There are currently four working groups covered under the MISC constitution:
- Part-Time Students Working Group
- Accessibility Interests Working Group
- Diversity Working Group
- Class of 2020 Continuity Working Group
New working groups can be created by a majority vote during a meeting of General Council, at which time a Chair must be appointed. The Working Group may begin operating immediately after this vote is approved. By the following General Council meeting, the Working Group must submit a constitutional amendment including terms of reference for their Group (written in consultation with the MISC executive). Candidates for Vice-President and Representative positions are particularly encouraged to consider chairing a Working Group, since their duties often overlap with the issues addressed by Working Groups.
Part Time Students Working Group (PTSWG)
Chairs: Meagan Lau; Andrew Micak
The Part-Time Students Working Group shall look after the interests of part-time MI students at the Faculty of Information. This includes issues such as funding structures, financial aid, minimum and maximum completion periods, access to social and professional development resources, and/or whatever the Working Group deems appropriate. All MI students who are part-time students are encouraged to participate. The Group generally meets at least twice during the course of the fall and winter semesters, and at least once during the summer session.
For further information, please contact the current co-chairs.
accessibility Interests working group (AIWG)
Chair: Adrian Petterson
The Accessibility Interests Group was formed in 2019 to reduce barriers and foster a culture of inclusivity at the iSchool. We are working with students, faculty and staff to increase Universal Design for Learning practices, amplify community voices and bring awareness to accessibility practices and design.
We recognize the social model of disability, which states that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their own bodies. We also recognize that barriers can come in many forms: physical, technical, systemic, informational or attitudinal. While accessibility services provides individual access plans for students, in order to reduce the diverse spectrum of barriers that can arise in higher education, we must work to make the environment and culture at the iSchool more inclusive, and aware of access gaps.
To achieve this we will:
- Host educational events open to students, staff, faculty and community members on a wide range of accessibility topics.
- Reach out to students to better understand their access needs.
- Foster a relationship between iSchool faculty and the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation to increase universal design for learning practices.
- Work to improve the accessibility of spaces and technology at the iSchool.
- Work with professors to incorporate accessibility modules within their courses.
- Give iSchool students the skills and knowledge to bring inclusive culture to their places of work and communities after graduation.
- Encourage all MI students and alumni to participate in the the Accessibility Interest Group and suggest new initiatives.
In January 2020, the Accessibility Interests Working Group created a letter to iSchool staff and faculty with recommendations on making courses and the classroom environment more accessible. Read the letter here.
DIVERSITY Working Group (DWG)
Chairs: Tomoko Shida, Tamara Rayan
The Diversity Working Group was formed to create an intellectual, professional and social safe space and network for like-minded BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and ally students and alumni of the Faculty of Information. We are also working to provide an alternative avenue through which iSchool students can engage in discussion about how colonialism and Eurocentric biases have shaped professional practice and the workforce in the GLAM (gallery, library, archives and museum) professions, and to eventually effect changes within the iSchool curriculum in order to ensure that all future graduates from the iSchool will be aware of and ready to identify racial inequity within their professions.
For the 2019-2020 academic year the Working Group is composed of co-chairs (Tamara Rayan and Tomoko Shida) and three additional project leads (Stefanie Martin, Moska Rokay and Renee Saucier). All MI students and alumni are encouraged to participate. Opportunities to be involved include attending events and helping out with various initiatives, including:
- BIPOC (and ally) social gatherings
- Guest speaker events and workshops
- Participation in campus-wide reading group for professional faculties (i.e. Education, Law, Medicine, Social Work and so on) in partnership with the Jackman Humanities Institute to engage in discussions about race, ethnicity, religion and the concept of ‘professionalism’
- Engagement with iSchool faculty members and committees to promote key changes within the Faculty of Information
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class of 2020 Continuity Working Group
Chair: Patty Facy
The Class of 2020 Continuity Working Group was created at MISC’s April 2020 General Council meeting to address the impacts of COVID-19 on Spring 2020 MI graduates. The group aims to bring closure to graduating students by ensuring that cancelled end of year events such as Convocation and graduation celebrations can take place at a later date once social distancing measures are lifted. Students who wish to get involved should reach out to the group’s chair, Patty Facy.
The Class of 2020 Continuity Working Group shall:
- Liaise with iSchool administration on all matters relating to the class of 2020
convocation/graduation celebration planning;
- Finish coordinating the distribution of outstanding 2019-20 merchandise to
- Be allocated $10,000 (the remainder of unspent funds in the 2019-20 budget) in funding from MISC during the 2020-21 term to put towards a convocation/end-of-year graduation celebration;
- Cease operating once all activities mentioned above have been completed or
deemed not possible to complete.
Past Working Group Events & Initiatives
Accessibility Interests Working Group
- November 12: Unwrap Accessibility Brownbag Lunch Seminar #1
- November 15: Unwrap Accessibility Brownbag Lunch Seminar #2
- November 19: Unwrap Accessibility Brownbag Lunch Seminar #3
- November 22: Unwrap Accessibility Brownbag Lunch Seminar #4
- February 28: Talk: Building Inclusive Library Spaces
- March 11: Star Trek Viewing Party
Diversity Working Group
- September 16: Public Talk: In Conversation with Jarrett Drake (collaboration with Faculty of Information and the Toronto Area Archivists' Group)
- October 16: BIPOC Social Gathering
- November 14: DWG Reading Group #1
- December 10: BIPOC Working Session
- January 20: DWG Reading Group #2
- February 7: DWG Dance Party
- March 5: SyllaBye: a syllabus destruct-a-thon
Part-Time Students Working Group Events
- November 7: Part-Time MI Students’ Fall Social @ Brewhaha
- The DWG advocated for the creation of awards/scholarships targeted towards BIPOC students, and the creation of matching scholarships to be created to match diversity-related scholarships granted to iSchool students.
- AIWG Letter to Professors to Improve Classroom and Course Accessibility