$18,100 owed to athletic groups will be released by TMSU

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By Thea Gribilas

A motion to uphold $18,100 of committed funding to athletic groups made by Toronto Metropolitan Students’ Union (TMSU) was passed at the October Board of Directors (BoD) meeting. 

The motion was initially moved in September and was tabled after the union voted to refer the motion to the finance committee for reconsideration.

As previously reported by The Eyeopener, in the committee report presented to the board in the BoD meeting earlier this month, it was found that the process for applying for athletics grants needs to be amended for clarity and uniformity year to year.

It was also noted that the funds in question should be released to all affected non-varsity athletic groups. 

In the meeting, Creative School director and mover of the motion Gus Cousins, who is also a member of the baseball team, said “everybody agrees we should do it. Let’s just do it and then you can all stop hearing my voice every single week.”

The motion was passed with no opposition. 

No plans for how the $18,100 will be distributed or allocated to the appropriate groups were provided at the meeting.

Here’s what else you missed at the October BoD meeting

Wellbeing referendum town hall

As previously reported by The Eye, Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) students will vote on a wellbeing referendum from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3.

The referendum, approved at the October Board of Governors meeting, is seeking to increase the wellbeing levy fee from $3.93 to $38.83 per term for all undergraduate and graduate students. 

Chris Martin, the director of operations and strategic initiatives and Natasha Chawdhry, the student government liaison at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), were present at the meeting and provided a presentation to attending students with an opportunity to ask questions.

Chawdhry said “as many of you folks already know, TMU was originally a polytechnic university and so it was not built for wellbeing.” 

Despite the lack of infrastructure, Chawdhry said the school has managed to bring the average number of days it takes for students to receive support to approximately eight days. 

She added that the school is currently investing over $8 million in wellbeing services, which equates to approximately $105 per student. 

According to Martin, that figure has increased to $10 million this year. He said this increase is with the goal of achieving “what we’re calling TMU’s wellbeing future we need to go a bit further.”

Despite this increase, Martin said more needs to be done which is why the school is holding the referendum.

Part of the goal of the “wellbeing future” is to reduce appointment wait times, provide 24/7 and year-round access to virtual and remote counselling services, expand mentoring opportunities and have food, snacks and other wellbeing support for students, among other things.

“What we’re hoping to achieve is the best care in Ontario for something that is below what most students pay,” using examples like McMaster University and the University of Toronto who pay more than TMU students in wellbeing fees.

SAGM to be held on Dec. 1

A motion to move the date of the TMSU semi-annual general meeting (SAGM) to Dec. 1 was passed.

The initial meeting was set to be held on Dec. 2.

TMSU president Marina Gerges said that this was because she thought students were more likely to attend on a Thursday than on a Friday.

By-law amendments extension

A motion to decrease the days before the SAGM that BoD members and general members can submit motions was passed.

BoD members are now able to submit, review, approve and inform the board of amendments no less than 10 days before the SAGM. Previously, the board needed to be informed of bylaw amendments 45 days in advance.

A clause was added in the meeting by Gerges to allow for students to submit motions no less than 15 days before the scheduled SAGM date.

Previously, general membership had to submit amendments 30 days in advance of a scheduled SAGM.

Grammarly update

A motion to investigate and provide an option for the renewal or creation of a premium Grammarly account for students was passed.

Faculty of Science director and mover of the motion, Shirin Kalavi, said “the situation is time sensitive considering November is an assignment-heavy month for students.”

In response, Spyros Zarros, the newly-appointed vice president operations, said “the service was offered mainly because of COVID[-19] and [students] didn’t have access to the university and the services that do similar things to Grammarly,” but he added the TMSU is “obviously going to investigate.”

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