UTMSU held its first Campaigns and Advocacy Commission meeting in the Student Centre last Tuesday, where they discussed the possibility of a demonstration this week, as well as upcoming initiatives and amendments to next year’s National Day of Action.
UTMSU’s president, Nour Alideeb, stated that she is viewing the campus’ budget and wants to advocate for a freeze on the increase of the ancillary fees for parking, food services, and residence, which is expected to take place at the Campus Council meeting on Wednesday, February 1.
Alideeb claimed that the only motivation for higher fees was so that the university can pay off debts at a quicker pace. The proposed fee freeze will keep current fees static for a period of time.
As previously reported by The Medium, at the Campus Affairs Committee held on January 11, Paul Donoghue, UTM’s chief administrative officer, stated that the increase in parking fees will be used to pay off the loan on the new parking deck.
Alideeb expressed her wishes to have more students attend the meeting to demonstrate to the administration that students do not support the decision to raise fees.
The commission meeting also focused on how to encourage a greater student turnout for the next National Day of Action.
Members voiced concerns that many students could not attend last year’s rally because of class and assignment conflicts.
Alideeb suggested to create a forum via the Office of the Registrar, where students can notify the university that they will be absent on the National Day of Action in order to attend the rally.
Other suggestions by students at the meeting included moving the day to a weekend, hosting more rallies, and cancelling classes for a day.
The commission committee also discussed various events and initiatives that will be taking place over the remainder of the semester, some of which include compost and recycling initiatives, queer and trans clothing Drive Kits for hygiene products, and bursary workshops.
The union also stated that they are currently working on extending the deadline for students to select a Credit/No Credit option.
The Campaigns and Advocacy Commission meeting is expected to meet once a month until March.