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TMSU ratifies byelection results at November BoD meeting

By Anastasia Blosser and Dexter LeRuez

The Toronto Metropolitan Students’ Union (TMSU) ratified the fall 2023 byelection results during Friday’s Board of Directors (BoD) meeting. 

As previously reported by The Eyeopener, the fall byelection’s unofficial results were released on Nov. 24, with The Empire Team’s Nikole Dan winning the presidential election by one vote. She was not present at the meeting. 

During the meeting, outgoing TMSU president Marina Gerges stated that the new board does not begin their term until Dec. 11 and the current board will be in office until Dec. 10.

Outgoing vice president operations and byelection presidential candidate Nathan Sugunalan abstained from the motion along with Lincoln Alexander School of Law director Fatima Sheikh.

In the meeting, Gerges said she is “genuinely worried [about] the TMSU,” because of repeated attempts to damage candidates’ reputations.

“There were a lot of problems in the past and it’s going to take years for [the TMSU] to overcome those types of problems,” she said in the meeting. 

“I wish the absolute best for the new team because they will be the ones running the general elections,” Gerges said. “I really hope that seeing what they experienced in the byelection will let them see how important it is to invest back into elections.”

During the meeting, executives also discussed their ongoing projects, work they completed over the past month and new updates to TMSU policies.

Here are the most notable topics from November’s BoD meeting.

Manager termination bylaw

In the meeting, the BoD voted to maintain a previous TMSU bylaw that stated a manager could not be terminated without two-thirds of the BoD voting in agreement. 

Gerges said that the TMSU previously had an existing bylaw that required a two-thirds majority vote to terminate a manager and that this motion was “to confirm the status quo.”

According to the meeting agenda emailed to The Eye on Nov. 29, the bylaw was removed last year when the TMSU “completed a by-law revamp.”  

Gerges said this bylaw should exist because managers are “the ones that ensure continuity,” and they “know the history,” of the TMSU.

She said as the TMSU continues to fix bylaws and policies, the students’ union needs people who can pass on knowledge from one team to another, “especially when that team is changing every single year.”

Gerges also said that in addition to the two-thirds majority vote, individuals who want to terminate a manager must also provide “just cause or evidence” and contact the TMSU’s labour and relations lawyer.

Grammarly discount renewal 

The TMSU also passed a motion to purchase 4,515 twelve-month accounts for the artificial intelligence-powered writing assistant Grammarly during the BoD meeting. 

As previously reported by The Eye, the TMSU announced at last year’s Semi-Annual General Meeting that the students’ union would be selling subscriptions to the service at a discounted rate for its members.

According to Gerges, the accounts will cost students approximately $8.15. However, Gerges noted that the price may change due to fluctuations in the USD to CAD exchange rate.   

Director of programming Corey Scott stated that the subscriptions will likely not come into effect until the second week of undergraduate courses during the winter 2024 semester. 

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