This fall, a new provincial mandate called the "Student Choice Initiative" is changing the way universities and their respective student societies operate, all across Ontario. The ChooseUofT campaign is our response.
Student fees that were once included as a part of our tuition have now been reclassified, with all fees defined as being either "essential" or "non-essential". All fees defined as "non-essential" are now being presented to students as optional, which means that everything on our campus pertaining to clubs, orientation, service groups, the student press, events, and more, are now in grave danger.
Starting July 15th, our incidental fees will be available for viewing on ACORN, and we'll be presented with a choice. We can either remain opted-in, thereby supporting the various student organizations on our campus that work to support us, or we can opt-out, putting the very existence of many of these groups at risk.
What's At Stake?
Societies that represent you are struggling to plan for the year ahead without a firm budget.
Levies are a main funding source for clubs, and if we opt-out, many clubs will stop being able to run
The student press, often funded entirely by levies, is in serious danger of going underwater.
Important levy organizations which provide essential services to students at UofT are at risk.
Programs supporting low-income students, as well as equity services, will suffer severe blows.
Programming that welcomes new students to our campus are being hit the hardest.
Who We Are
This campaign is a collaborative effort that began in May 2019, when student leaders from all the student societies at the University of Toronto came together and agreed that a response to the Student Choice Initiative was needed. Two months and a dozen planning committee meetings later, this campaign has slowly but surely developed, with the campaign's launch coming just in time for the opt-out period to begin.
What you see now is the result of weekly meetings between student representatives, with voices heard from every college and faculty society on campus. We believe it's one of the more significant collaborations in the history of our campus community, and we're proud to be able to present you with the info you see here.
The campaign serves as a prime example of what can happen when all of us can set aside our differences and come together to support our broader campus community. This huge project also serves as a detailed compendium of student activity information and resources, and we hope that it can help new and returning students learn more about what's happening on campus, where, how to get involved, and why they should.
If you'd like to get involved with our campaign for the winter term, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message on one of our social media pages. We hope to play an active role in protecting our vibrant campus community here at UofT, and ensuring that it continues to thrive like it has for centuries.
We as students have the potential to protect our campus community and student life ourselves. Join us.
Financial Barriers & OSAP
The ChooseUofT campaign team is aware that because of significant cuts to OSAP, as well as broader financial situations impacting students, there are barriers for some when deciding to remain opted-in. Many of our team members are also recipients of OSAP, and opt-outs as a matter of necessity have been a topic of discussion that we have carefully considered while organizing this campaign.
Our campaign exists for a simple reason: to encourage students on our campus to invest in their student life.
We completely understand that for some, this is a much harder choice than others, or may not be a choice at all. Next year is not going to be easy for many, especially for those who offer services to students most in need. This is why we encourage all those who are able to remain opted-in. When we Choose UofT, we'll be supporting our peers who may not be able to make that choice, and that is a critical pillar of this campaign.