The UTMSU’s Campus and Advocacy meeting last Tuesday discussed the union’s plans to advocate for a grade forgiveness policy and the resources that the upcoming Equity Centre will offer.

According to UTMSU, the implementation of the grade forgiveness policy would allow students to retake a required course for their program and have the higher mark shown on their record. Currently, if students fail a required course and have to take it again, both grades appear on their transcript. UTMSU stated that this policy would be directed at first-year students to help them get into their desired program.

Students attending the meeting suggested that such a policy should also be aimed at upper-year students who may want to drop a course from record. According to the UTMSU, the administration wants to have this policy used only for program requirements due to concerns that students might misuse the policy if it were allowed for any course.

UTMSU also discussed the spaces in the upcoming Equity Centre.

According to Sagal Osman, the Vice-President Equity, the Equity Centre will contain four spaces: racialized and Indigenous, women and trans, LGBT, and food space. These spaces would be run by volunteers and would allow students to talk about their experiences.

The purpose of the Equity Centre is also to provide students with resources such as tampons, razors, contraceptives, and pregnancy tests. Some students suggested that the racialized and Indigenous space could include a list of restaurants or events specific for different cultural groups. UTMSU’s president Salma Fakhry stated that the idea is to include “things that, as part of your identity, you need.”

UTMSU also discussed the Fight the Fees campaign as a way to challenge the rising costs of tuition fees, and other expenses such as food costs and parking spaces. They plan to have a National Day of Action like last year, possibly at UTM.

The union discussed ways to get students more involved in the campaign and to motivate them to attend the rally. A date was not specified for the rally.

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