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Jimmy Lu, President University of Toronto Engineering Society Sandford Fleming B740 10 King’s College Road Toronto, ON M5S 3G4 Tuesday, February 16, 2010 Dear Mr. Jimmy Lu, We write in response to your letters dated February 5, 2010 and February 12, 2010 in which you informed the U.T.S.U. that the Engineering Society of the University of Toronto (EngSoc) will be holding a referendum question “to split the members of EngSoc from UTSU”. This letter is further in response to the adoption of the referendum question (as per Appendix C on the February Council Meeting Agenda) on February 9, 2010. As EngSoc has no authority to take actions that affect the membership and fees of the University of Toronto Students' Union (U.T.S.U.), nor does EngSoc have the authority to assume or discontinue the fees of U.T.S.U designated levies for groups, projects, services and organisations, we inform you that U.T.S.U. does not consent to nor authorise the Engineering Society to conduct this referendum. A 2008 court ruling pertaining to two student organisations at University of Toronto is very clear of the jurisdiction over decisions about organisational membership. In APUS v. UTMSU et al1 , Justice Allen writes: “I accept APUS’s position and conclude that it only makes sense that APUS’s bylaws and referendum rules be applied to the matters of APUS membership and fees”. Further, the ruling ascertains: “I am persuaded by APUS’s argument that its rules and by‐laws ought to have been followed in the preparation for and conduct of the referendum.” The referendum question adopted at the Engineering Society February Council Meeting of February 9, 2010 was not adopted in accordance with U.T.S.U. Bylaws, the U.T.S.U. Charter for Referenda, or any other U.T.S.U. policy. U.T.S.U. Bylaw XII states: REFERENDA A referendum of the members of the Union for the purposes of determining any question shall be conducted in accordance with Bylaw XII and the Charter for Referenda. 1. a. b. Procedure Procedures for holding referenda shall be determined by the Charter for Referenda. Notice of referenda shall be no less than fourteen (14) days of the referenda voting period.
Association of Part‐Time Undergraduate Students of the University of Toronto v. University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union et al. Court File No. CV‐08‐00353743‐0000, Reasons for Judgment dated August 27, 2008. Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
c. d. e. Justice Allen’s ruling continues to state “…it is clear that changes to APUS’s fees and membership can only be legitimately achieved with the consent of APUS and in accordance with APUS’s constitution….I find that EPUS’s/UTMSU’s actions in holding a referendum and subsequently to UAB on those matters to be invalid”. U.T.S.U. neither authorises nor consents to the Engineering Society conducting on behalf of the U.T.S.U. a referendum related to its own membership and fees, including the designated levy groups and the U.T.S.U. designated levies. Given the clear legal precedent on this matter and the clear process for holding referenda outlined in the U.T.S.U. Bylaws and related policies, we object to your referendum question and ask that you discontinue this process immediately in order to avoid the necessity to seek legal remedies. Further to this matter, we understand that a report was written and presented to the Engineering Society stating factually incorrect allegations against the U.T.S.U.. We are in the process of responding to those allegations and will be seeking a correction from your organisation of the misinformation. In closing, as per your request, we are prepared to meet with you to discuss further this matter as well as the misinformation about the U.T.S.U. presented in the report to the Engineering Society in the February 9, 2010 meeting. I will be contacting you directly to schedule the meeting. Yours truly, Sandy Hudson President On behalf of the University of Toronto Students’ Union Executive Committee cc. cc. cc. cc. cc. cc. cc. cc. cc. Margaret Lam, Centre For Women and Trans People Jason Qu, Sexual Education and Peer Counselling Centre Judith McCormack, Downtown Legal Services Clare O’Connor, Ontario Public Interest Research Group Calvin Ke, University of Toronto International Health Program Josh Switnicki, Blue Sky Solar Racing Car Team Tim Kritzner, Students For Barrier Free Access Zannah Matson, University of Toronto Environmental Resource Network Toby Bowers, Bikechain Referenda questions for schedule B and C referenda must be approved by the Board by three-quarters (3/4) of the Directors. Referenda shall be conducted in a secret ballot. If the referenda refer to an external organization, the Union shall work with respect to both the Union and external organization’s by-laws and rules.
cc. cc. cc. cc. cc. cc. Shannon Singh, Plan International Canada Inc. Jon Pipitone, Hot Yam Alan Jones, Cinema Studies Students’ Union Katherine Giroux‐Bougard, Canadian Federation of Students Shelley Melanson, Canadian Federation of Students‐Ontario Jim Delaney, Director, Office of the Vice‐Provost, Students University of Toronto