UTG S U

    University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union
                   16 Bancroft Avenue
               Toronto, Ontario M5S 1C1

 Congratulations! You have been elected as a representative to the University of Toronto
 Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU). This manual will explain what the UTGSU is, what your
 responsibilities are, and the deadlines to obtain course union funding. Please note additional
 information can be found on our website:

 The UTGSU is the student-run, membership-driven organization that represents
 approximately 16,000 full-time and part-time graduate students at the University of Toronto.
 Virtually every Department, Centre and Institute at U of T has a course union, which is our
 name for a departmental student council. Each of the 80+ course unions sends one or more
 representatives to the UTGSU Council — one of which is you!

 The UTGSU offices are located in the basement of 16 Bancroft Avenue.

 Full Time Staff Members

    • Executive Director: David Eaton
          o Email:        |     Phone: 647-767-4781

    • Communications and Events Coordinator: Selah Edlington
         o Maintains the UTGSU website, social media, e-mail lists and the UTGSU Digest
         o Produces promotional materials, organizes orientation and other events
         o Email:        |    Phone: 416-978-2391

    • Office Assistant: Pamela Asprey
           o Administers gym bookings, takes Executive meeting minutes, performs general
              office duties, provides support to the Executive and UTGSU Council
           o Email:           |    Phone: 416-978-8464

    • Financial Administrator: Nusrat Huq
          o Administers the internal financial operations of the UTGSU, including
             bookkeeping, accounting, the UTGSU budget, and the annual audit
          o Email:            |     Phone: 416-978-1291

    • Health Plan Administrator: Shain Dhalla
          o Administers the health and dental plans for all UTGSU members
          o Email:                 |     Phone: 416-978-8465

    • Membership and Advocacy Coordinator: Gail Fernando
         o Helps members with academic and financial concerns
         o Liaises with UTGSU Council Reps and Course Unions, administers Head
            Grants, Special Grant, and Conference Grant funding
         o Email:            |    Phone: 416-946-8699

UTGSU Reps hold their office for 12 months, or until they are officially

1. Send Updated Contact Information             4. Read the Monthly UTGSU Mailout
In September (or after your election), email    We send the monthly UTGSU council         and     provide     mailout in two parts: one via email, and one
contact information for your newly elected      via Campus Mail. Please disseminate all
president and UTGSU rep(s), and the             relevant information to your execs and
names of those you are replacing. The           members.
UTGSU needs the full name, email
address, position and on-campus mailing         5. Distribute UTGSU Communications
address for your president and rep(s).          Occasionally, the UTGSU will send you
                                                emails with instructions to forward the
2. Submit the Head Grant Application            email to the students in your department.
Ensure your Head Grant Application is           You must forward these communications to
completed     and   submitted     to   the      all students who are members of your
Fieldworker by appropriate deadlines each       course union.
semester (please see page 4 for more
detailed information regarding Head             6. Report UTGSU Council Information
Grants). The Course Union Executive is          You must report back to your course union
responsible for ensuring that these forms       concerning UTGSU Council activities. This
are completed. YOU are responsible for          is essential if graduate students are to
ensuring they complete them.                    have a say in what policies & regulations
                                                affect their lives. You are an elected
3. Attend Monthly UTGSU Council                 member of your course union Executive
Meetings                                        and, as such, should have a regular slot on
UTGSU Council meetings are held once a          their agenda. Encourage them to meet
month from September to April. Attendance       regularly.
at these meetings determines your second
Head Grant installment (see page 4 for          7. Report to General Council
more detailed information). If you are          You may contact one of the UTGSU
unable to attend a meeting, please send a       Executive members on issues or problems
replacement     (someone       from     your    in your department (for example: cuts in
executive), and email the UTGSU                 the number of TAs, funding package
Fieldworker to let us know of the change.       problems, student space issues, etc.).
Attendance sheets will be distributed at        Please call or e-mail the Executive. There
each meeting and it is YOUR responsibility      is also a regular spot on the UTGSU
to ensure you sign it. If you do not sign it,   Council meeting’s monthly agenda for you
you will be marked as absent. Council           to   speak     directly   to  the     other
meeting dates are at the back of this           representatives.



 The UTGSU returns a large percentage of the UTGSU incidental fee to course unions in the
 form of an annual Head Grant. This grant is distributed in two installments (fall and winter)
 and is available to all course unions, contingent upon submission of a Head Grant application
 form and rep attendance at Council meetings. Application forms are sent to reps via Campus
 Mail in September and can also be found on our website.

 Fall Head Grant Installment (60%, based on previous year’s enrollment)
   Your Head Grant application form must be submitted to the UTGSU as soon as possible:
          a) Applications submitted prior to October 12 will have fall cheque ready at
             October Council meeting (pick up at registration table)
          b) Applications submitted prior to December 14 will get 100% of fall installment
          c) Applications submitted December 15 - April 8 will get 50% of fall installment
          d) Applications submitted after April 8 will get 0% of fall installment

 Winter Head Grant Installment (approximately 40%, based on current year’s enrollment*)
    Amount received is based on submitting a Head Grant application form and your
    attendance at monthly Council meetings during the academic year:
          a) Attend 4 or more of the first 6 meetings for 100% of winter installment
          b) Attend 3 of the first 6 meetings for 50% of winter installment
          c) Attend 2 or less of the first 6 meetings for 0% of winter installment

          * The amount of the winter Head Grant installment may fluctuate with enrollment changes


 The UTGSU provides funding for course unions organizing student-run conferences and
 academic events. There are two application rounds, one in fall and one in winter. Application
 forms and guidelines are available on our website.

 Fall Deadline: Monday November 26, 2018 at Noon
 Winter Deadline: Monday March 4, 2019 at Noon

 Small course unions (up to 65 full time equivalent (FTE) students) can apply for additional
 funding from the UTGSU. Application forms and guidelines can be found on our website.

 Special Grant Fund Application Deadline: Monday November 26, 2018 at Noon


The UTGSU Executive Committee is comprised of eight members: 6 officers and 2 executives-at-
large. The Executive officers' job is to manage the Union. They have political, financial, and
managerial responsibilities; they hold a weekly Executive meeting and attend University committee
and board meetings, where they represent graduate students to various bodies; and they are
members of Council, trying to balance the various priorities of Council members and UTGSU

The Executive has formed committees for each of their major issues: Research, Education, &
Governance, Sustainability & Environmental Justice, Equity & Advocacy, and Policy &
Operations. Each committee is composed of at least one executive officer, and other graduate
students. Students gather as a group in order to concentrate their efforts on an issue, develop a
working knowledge of the issue, and act on behalf of the UTGSU in regards to that issue. Each
committee is chaired by an Executive Officer, who then reports to the UTGSU General Council.

Finance Committee members are elected by General Council. The committee members are
elected every April and are responsible, with the Executive, for receiving the Audit, planning the
budget, and other financial tasks.

UTGSU Council:
  • Consists of approximately 144 representatives from over 85 course unions
  • Meets monthly, regularly from September to April
  • Takes stances on issues ranging, over the years, from: tuition fee increases, activities and
    decisions of the U of T administration, new university policies, student income tax
    deductions, environmental concerns, international wars, student involvement in
    departmental committees, comprehensive exams, childcare, social housing, etc.
  • Receives reports from the Executive, the Staff, and spokespersons from campus and
    external groups.

UTGSU Council Meetings (briefly):
  • A graduate student elected by UTGSU Council chairs Council meetings.
  • Meetings of Council are run according to Bourinot’s Rules of Order.
  • Council is run within a parliamentary structure, and the UTGSU Bylaw provides the
    framework for resolving issues.
  • Representation is proportional, by departmental enrolment: A course union with up to 100
    full-time equivalent (FTE) students has one representative; those with 101-200 FTEs have
    two representatives, those with 201-1000 FTEs have three representatives, those with
    >1000 FTEs have four representatives.
  • Council meets during the academic year from September to April during the last week of
    each month at 6:10 pm (except in December). Pizza and pop is served from 5:45 - 6:00 pm
    in the lobby until it runs out. Inform us in advance if you have dietary restrictions.
  • Each rep from each course union receives two mail-outs before each meeting:
  1. The electronic mail-out consists of an agenda for the upcoming Council meeting, minutes
    from the previous meeting and Executive reports. Limited paper copies are provided at
    Council meetings so you are expected to view these on your laptop or other device.
  2. The paper mail-out (as needed) contains Head Grant forms, application forms for Special
    Grants and Conference Grants, and any posters, reports, questionnaires, etc. that the
    Executive & staff have determined are useful, timely, or required.

Please ensure that the UTGSU has your correct name & address. If you do not receive your monthly mail-outs,

* 2018-2019 Council meetings will take place in various locations on St. George campus at 6:15 pm.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for registration and pizza.

  September 2018
  First UTGSU Council Meeting: 6:15 pm, Monday September 24, Wilson Hall (New College), Room 1017
  •   Course Unions hold elections in early September (if you haven’t already)
  •   Download & fill out your 2018-2019 Head Grant Application form, submit to the UTGSU office or at meeting
  •   Reps must attend at least 4 meetings between September and February to receive the full winter installment
  •   SGS holds Graduate Education Council by-elections for vacant student seats

  October 2018
  UTGSU Council Meeting (budget meeting): 6:15 pm, Tuesday October 23, Sidney Smith Hall, Rm 2117
  • UTGSU Council will elect one Executive Member-At-Large for a 7-month term
  • Head Grant Applications must be submitted to the UTGSU before course unions receive Head
     Grant cheques
  • For Head Grant Applications submitted before October 12, your fall installment cheque will be ready
  • Appointment of nominating committee for hiring Chief Returning Officer

  November 2018
  UTGSU Council Meeting: 6:15 pm, Tuesday November 20, Galbraith Building Room 248
  • Upcoming Deadlines: Special Grant & 1 Conference Grant applications due Monday, November 26, noon

  December 2018
  UTGSU Council Meeting and AGM: 6:15 pm, Tuesday December 4, Location TBD
  • UTGSU Annual General Meeting takes place before the Council meeting
  • Appointment of Chief Returning Officer; Elections Committee will be struck

  January 2019
  UTGSU Council Meeting: 6:15 pm, Tuesday January 22, Medical Sciences Building, Room 2170
  • 2019-2020 UTGSU Executive Officers Nomination Period opens for 2 weeks in January or February
  • Referendum questions must be presented by January Council meeting at the latest
  • Council ratifies Special Grant and 1 Conference Grant recipients; cheques available January 23

  February 2019
  UTGSU Council Meeting: 6:15 pm, Tuesday February 26, Medical Sciences Building, Room 2170
  • Special Grant and 1 Conference Grant cheques will be available January 23 from UTGSU office

  • 2 Conference Grant Application deadline: Monday March 4 at noon

  • 2019-2020 UTGSU Executive Officer elections take place in February

  March 2019
  UTGSU Council Meeting: 6:15 pm, Tuesday March 26, Medical Sciences Building, Room 2170
  • Pick up winter Head Grant cheques at registration table before meeting
  • Council ratifies 2 Conference Grant recipients; cheques available March 27 at UTGSU office

  • Selection of Council Chair Hiring Committee members

  April 2019
  Last UTGSU Council Meeting: 6:15 pm, Tuesday April 23, Multi-Faith Centre/Koffler House, Room 108
  • Election takes place for one UTGSU Executive-At-Large for a 12-month term
  • Election of Council members to UTGSU Finance Committee

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