Basis of Unity

Approved on April 28, 2011 

The University of Toronto General Assembly facilitates the self-governance and collective action of all members of the University of Toronto community who oppose the University’s undemocratic governance. This includes, but is not limited to: students, workers, faculty, alumni, and neighbours. Each member has equal voice and equal vote.

The goal of the Assembly is to enact the will of its members in order to uphold the University of Toronto’s societal responsibility to be a public institution that resists corporatization and promotes equity, accessibility, and social and environmental justice.

The General Assembly rejects the legitimacy of top-down and exclusionary decision-making structures at the University of Toronto, including but not limited to the Governing Council. The Assembly seeks to create a university where the power to govern is collectivized.

The General Assembly is accountable to no organization except itself.

Principles 

The General Assembly is committed to principles of anti-oppression; we recognize the reality of structural barriers that exist among us and around us, in the University and in society, and we fight against these exclusions by aiming to undo hierarchical and inequitable social relations.

We recognize that discrimination can happen overtly, covertly, and by omission. We do not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, class, religion, creed, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, place of origin, status, ability, age, or along any other axis of power.

We are non-hierarchical and committed to international solidarity.

We believe that education is a right that should be free and available to all.

We don’t always agree with one another; we respect one another; we support and affirm one another. We recognize that we all have an equal stake in this university.

All contributions in the spirit of these principles are welcome.

 

Practices and Procedures

Approved on March 1, 2011

Meetings

Meeting rules of the General Assembly

  1. Speak only when recognized by the moderator. Raise your hand to be added by the moderator to the speakers list.
  2. Be concise, and address your comments to the topic at hand. Whenever possible, limit your comments to constructive criticism and suggestion. Speak using language accessible to the membership of the General Assembly.
  3. If another speaker has already said what you want to say, refrain from reiterating.
  4. In pursuit of equal speaking rights, and in recognition of the historical denial of speaking rights to certain groups, moderators will alternate speakers along lines of gender, age, and other salient divisions wherever possible.
  5. When warranted, moderators will balance the number of speakers with “pro” and “con” views.
  6. The General Assembly has zero tolerance for harassment.  (The Steering Committee requests that the General Assembly direct it to develop a comprehensive anti-harassment policy to present at the next General Assembly meeting)

Decision-making structure of the General Assembly (1 and 2 were adopted at the 1st General Assembly on January 19, 2011)

  1. One person, one vote
  2. Decisions are made by a two-thirds majority, with an attempt to accommodate those who voted against the decision.
  3. There will be a portion of the agenda at every General Assembly for members to bring forward motions.

Basis of Unity and Practices and Procedures

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