Students for Barrier-Free Access are seeking a Graduate Student Union Levy in this years referendum! With this, we hope to increase our staff, our programming, and our financial scholarships and bursaries for students at the University of Toronto! Please see below for our question.
Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) is a University of Toronto student organization that advocates for equity, access, and the rights of undergraduate and graduate disabled students both on and off campus. SBA has a drop-in centre where students gather to socialize and access resources and support. SBA also provides study space, printing, a library of disability-related resources, computers with assistive software, and a new $16,000 yearly scholarship initiative for disabled undergraduate and graduate students.
Currently, SBA receives no funding from the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU). SBA receives a levy from undergraduate students as a refundable part of the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) fee.
Pending support of the general membership, implementation of the fee would be subject to the UTGSU and SBA reaching a formal Memorandum of Agreement concerning payment of fees, member refunds, accountability for student fee revenue, and the terms and conditions related to the fee. The fee and the agreement between the UTGSU and SBA would be subject to review by the UTGSU Council every two years.
With increased funding they will:
(1) increase staff hours to include an additional full-time staff person;
(2) create more funding opportunities for graduate students and ensure long-term financial feasibility for their scholarship program;
(3) maintain the accessible computer lab—a unique resource on the University of Toronto campus;
(4) expand their capacity to liaise with a diversity of campus-based groups and offices to better address issues around accessibility for disabled students; and
(5) extend their reach to include cross-college/university initiatives in order to address larger systemic barriers to education for disabled students.
The UTGSU is seeking consent from its members to establish a new designated portion of the UTGSU fee for the fall and winter sessions. The proposed increase is $2.00 for full-time students per semester ($1.00 part time) paid by all graduate students, beginning in the fall 2015 session.
Are you in favour of establishing a new refundable designated portion of the UTGSU fee for Students for Barrier-free Access as described in the preamble and subject to the terms and conditions above?
Yes / No / Abstain