Statement of Solidarity with UTSU Staff, Vita Carlino and Maria Galvez

Students for Barrier-Free Access at The University of Toronto- STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH UTSU Staff, Vita Carlino and Maria Galvez

The staff and board at Students for Barrier-Free Access (SBA) at The University of Toronto extend our solidarity and support with the staff of UTSU, and in particular, Vita Carlino, Previous Clubs and Service Groups’ Coordinator, and Maria Galvez, Previous Health and Dental Plan Coordinator who were unjustly laid off Tuesday May 30, 2017. The dismissal of Maria and Vita did not follow due process as outlined in the Collective Agreement between the UTSU and CUPE 1281. UTSU failed to compile with their duties as employer. We ask that Vita and Maria be reinstated into their role.

SBA stands for the right of workers to a safe working environment free of discrimination and unjust dismissal. As an organization located within the University of Toronto, fighting to remove student barriers to education we recognize that workers rights are central to sustainability and growth of the student movement. These cuts that the UTSU had made to staff positions have been ongoing (the financial coordinator position was cut and has been vacant since August 2016) and negatively affects students, particularly marginalized students (that SBA serves).

Student have a right to organize. Creating inclusive, diverse community through clubs and service groups fosters a sense of belonging which is crucial for student success at U of T. Vita’s role ensured that students had access to the information and support required to create such spaces. Clubs provide students with the possibility to create enriched/meaningful relationships with other like-minded students fostering community and collective care.

Increased cuts to student services further contributes to student poverty. By cutting Maria’s role and not having a designated person for students to navigate the health and dental plan, the UTSU has created additional barriers, particularly for low-income, disabled students in accessing proper and necessary health care during their tenure as students at the University of Toronto. The loss of Vita’s role as club’s and service group coordinator  results in a lack of transparency and coordination in the communication between the UTSU and the student service groups as the Clubs and Service Group Coordinator, through their work as a liaison and advocate, ensured that service groups like SBA were well supported and resourced in our work with marginalized students.

For more information on CUPE 1281’s Save our Staff Save our Services (SOS) campaign please visit:

In solidarity,

Students for Barrier-free Access

TRACX 2017 – What’s Left? Confronting the Alt Right

TRACX 2017 – What’s Left? Confronting the Alt Right

This year’s symposium is titled “What’s Left? Coalition-Building and Countering the Alt-Right” and will be co-hosted by the Toronto Research and Action Community Exchange collective along with Opirg Toronto and Sba Centre. The symposium portion is organized to showcase research with a community organizing focus from students, non-students and community groups. We want to problematize and challenge perspectives on research, and build networks between socially-conscious students and grassroots community organizations to develop research proposals led by the community group’s needs and priorities. We hope you can join us in helping facilitate this process as we focus on how we resist fascism, racism and oppression in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in the institutions and systems that govern our daily lives.

ASL, TTC Tokens, childminding lunch provided and gender neutral accessible washrooms available

Schedule and Location:
Sept 30 Day 1: OISE Library

11am – 1pm
Lspirg Waterloo: Fascism and the Rise of the Alt-Right; Organizing Tactics with LSPIRG

1pm – 2pm Lunch + Social

2:15pm – 3:45pm Feminist Perspectives on Resisting Infiltration: Building a Strong Security Culture by Building Strong Relationships MISN: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network

15min Break

4pm – 6pm Countering Transphobia at the University of Toronto

Oct 1 Day 2: 11am – 3pm OISE Library – 3pm – 7pm OISE Room 2214

11am – 12:30pm “Migrant Justice, Canadian Liberalism, and the Rise of Fascism” hosted by No One Is Illegal | Personne n’est illégal | Nadie es ilegal / No One Is Illegal – Toronto

12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch + Social

1:30pm – 3pm Tkaronto Organizing Committee: “Bearing Witness” – Inside the Detention Review, A TOC intervention

3pm – 5pm The Anti-fascists – Film Launch and Panel
(Please note that this session will be held in OISE 2214)

5pm – 6pm Closing Social

Saturday and Sunday OISE Room 2205 Quiet Space and Community Fair

Hashtags: #tracx2017 #whatsleft

For inquiries around accessibility, schedules, how to propose a session and how to get involved (volunteer or join the organizing committee) email TorontoResearchActionCommunityeXchange(at)

Sponsored / Endorsed by:
APUS – Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students
Arts and Science Students’ Union
CUPE 3903
CUPE Local 3907
OISE Graduate Students’ Association
Opirg Toronto
Opirg York
Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
PM Press
Sba Centre
York University Faculty Association

Peer Support Group for Graduate Students with Disabilities

The Peer Support Group for Graduate Students with Disabilities has been created to build a community for students with disabilities. Through this Peer Support Group we hope to create space for students to:

  1. meet old friends/colleagues and make new friends

  2. de-stress

  3. engage in group discussions

  4. share skills and learn new ones

  5. learn from each other’s experiences navigating grad school

  6. socialize

Peer support is a way for us to build community, share knowledge and experiences, and provide support to and connect with others who share similar struggles. Peer support extends the opportunity to take on a mentorship role, if desired. Coming together in support of each other. We hope you will join us.


Our first meeting will be Tuesday October 3rd, 2017

Location: SBA Centre Meeting Room

Time: 2:30pm-4:30pm


Please note that the SBA Centre is an accessible venue.

This peer support group is a collaboration of Disability Visibility and Students for Barrier-free Access.

Disability Visibility is an accessible, graduate student-run mentorship program. The program centres around peer mentoring with new and returning graduate students at the University of Toronto.

Students for Barrier-free Access is a student-led non-profit that centres the leadership of disabled people. We work from a Disability Justice framework and advocate for the removal of barriers to accessing postsecondary education.