The University of Toronto Engineering Society, also known as EngSoc, is the student government for students at Skule™ — the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto. EngSoc manages Skule™ services and provides club funding, professional development, and extracurricular opportunities to over 5200 full-time members, proudly continuing the traditions and storied history of Canada’s oldest and largest engineering school. Founded in 1885, it is the oldest Engineering Society of students in Canada.
The governance of the Engineering Society is shared between the following four bodies:
- Officers - The 5 Officers, each directly elected by the membership to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Society.
- Board of Directors - The 21 member Board of Directors of the Engineering Society, directly elected by the membership to oversee the affairs of the Society. The Board is ultimately responsible and liable for all actions of the Engineering Society. The Board is advised by several committees of the Engineering Society. Prior to April 2011, the role of the Board was filled by Council.
- Council - The 100+ member Council is responsible for electing new Project Directors and advising the Board of Directors and Officers of the Engineering Society. Prior to April 2011, it also filled the role of the Board of Directors. Representing the major stakeholders of the Society, its membership includes:
- Class Representatives
- Project Directors
- Discipline and Year Chairs
- Ex-Officio Leaders
- External Representatives
- Membership - All undergraduate engineering students are fee paying members of the Engineering Society and entitled to vote in its elections, referenda and General Meetings. Approval of the membership is required to change Bylaw 1 and to impeach Officers. The membership is the highest authority within the Engineering Society, and decisions of the membership supersede decisions by the other three bodies described above. Alumni members retain the right to speak, but not vote, at all meetings of the Engineering Society.
See also: History of Engineering Society
The Engineering Society was formed as a learned society in 1885 with the support of Professor John Galbraith, having grown out of a desire from engineering students of SPS to participate in the annual "conversazione" held by the University College Literary and Scientific Society. Prior to the formation of the Engineering Society, engineering students of SPS were members of the UC Lit, a natural arrangement at the time due to the proximity of the SPS building (where the Medical Science Building currently stands) to the main UC building located on the North side of Front Campus. Up until 1889, SPS was "practically the Applied Science Department of University College" (Cold Iron and Lady Godiva, W.G. MacElhinney).
The first draft of the constitution outlined the Society's objectives as follows:
a/ The encouragement of original research in engineering;
b/ the preservation of results of such research;
c/ the dissemination of these results among its members;
d/ the cultivation of a spirit of mutual assistance and co-operation among the members of the Society in the preparation for, and in the practice of, the profession of engineering;
e/ the provision of an official means of communication between the student body and the Faculty Council, the university authorities, and the students of other faculties.
With the formation of the Engineering Society, engineering students presented research papers, technical in nature, to students and faculty staff for discussion. By the end of each year, the Engineering Society would publish those papers in what was an early form of the Engineering Society's Transactions Book (later evolving into what is presently known as Skulebook). These publications and papers would inspire the need for the Engineering Stores, one of the Engineering Society's first and major projects still operating today.
The Society began expanding its activities as student enrollment numbers increased. Its technical activities were first split into three divisions: Civil/Architectural, Electrical/Mechanical, Chemical. By 1921, the Engineering Society had created the Architectural, Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical, Mining and Metallurgical Clubs (equivalent to present day Discipline Clubs) in order to cater the academic services and socials available to its members. It was around this time when the Transactions Book of the Engineering Society evolved into "Transactions and Year Book of the Engineering Society", documenting not only the technical publications but also student activity in hobby and interest clubs. From these transaction books, it can be inferred that Engineering Society elections were a lively time of year, serving as annual opportunities for capers and other mischief. In addition to this, School dinners and dances became popular events hosted by the Discipline Clubs.
With a sense of esprit de corps in its early years as demonstrated by the conscious creation of the School Yell, over time, other traditions such as the Toike Oike Newspaper, Ye Olde Mighty Skule Cannon, and the Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad (LGMB) had formed, which would come to represent "simple minded good fun" to those who experience these Skule traditions (Cold Iron and Lady Godiva, W.G. MacElhinney).
In stark contrast is the role the Engineering Society plays in representing the academic interests of its members. While other student communities outside of engineering were debating for nearly a decade of how students and faculty should be integrated in the governance of the University, by the late 1960s, the Engineering Society advocated and worked with their dean to propose a restructuring of Faculty Council to explicitly included elected student representatives from the Engineering Society. This change was approved by the University's Board of Governors in 1972 and both the Faculty Council and Engineering Society's constitutions were changed to reflect the new mutual covenant. This marked a milestone and new direction for both organizations.
Taken from the Presidential 1T4-1T5 Transition Report.