Arts and Science Students' Union

Identity area

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Corporate body

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Arts and Science Students' Union

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Description area

Dates of existence

1972-

History

The Arts and Science Students’ Union (ASSU) is an organization representing full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. The core functions of ASSU as an umbrella organization for over 60 course unions are performed by full-time staff and seven executive members. Executives are elected by members of the Council, the governing, legislative body of ASSU that is made up of representatives from each course union. The course unions in turn directly represent students in the various departments and programs within the Faculty of Arts and Science.

ASSU traces its history back to the 1960s with the formation of student-led course unions. Their major aims were to improve the educational experience of undergraduates, and to advocate for increased student involvement in decisions made about faculty promotion and tenure, as well as curriculum and program content. The earliest course unions were funded through the Students’ Administrative Council’s (SAC) Education Commission. In 1972, the Arts and Science Students’ Union was formed to act as the intermediary between SAC and the course unions, and has been independently funded through a direct undergraduate fee levy since 1975.

Aside from providing funding for course unions and the production of the annual Anti-Calendar, ASSU has provided a variety of services to students, including advising on academic grievances, administering scholarships and bursaries, and offering a past test library. It has also engaged with other student groups, community members and university administration and faculty to organize events and to advocate for changes in policies and programs.

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