Marks not returned to students in time

ASSU and the Faculty of Arts and Science are looking into how students receive their term marks


There have been many students complaining about not getting term work graded and returned before the drop deadline this year. ASSU is committed to making sure that every student receives term work back before the drop deadline.  Not only is getting term work back in a timely manner important for students, it’s also a Faculty of Arts and Science policy. ASSU is currently asking for students to let us know if they have had trouble this year getting work returned after the Fall drop date of November 5th.

If you didn’t receive work back before the November 5th deadline to drop an “F” course, email ASSU at: with “Marks Feedback” in the subject line.  Be sure to include which course this was in. This information will help ASSU and the Faculty make sure that everyone is following the Faculty guidelines.


The Faculty policy is clear


From the Faculty of Arts and Science Academic Handbook:

2.11 Assignment Weights & Return Dates – Faculty Rules (*R*)

University policy dictates that instructors must return “at least one piece of marked term work before the last date to drop the course,” normally about 3⁄4 of the way through the course. F courses, in early November; Y courses, in February before Reading Week; S courses, in early March.

Faculty policy makes this requirement more specific:

i) Instructors shall return by the deadline one or more marked assignments worth a combined total of at least 10% of the total course mark for H courses and 20% for Y courses.

ii) The deadline for returning such marked work shall be the last regularly-scheduled class meeting prior to the Drop Date, with one exception: for courses that run the entire Fall/Winter Session (Y1Y or H1Y courses), the deadline shall be the last regularly-scheduled class meeting of the first week of classes in January.

This is a very strict requirement with no exceptions. If some extraordinary circumstance prevents you from meeting this deadline for your whole class or a significant part of it, you should notify your UG Administrator immediately. In such cases, the students are normally allowed to drop the course after they have received back the marked work, even if it is beyond the deadline. This is not the case, however, for an extension beyond the deadline you grant to a individual student based on the student’s request or exceptional circumstances. In such cases you are not obliged to meet the deadline.

Exam Jam 2013 will help you get through finals

Exam Jam 2013 coming up fast!

Come out to Sidney Smith Hall on December 5th for Exam Jam. Exam Jam is put on by the Faculty of Arts and Science in collaboration with ASSU and other groups on campus to make the final exam period a little more bearable. There is lots to do: exam review sessions, food, pet therapy, and games to get you moving.

Every year, hundreds of students come out to Sid Smith hall to get in the Exam Jam mood. Don’t miss out of this amazing event. Full details can be found here:

(Check back often, as new exam sessions will be added closer to December 5th)

Would you want to miss this?

Massages were the perfect antidote to hours spent at Robarts.

Massages were the perfect antidote to hours spent at Robarts.

Giant Jenga was a huge hit.

Giant Jenga was a huge hit.

Ginger and Henry were as cute as ever.

Ginger and Henry were as cute as ever.




More Balloons!

More Balloons!


ASSU By-Election Candidate Statements

ASSU will be holding a by-election during the ASSU Council Meeting on November 20th.  Course Unions will be able to send two representatives to this election. Here are the statements from the candidates.

Charles Dalrymple-Fraser

The academic components of student life have been widely downplayed: we slave over textbooks, our assignments are due at the same time, and the groupwork’s a pain.  Yet, it has been my great fortune at UofT to be able to study what I love, and it’s been my passion to help others love what they study.  As a third-term executive and former president of the PCU, I’ve had a number of amazing opportunities to help improve the quality of the academic experience of students; but, these opportunities and the growth of our CU would not have manifested without the assistance of everyone at ASSU, and the resources they provide.

My name is Charles, and I’m a fourth-year student running for an executive seat on ASSU, so I can continue to work to improve the academic aspects of student life (and not just those of students in my home department).  Through my years at UofT, I’ve become intimate with the ASSU team, its procedures, and the many invaluable resources they provide, as well as its constituents and members, and I’ve naught but benefited from everything about those experiences.  It is my hope that you will allow me to bring these experiences – as a student and as a CU executive – to the ASSU team, to help continue its ever-upward momentum, to help enrich your own pursuits, and to bring back to mind the value of the academic experience.  If you have any questions at all, please do feel free to contact me.


Ben Coleman

Hello Course Unions!  My name is Ben Coleman, and I’m running as a Candidate for the ASSU Executive.

Before I explain why I can do a good job serving course unions and arts and science students, I should introduce myself.  I’m an Arts and Science student, from New College, in my third year of studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  I have an odd, mixed accent, and I’m shockingly tall.  In my spare time, I’m Arts and Science director for the UTSU.

I’m interested in Arts & Science issues.  This summer, I made an ad-hoc twitter contest to see if anyone could make the course evaluations more pleasant to look through (shout-out to CSSU for joining in).

I take my responsibility seriously.  The only time I’ve missed a UTSU meeting was when I was doing fieldwork in middle-of-nowhere Saskatchewan and didn’t have internet.

I think an ASSU exec needs good communication skills.  Earlier in the year, I researched how much interest U of T was charging on late tuition payments, and landed on the radio being pitted against the University Registrar.  I made sure to diplomatically follow up with him to put us on good terms.  It worked.

I’ve met friends in class at an EEBU social, learned about banking from an ESA guest speaker, and have absorbed the history of Santa Claus parades from a HSA guest lecture.  I really appreciate how course unions improve students’ academic and social lives, and would love the chance to serve all of you.

Celine Liu

Hi everyone, I am Celine Liu and I am a first year Economics student.  In the past two months, I have seen many first –year students like me, who were experiencing academic stress and facing social activities anxiety.

After recognizing these common problems, I want to firstly, become a speaker who expresses our ongoing difficulties.  Secondly, becoming a negotiator who tries to arrive corresponding solutions with relevant departments at UofT.  Lastly, I want to be an advisor, letting more students know their concerns has been discussed, which they can now solve their problems with the support from UofT.

The desires of volunteering and helping other students in the UofT family have motivated me to run for the Arts and Science Student Union executive member.  I believe my fluency in different languages and active involvement in diverse clubs will help me to hear and represent the voices from everyone.  My skills of problem solving, which were developed from constant practices for debate and Model UN are also helpful when playing a role as a logical negotiator.  Moreover, my previous facilitation experience is helpful for organizing campaigns and events that aim at providing students with more useful suggestions and new assistance as a product of negotiation.

As a passionate learner, I will become a better listener, a negotiator and a speaker.  With your support, a sense of family will be achieved here at UofT.



New Past Tests Added to the Test Library!

We have added new tests to our Past Test Library.   Check out our updated list!


ASSU’s New Academic Handbook

Quickly find the rules, regulations, and services that Arts and Science Students need

ASSU’s new Academic Handbook is out! The handbook contains lots of information to help students navigate our faculty.

*Academic rules that every instructor needs to follow
*Explaining the petition process and how to get work re-marked
*Services on campus available to students
*Course Unions dedicated to making your academic life on campus better
*Useful tips and advice for dealing with life in Arts and Science

You can view the handbook on-line here.

Copies can also be picked up in the ASSU office, RM. 1068 Sid Smith Hall

An open letter to Toronto City Council about Back Campus

ASSU has asked Toronto City Council to preserve Back Campus

In the lead-up to the vote on disignating Back Campus a heritage landscape, ASSU has sent a letter to Toronto City Council asking for their support. A version of the letter is here.

To the members of Toronto City Council:

We, the executive of the Arts and Science Students’ Union are writing to you today in regards to a proposal to designate the Back Campus field of the University of Toronto a heritage landscape. The Arts and Science Students’ Union (ASSU) represents more than 23,000 full-time, undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science at U of T.  ASSU urges City Council to approve this proposal.

Currently, the Back Campus field is made up of natural grass turf and has been for over one hundred years. The field is used by students, staff, and faculty for a variety of recreational activities; from having a picnic, to walking one’s dog, to engaging in various competitive sports.  That being said, due to heavy use throughout the year, the field is sometimes in poor shape which can lead to injuries to student athletes, a concern ASSU recognizes and takes seriously.

In preparation for the Pan Am games to be held in 2015, the University plans to spend 9.5 million dollars to remove the natural grass and replace it with artificial turf.  The University argues that changing the field to turf will make it more accessible for students and community members, and that students will be less prone to injure themselves on an artificial surface. These arguments, while compelling, have only been offered after a coalition of students, faculty, and community members made substantive criticisms of the project.  Students fear that once the field is turfed, it will become like the Varsity Centre – U of T’s primary outdoor facility used for athletics; where public access is restricted and only available for the playing of certain Varsity sports.

Students have reason to be suspicious. The whole process under which the University has undergone to turf the back campus field has lacked accountability and transparency. In 2011, the administration commissioned a project planning group which would report to Governing Council on how to convert the back campus field to turfed pitches for field hockey.  This report was never released to the public, but was discussed and passed in Governing Council a year later.  All the discussions that occurred in Governing Council in regards to the report were done in camera.  Not only have students not been significantly consulted, the university has opted to withhold relevant information pertaining to the project.   The administration assures students that the field will be open to all, and that this move to turf back campus is not being done in haste for the Pan Am Games.  If this is the case, why do they choose not to release the relevant facts and details?

By making Back Campus a heritage landscape, the University would be pressured to reconsider its plans for turfing and since heritage sites must be properly preserved, undergo a more critical process on how to properly preserve the field that takes into account the views of students, athletes, faculty, and community members.  In light of this, we therefore hope that you will vote to make back campus a heritage landscape.


The Arts and Science Students’ Union Executive

ASSU Summer Hours

For the summer ASSU has shortened hours to reflect the Arts and Science summer timetable.

Our hours are:

Monday and Tuesday 10-5

Wednesday and Thursday 10-6

Friday 10-2

Exam Jam Spring Edition

Exam Jam was a huge hit!

Thank you everyone who came out to the spring edition of Exam Jam.  We once again had a great turnout to all of our study and de-stressing sessions.

Exam Jam will be back next Fall just in time for Winter Exams.

But first we need to get through this round.

Good Luck!

Summer Anti-Calendar

If you are getting ready to choose your courses for the Summer session, don’t forget to first look at the ASSU Summer Anti-Calendar.

This is the last year that ASSU will be publishing an Anti-Calendar. From now on, the Faculty of Arts and Science course evaluations will be on-line.

You can find it here: 2012 Summer Anti-Calendar

Course Evaluations

Online Evals Poster2
Course Evaluations Help Students and Instructors

The link to the new Faculty of Arts and Science On-Line course evaluations should have been sent to all email addresses over the past few weeks. The last day to submit your evaluations is April 8th.

Course evaluations are incredibly important, as they allow students to get a better understanding of what to expect in a class, and allow instructors to judge how effectively they are teaching. ASSU and the Faculty of Arts and Science have been working closely for years to ensure that listening to  student feedback is an essential part of the Faculty’s policy. By filling out course evaluations, students are continuing this successful tradition.