Author: Erik Preston

The State of the Union: Re-evaluating our relationship with the CFS

If you went on any sort of social media between October and January of last year, you most likely saw—and promptly became annoyed by—the constant posts and messages asking you to vote to amend the board structure of the University of Toronto Students’ Union. The campaign to bring the UTSU back in compliance with new government legislation was long and drawn out, and caused a great deal of bickering between active student politicians. When the new board structure was finally passed last January, the University took a collective deep breath. However, with every new year comes new issues. This year’s is one of equal, if not greater importance—one that seems like a much larger headache. The recently launched You Decide campaign seeks to provide UofT students the chance to vote in a referendum to decide whether or not we remain members of the Canadian Federation of Students, better known as the CFS. There are several important reasons why our relationship with the CFS is being called into question, all of which are of concern to students at UofT. The CFS basically functions as a union for our union. The UTSU, along with 39 other student unions in Ontario alone, provide funding to the organization to represent student interests across the country. This can take the form of political lobbying and nation-wide campaigns, such as the Fight the Fees campaign to...

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VUSAC: Your Student Government

The Victoria College Student Administrative Council, VUSAC for short, is the student government here at Victoria College. The governing body provides many services to students, including various discounts on events and services, as well as representation of Vic students at U of T and in the wider community.

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VUSAC ratifies omnibus referenda, new levy heads at final meeting

  On Friday night, VUSAC held its final meeting of the 2015-2016 school year. Following an election season plagued by poor turnout, VUSAC’s constitution required both the new VUSAC board and several referenda to be ratified by the existing council. The VUSAC constitution requires a 15 percent VCU turnout for elections, and a 10 percent turnout for referenda, for the results to be considered binding. Neither of these thresholds were met in the election. The VUSAC office was packed with nearly 40 people, as incoming and outgoing levy heads gathered for ratification of their successors and to argue for the ratification of the referendum to increase levy funds in line with the Consumer Price Index. Levy funds have not increased in over ten years, necessitating that almost every levy fund use most of their budgets to cover fixed costs. Some levies, such as Acta Victoriana, have gone over budget this school year as a result. For example, in previous years, The Strand has been able to print 4,000 copies of each issue, a figure that has now been reduced to 1,800 due to budget constraints. Allowing the levy fund to increase with the Consumer Price Index would allow for an increase with inflation, allowing for budgets to increase with inflation and remain at a constant level. A lengthy debate surrounding the validity of the referenda results ensued as a result...

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New VUSAC Board Announced for 2016-17 School Year

Official results for the 2016 VUSAC Elections were posted on Friday, concluding what has been an interesting and at times controversial election season. Rahul Christoffersen and Stuart Norton were elected Co-Presidents with 312 votes, achieving a 66% share of the vote. Steve Warner was elected Vice-President, External, along with Golda Greenspoon as Vice-President, Internal and Hannah Brennen as Vice-President, Student Organizations, who, together with the Co-Presidents comprise the judiciary of the 2016-17 VUSAC Board. The new judiciary brings a wide variety of experience to the new council, both from previous VUSAC positions and from other student governments. Warner served...

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VUSAC Elections 2016: William Cuddy, Vice-President Internal Candidate

  I sat down with Vice President, Internal candidate William Cuddy to talk about his experience and his plans for the position if elected.   The Strand: What sort of experience and skills do you bring to the table?   Will: Well, I’ve been on VUSAC for two years now. I was a Councillor in my first year, and I was also a Councillor in my second year. I was a student leader in my high school as well. In the two councillor positions, I dealt with a couple different portfolios. The ones I worked with ended up dealing...

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