At times during the meeting, UTSU President Danielle Sandhu and chair of the meeting Ashkon Hashemi appeared to grow irritated, repeatedly calling for order and ruling many speakers out of order in mid-speech.“It was disappointing to see at a time where students need to be united that a few members disingenuously disrupted the meeting,” said Sandhu in a statement issued to The Varsity after the meeting. “It was clear that these members were unfortunately aiming to create controversy at the meeting.”
Hashemi didn’t permit any questions on specifics of the union’s finances. Member inquiries concerning a $200,000 increase in staffing costs and an $80,000 expenditure on office inventory were not allowed. Also unaddressed was the union’s operating deficit from last year.
Asked for the specific cost of union-led advocacy during the provincial election, Sandhu declined to provide any specific figures and referred the student to another committee. Pressed for an answer outside the meeting, Sandhu responded that “if members have questions about the finances of the Union, they can come to the Union office at any time and learn more.”
A handful of union by-law amendments also proved to be a source of contention. In an apparent mix-up, union executives and the public appeared to be working from two different versions of the by-laws. The version online were referred to repeatedly by members in attendance but seemed to differ from the hard-copy version used by the executive.
U of T's situation reiterates the case against mandatory student unions