UTBEAT - U of T Biology Environmental Action Team




 

about
About UTBEAT

group pic

Last year's crew (09/10). Clockwise from far left: Andrea, Elah, Jessica, Caroline, Laura, Donna, Daryl, Yibo

 

UTBEAT was founded in the summer of 2007 by students, staff and faculty dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of biology departments at U of T. Presently, we are focusing our efforts on the departments of CSB and EEB, as well as the Faculty of Forestry. Our main approach is to petition departments and individuals within the departments to implement environmentally friendly policies and programs and to improve current facilities. We also provide input and assistance where possible. Projects are run semi-independently by project teams. Depending on the availability and interests of our volunteers, we will take on projects as small as ensuring that lights are switched off when unnecessary or as big as setting up a greenroof for Ramsay Wright. Learn more about our current projects here.

In 2008, we received generous funding from UTERN for our signs and other outreach materials.

 

Exec 11/12

Co-Chairs: Daryl J. David & Dorina Szuroczki
Secretary: Anandi Bhattacharya
Promotions Coordinator: Jenn Coughlan
Staff Rep (EEB): Donna Wheeler
Post-Doc Rep: Anabelle Bhattacharya
Web Developer:  Aaron Hall
UTSC Rep: Saira Meese-Tamuri

In addition to elected Exec Members, we also have Project Leaders. Learn more about our Projects and their Project Leaders here!

Exec 10/11

Chair: Daryl J. David
Secretary: Anandi Bhattacharya
Promotions Coordinator: Aaron Hall
Forestry Coordinator: Caroline Franklin
Undergrad Reps: Attiya Waqqas and Gaurav Sharma
Staff Rep (EEB): Donna Wheeler
Grad Rep (CSB): Anandi Bhattacharya
Web Developer:  Attiya Waqqas

UTBEAT Constitution

The University of Toronto Biology Environmental Action Team Constitution


Article 1: Name

The official name of the organization shall be “University of Toronto Biology Environmental Action Team.”  The abbreviation of the name shall be UTBEAT.


Article 2: Purpose

The mandate of UTBEAT shall be to:

  1. Petition the biology departments and faculties (including but not limited to Forestry, EEB and CSB) at the University of Toronto to develop programs and procedures, as well as upgrade building facilities, in order to minimize their ecological impact;
  2. Provide input and occasional assistance in the implementation of the aforementioned programs, procedures and facilities upgrades;
  3. Establish a network to encourage environmental action within the biology community at the University of Toronto;
  4. Involve graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff to participate in measures to minimize the ecological impact of the biology community at the University of Toronto.

Article 3: Membership

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  1. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Toronto.
  2. A member is considered in good standing if her/his email address is part of the UTBEAT Google group, and s/he has attended at least two meetings in the current school year (where a “school year” is defined as three semesters: Fall followed by Winter followed by Summer).
  3. There is no membership fee.
  4. No discrimination on the basis of ascribed race, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation will be tolerated within UTBEAT.

Article 4: Structure and decision-making authorities

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Project leaders (unelected)

The Executive Committee (elected)
Chair (up to 2 individuals may fill this role)
Secretary (up to 2 individuals may fill this role)
Treasurer
Forestry Coordinator
Promotions coordinator
Facilities Coordinator(s) - Ramsay Wright/Earth Sciences
Undergraduate representative (up to 2 may hold this position)
Staff representative(s) - EEB/CSB/Forestry
Faculty representative(s) - EEB/CSB/Forestry
Graduate representative(s) - EEB/CSB
Web developer
Not all positions need be filled in any given year, depending on need and availability of appropriate candidates.

  1. Executive Members must be current students, staff, faculty or alumni of the University of Toronto.
  2. Executive Members are committed to dedicate a number of hours to their position every month, as indicated in the Executive Positions section of this document.
  3. Executive members elected in spring elections begin their term in May of that year and end in April of the following year.  Executive members elected in the fall elections begin their term immediately following the fall elections and complete their term in April.
  4. A quorum for Executive meetings is defined as 60% of Executive members.
  5. A quorum for general meetings is defined as 20% of members in good standing.
  6. Spending decisions:
    1. Spending decisions concerning sums of $50 or less must be approved by the Chair(s) and Treasurer if a Treasurer has been elected, or the Chair and at least one Executive Member, selected by the Executive Committee, if there is no Treasurer.
    2. Spending decisions concerning sums greater than $50 must be approved by a majority of members in good standing at a general meeting.  In the event of a split vote, the Coordinator(s) make the final decision. 
  7. Project decisions:
    1. UTBEAT projects are approved through a majority vote by those members in good standing present at the UTBEAT meeting, assuming there is a quorum.
    2. Project leaders are self-appointed at UTBEAT meetings, except where one or more members object to an appointment, in which case, the project leader must be elected by a majority of those present, assuming there is a quorum. Up to two people may share the position of project leader for a given project.
    3. With the exception of spending, promotional activities, and other decisions concerning the entire group, project leaders can independently direct their projects; however, they must report major decisions to the group at the earliest upcoming UTBEAT meeting, and where members dispute a particular project decision, a majority vote by those members in good standing in attendance may override this decision.

Article 5: Executive Positions

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Chair (commitment: 4 hours/week)

  1. Attend and preside over at least 80% of all general meetings;
  2. Attend and preside over all meetings of the Executive Committee;
  3. Where the Chair(s) cannot attend a general meeting, the Chair(s) must select an Executive Member to preside over that meeting.
  4. Organize and manage UTBEAT ensuring that the obligations of its mandate and Constitution are met;
  5. Book room for UTBEAT meetings;
  6. Hold signing authority on the UTBEAT bank account (if it exists) in conjunction with the treasurer;
  7. Develop and implement sustainable capital strategies in conjunction with the treasurer;
  8. Provide all necessary support and assistance to other executive members;
  9. Encourage UTBEAT to grow and develop as appropriate in a given year;
  10. Manage UTBEAT email account and direct inquires to appropriate UTBEAT member;
  11. Organize Executive Member meetings as needed;
  12. Ensure the projects undertaken by UTBEAT are consistent with its mandate, reasonable, and are presided over by a volunteer project leader.

Secretary (commitment: 3-5 hours/month, depending on number of meetings occurring)

  1. Attend at least 80% of all general meetings;
  2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
  3. Take minutes at all UTBEAT meetings;
  4. Prepare minutes from general meetings in PDF form and sent to the listserv within 5 days of the meeting;
  5. Prepare minutes from executive meetings and sent to the executive committee within 5 days of the meeting;
  6. Maintain list of UTBEAT contacts;
  7. Announce UTBEAT meetings to the UTBEAT listserv.

Treasurer (commitment: 2 hours/week)

  1. Attend at least 80% of all general meetings;
  2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
  3. Manage and maintain all UTBEAT financial accounts;
  4. Ensure all financial transactions required by UTBEAT are carried out in a timely manner as agreed upon by members of UTBEAT;
  5. Ensure the security of UTBEAT funds;
  6. Holds signing authority on UTBEAT accounts in conjunction with the UTBEAT chair;
  7. Develop and implement sustainable capital strategies in conjunction with the chair, including organizing fund-raisers and soliciting funds;
  8. Report any unusual or suspicious activity related to UTBEAT finances.

Forestry Coordinator (commitment 6 hours/month)

    1. Attend at least 80% of all general meetings;
    2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
    3. Maintain contact with key members of the Faculty of Forestry's administration and staff;
    4. Lobby the administration to promote the students' and UTBEAT’s interests;
    5. Maintain communications with the Forestry Graduate Student Association as a UTBEAT representative, to disseminate information regarding funding opportunities, projects and events;
    6. Work closely with the Promotions Coordinator to ensure that UTBEAT's promotional material and activities are well-represented within the Faculty of Forestry.

Promotions Coordinator (commitment: 6 hours/month)

  1. Attend at least 80% of all general meetings;
  2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
  3. Promote awareness of UTBEAT, as well as UTBEAT events and programs, to the University of Toronto community;
  4. Ensure appropriate and timely posting of notices informing relevant segments of the University of Toronto community about UTBEAT events and programs;
  5. Approve any materials developed by UTBEAT members with potential outreach or publicity value, including all news items, project descriptions, and group descriptions on the UTBEAT website;

Facilities Coordinator(s) - Ramsay Wright/Earth Sciences (commitment: 6 hours/month per representative)

  1. Attend at least 80% of all general meetings;
  2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
  3. Communicate and maintain relationships with relevant staff, students and faculty to assess the aspects of the building facilities or use of these facilities which may be improved with respect to their energy and resource use efficiency;
  4. Where permitted, participate in any committees charged with the task of assessing or improving building facilities;
  5. Obtain permission for posting UTBEAT signs in key locations within building and ensure signs are replaced if damaged or lost;
  6. Report findings at UTBEAT meetings;

Undergraduate representative (up to 2 may hold this position) (commitment: 4 hours/month per representative)

    1. Attend at least 80% of all general meetings;
    2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
    3. Promote UTBEAT and UTBEAT projects to undergraduate students;
    4. Apply for University of Toronto Environmental Resource Network (UTERN) funding for qualifying UTBEAT projects;
    5. Identify opportunities for collaborating with relevant undergraduate organizations;

Staff representative - EEB/CSB/Forestry (commitment: 4 hours per month per representative)

    1. Attend at least 70% of all general meetings;
    2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
    3. Act as a liaison between UTBEAT and relevant staff by promoting awareness of UTBEAT initiatives to the staff and relating staff concerns and ideas to UTBEAT;
    4. Identify opportunities for collaborating with staff to reduce the environmental impact of EEB/CSB/Forestry;

Faculty representative - EEB/CSB/Forestry (commitment: 4 hours per month per representative)

    1. Attend at least 70% of all general meetings;
    2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
    3. Act as a liaison between UTBEAT and relevant faculty by promoting awareness of UTBEAT initiatives to the faculty and relating faculty concerns and ideas to UTBEAT;
    4. Identify opportunities for collaborating with faculty to reduce the environmental impact of EEB/CSB/Forestry;

Graduate representative - EEB/CSB (commitment: 4 hours per month per representative)

    1. Attend at least 70% of all general meetings;
    2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
    3. Act as a liaison between UTBEAT and relevant faculty by promoting awareness of UTBEAT initiatives to graduate students and relating graduate student concerns and ideas to UTBEAT;
    4. Identify opportunities for collaborating with graduate students to reduce the environmental impact of EEB/CSB/Forestry;

Web developer (commitment: 4 hours/month)

  1. Attend at least 80% of all general meetings;
  2. Attend all executive meetings when schedule allows;
  3. Ensure the UTBEAT website is regularly updated and free of errors;
  4. Contact project leaders if website does not contain current project descriptions;
  5. Add email addresses of UTBEAT members to the listserv;
  6. Remove email addresses from the listserv in cases of misuse of the listserv or as requested by listserv subscribers;
  7. Work with other members of the executive to improve and develop web content;

Article 6: Meetings

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  1. UTBEAT holds 6-8 general meetings each year, at a frequency of once per month during the fall and winter semesters, with the possible exceptions of December and April.
  2. The exact time of month that general meetings occur may vary from month to month. The date, time and location of meetings will be determined by the chair(s) and at least one other executive member. The chair(s) are responsible for ensuring that the meeting date, time and location are announced via the listserv at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
  3. All UTBEAT members are welcome to attend the meetings.

Article 7: Elections

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  1. Elections for the UTBEAT Executive should be held annually in the spring at a meeting of UTBEAT members, assuming there is a quorum.
  2. Notice of elections and call for nominations must be announced by email in advance of the meeting.
  3. Nominations are accepted up until the vote takes place.
  4. Voting will occur via secret ballot.
  5. Only UTBEAT members in good standing can vote.

Article 8: Constitutional amendments

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  1. Amending the Constitution or any parts therein shall be considered if petitioned for by 10 members or 10% of the total membership, whichever is lower.
  2. The petitioners must submit a written copy of the proposed amendment(s) to the executive, who shall, in a timely manner, inform the membership that a vote on the proposed amendment(s) shall take place at the following meeting.
  3. Amendment of the Constitution shall necessitate a 60% majority of all UTBEAT members in good standing.  The vote may be held by secret ballot or by email.

 Article 9: Impeachment

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  1. An Executive Member or Project Leader may be impeached if the member or leader substantially fails to meet the duties associated with position.
  2. The Executive Member or Project Leader considered for impeachment must first receive a written warning in electronic and/or paper form, clearly explaining the reasons for considering impeachment of this Executive Member or Project Leader.  
  3. After receiving this warning, the Executive Member or Project Leader will be given the opportunity to offer a defense, which can be provided in person at a meeting of the Executive Committee, at a meeting of the general membership, and/or in written form.
  4. If the Executive Member or Project Leader’s defense is not accepted, the proposed impeachment must be put to a vote of the general membership, whereby the Executive Member or Project Leader may be impeached if 60% or more of UTBEAT members in good standing vote in favour of impeachment.

 

 

 

 

 
   
 

Contact us

Got questions? Ideas? Email utbeat@utoronto.ca

 
     
 

Table of contents

Current exec

Constitution

Article 1: Name
Article 2: Purpose
Article 3: Membership
Article 4: Structure
Article 5: Executive positions
Article 6: Meetings
Article 7: Elections
Article 8: Constitutional Ammendments
Article 9: Impeachment

 
     
 

Get involved

Want to make EEB, CSB, and Forestry more environmentally friendly? Make sure we compost? Get everyone to lug a mug? Make our buildings more energy efficient? Join us... We're making things happen.

To join our listserv, write to listserv@listserv.utoronto.ca and in the text of your message (not the subject line), write SUBSCRIBE UTBEAT-L

 
   
Photo in banner by Jenny Downing, creative commons