SCSU 2018 Budget Transparency Petition

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We, the undersigned students of the University of Toronto Scarborough, call for swift action by the Scarborough Campus Students Union (SCSU):

1. to immediately make public the 2018 Preliminary, Operating, and Revised Budget Sheets that have been approved by the current SCSU Executive Committee, detailing the specific amounts of Union funds and where they are being allocated. This budget sheet is often highly detailed, more so than the Financial Audit Statements published online for past fiscal years; and

In the 2018-2019 calendar year, each full-time UTSC student has paid the SCSU $82.00 each, amounting to a total of ~$1.1 million in Incidental Student Society Fees.

The existence of the Budget Sheets is mandated in Bylaw IX, titled “Finances”, which clearly states

“There shall be three budgets prepared (Preliminary, Operating, and Revised), all which must follow the Budgeting Planning Framework set in the Operational Policy Manual” (Bylaw IX, 2).

The student body deserves to know how their money is being prioritized and should be given complete transparency regarding how Union funds are currently being allocated. This will ensure that the student body is made aware of how much money is accessible to their elected representatives to fulfill their promises and duties in office. Furthermore, it will ensure that all Union members are able to engage with the SCSU with tangible and realistic expectations from a fiscal point of view.

It is the Constitutional duty of the SCSU to:

“to endeavour to bring about a fundamental redistribution of socio-political and economic power so as to permit substantially greater participation by students in making those decisions which affect their lives” (SCSU Constitution 2.m).

We believe that having access to the 2018 Budget Sheets will greatly facilitate our constitutional mandates, and will work

“to organize students on a democratic, co-operative basis for advancing the interest of the UTSC student community” (SCSU Constitution 2.b).

It has been the experience of the membership, over the past several years, to have our elected Vice President Operations incapable of answering basic questions regarding the Union’s budget. Therefore, we demand unprecedented access to the annual Budget Sheets for our own investigations.

2. to immediately address the series of corruption allegations being protested by former SCSU Staff regarding economic favoritism which occurs amongst hired staff members in our Union.

It was brought to our attention that friends of executives are being hired and paid more than non-friends, for the same work; a conduct that violates the Board of Directors Code of Ethics, which states:

“Directors shall disclose any business, commercial, financial or other interest where such interest might be construed as being in actual or potential conflict with their official duties. Directors who do not declare their interests and who are subsequently found to be in a conflict of interest situation will have breached this policy.” (SCSU Policy Manual 2013)

Therefore, it is imperative that the SCSU release the 2018 Budget Sheets so that the Union’s membership may judge for themselves whether the allegations are true!

We do not believe that our expectations of complete transparency conflict with any confidentiality concerns, and traditional practice of keeping the Budget Sheets unpublished is insufficient a reason to maintain the status quo.

Furthermore, we believe strongly that our Not-For-Profit Union should make its financial actions completely transparent so that any allegations and accusations, such as those cited above, can be judged in the court of membership opinion with the primary facts.

For more information visit our website.