous Student Organizations

 

See the Handbook for Student Societies and the dedicated CRCSS page for more information on the Policy and the CRCSS.

Using audiovisual materials at U of T

For guidance and information related to using audiovisual materials on campus, and copyright considerations, visit our page dedicated to AV and copyright at U of T.

Copyright Considerations for Student Groups

Select the link below for a resource document to assist when student groups are considering using copyrighted materials as part of their event promotion and/or programming (i.e. movie screenings).

Copyright Considerations for Student Groups

 

Accessibility Resources

The Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act Office provides a number of resources that may assist with the accessibility of your student society’s events and programming (including tip sheets, training modules, resources, relevant policies, and building access notices).

Please refer to the University of Toronto AODA Website for more information.

University of Toronto AODA Office (Website)

 

Use of University Services by Recognized Student Groups

This summary is intended to provide brief description of the expectations and requirements associated with the use of University of Toronto space (including meeting rooms and other physical spaces in which events and activities occur) and services (including web hosting facilities provided by the University).

Groups which are recognized pursuant to the Policy on the Recognition of Student Groups are independent organizations within the University of Toronto community.

  • The Policy on the Recognition of Student Groups provides a general framework for the application and recognition of informal student organizations comprised of any number of registered U of T students. Many recognized student groups also extend membership to other members of the U of T community (i.e., staff, faculty, and alumni) or people in the broader community with the understanding that student members retain control over the affairs of the organization. Recognition under this Policy does not convey any sort of endorsement of a group’s activities nor does it imply that the University takes responsibility for a group’s activities, beliefs, or philosophy.

    The Policy specifically includes the following provisions:

    “In its relations with these organizations, the University is guided by a commitment to the right of University members to communicate and to discuss and explore all ideas, to organize groups for any lawful purpose, to move about the University and to use its facilities in any reasonable way, to distribute on campus, in a responsible way, published material provided that it is not unlawful, to hold meetings, to debate and to engage in peaceful demonstrations, and to freedom from discrimination.

    Under the terms of this policy, the University will not attempt to censor, control or interfere with any group on the basis of its philosophy, beliefs, interests or opinions expressed unless and until these lead to activities which are illegal or which infringe the rights and freedoms already mentioned. By the same token, recognition as a “Student Group” by the University implies neither endorsement of a particular group’s beliefs or philosophy, nor the assumption of legal liability for the group’s activities. It assumes only that the University has a responsibility to inform itself of organizations which use its facilities and name and to deny or withdraw recognition if the requirements of this policy are not observed.”

    The very fact that recognized student groups exist speaks to a central value of the University of Toronto. As an academic community, we have a fundamental commitment to the principles of freedom of inquiry, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, as articulated in the Statement on Freedom of Speech. In this context, various student groups avail themselves of campus facilities and services for activities.

    In addition to the general requirements mentioned above, use of particular services and facilities are subject to requirements delineated below. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in withdrawal of access to these services.

     

  • Student groups must comply with the applicable University policies and regulations concerning use of space including the Policy for Temporary Use of Space and Guidelines. Some facilities may have additional requirements with respect to the use of space.

  • As noted above (in ‘use of space for events and activities’), recognized groups may produce and distribute information on campus, and publish information on University web publishing facilities, provided that it is not unlawful. In addition to the conditions and expectations articulated in the Statement on Freedom of Speech and in the Policy on the Recognition of Student Groups, groups publishing information on University web publishing facilities must also comply with the terms and conditions of the Provost’s guidelines on Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology. Distribution of hardcopy publications is subject to the procedure on distribution of publications, posters, and banners, as outlined by Facilities & Services.

  • Access to and use of other University facilities (e.g., use of temporary office space, use of email accounts, use of LISTSERV services, etc.) are also subject to specific rules or agreements applicable to the individual services and facilities.