By: Drew MacEachern
Call to Order
The call to order was delayed 5 minutes to allow for both Council members and candidates to get their pictures taken for profiles and then opened at 6:05pm. President Dana Kenny added a new point on the agenda to allow all of the candidates present at the meeting to briefly introduce themselves and what they are running for. The minutes from the previous council meetings were then approved and council moved into reports.
President Dana Kenny’s reported opened by recapping some recent events the Student Union hosted, including the Meet the Candidates Event at the Wave. His report then moved into discussions and upcoming plans. He is in the process of getting a French interview done with Radio-Canada for the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaign. Moonshinerama’s name is also changing to Wine-arama this year. He also noted that in an interview with CBC over the parking issue, the University admitted to overselling parking passes according to a certain formula. He also noted that he would be in discussion with the University to possibly get this formula revised in some way. In a meeting with the executive members of WUSC, Kenny discussed the possibility of increasing the WUSC fee to help more refugee students; he encouraged them to do outreach to the general student population and some more research before submitting a detailed proposal. On a lighter note, he noted that at the Donors Picnic many of UPEI’s esteemed donors encouraged VP Student Life Nathan Hood to cut his hair.
VP Academic and External John Rix’s week was taken up with updating the ‘Lobby Doc’, which summarizes the proposals, policies, and research that the Student Union uses to lobby the provincial and federal governments. He noted the text has been finalized while the rest of the document has been sent off to the SU’s Graphic Designer to be formatted. He also had a meeting with several members of the Opposition Progressive Conservative Caucus, specifically MLAs James Aylward, Sidney MacEwen, and now former leader Rob Lantz to discuss the Student Union’s post-secondary education policy recommendations. Apparently, they were particularly interested in the exemption for parental income. GOTV is going well but pledges are starting to taper off, Rix recieving 500 by the end of first week and only 650 by the end of second week. The campaign is looking to send volunteers in the upcoming weeks as the election draws near to get more. He also meet with the Chief Returning Officer to discuss how the advanced polling stations on campus are going to work. Following on plans at the last council meeting, Rix notified council that the research for the 12-month calendar proposal will completed within a few weeks. On the federal front, Rix has also been busy with a CASA proposal to address student unemployment and underemployment.
VP Student Life Nathan Hood attended Showcase PEI and met with an agent about bringing a band to campus during second semester. He also had several meetings for Halloween Pub, both with potential entertainers and with the Liquor Commission to go over concerns and protocol for the event. He confirmed that he was told to cut his hair but will be donating it. He also had a meeting with ITSS and his ‘Volun-Tinder proposal’ will be launched on October 6th.
VP Communications Alex Heighington discussed getting councillors to volunteer to come with a member of the Executive to their meetings with various University 101 classes to introduce students to the Student Union. She also noted that councillor photos are starting earlier this year and that the Mickey’s Place promotion has also started. In a meeting with ITSS, Heighington discussed ways to promote social media professionalism among councillors.
VP Finance Zach Tweel noted that funding requests have started to pick up and that the funds have started to dry up. He then encouraged members of the Funding committee to possibily consider increasing society funding for the Student Union for later dates. Tweel also completed his overview of summer spending by the SU and noted only three extraordinary spending costs; a clothing purchase from Stay Golden, stove for the Wave, and a furniture with the Day Lounge. He also noted that he is continuing his transition to the program with the help of SU General Manager Heather Love. President Kenny noted that the furniture is being reimburse. Councillor Pierce Smith asked what the clothing purchase was for. After some research on Tweel’s part it was discovered that the clothing was purchased on May 14th for Grad Week.
Nursing Representative Jack Stultz was then recognized. He told council that he was approached by two fourth year nursing students about distributing a survey for their research into alcohol abuse on campus. After going over the survey, Stultz encouraged Council to adopt a motion to distribute the survey through Student Union media. Councillor Luke Poirier asked if it was just an in-class assignment or if it was for some wider purpose. Stultz said it was just an in-class assignment, and also mentioned that the students were directed to the Student Union after the Registrar’s office informed the students that the Registrar couldn’t distribute it. Chair Bob Deziel asked if the survey needed approval by the Ethics Board. Kenny then suggested that if they wanted to take this research and turn it into some wider program, it might be safer to ensure that it is ethically approved to prevent any issues in the future. Subsequently, Kenny suggested making a motion to distribute the survey, pending the approval or verification of oversight through ethical issues. After a long discussion over the technicalities, the motion was amended to distribute the survey pending the approval by the Dean of Nursing. Following this extensive discussion, VP Hood then asked about the exact wording of the amendment causing your friendly neighbourhood reporter to burst into laughter and cause members of the executive to look at him.
Society Ratifications and Club Coordinator Proposal
VP Nathan Hood then presented new societies for ratification and noted that there were a few societies that were still in the process of getting their paperwork in. The UPEI Public Speaking Club, English Society, History Society, the Fortknights Improv Club, WUSC, UPEI Political Science Society, Computer Science Society, Math Society, and Jack.org UPEI Society (humouroursly seconded by Jack Stultz) were all approved. Councillor Tayte Willows made a point to ask what Jack.org was. Councillor Joel Hansen told Willows that it was a student-led movement to end mental health stigma and to “put it in” her laptop to research more. As per usual, VP Hood abstained from all votes.
Hood then presented his Clubs Coordinator Proposal. He noted that it is sometimes difficult for him to pay as much attention to the club and society system on campus as he would like. He noted that many of the other Student Union executives they meet with over the summer were impressed with UPEI’s advocacy system and that he wants this position to help put UPEI into a similar position with its societies system. He wants the position to support the VP with implementing plans with club transitions, engaging first-years with clubs, society financial sustainability, club inclusion in the Academic Plan, society appreciation and awards, creating a dedicated society space on campus, creating a society handbook, society workshops, and helping develop the Future Executive Development Program.
He then presented a proposed job description for the position to Council should the proposal be approved. He was looking for funding for $11 a hour for 10 hours a week to continue for 30 weeks as a trial period for the rest of the school year. Pending approval, the position would be advertised tomorrow morning with the rest of the Fall jobs. VP Rix mentioned that he supported the program, suggested that, and made a note that the rate of pay is exactly the same as the Policy and Research Coordinator and Campaign Coordinator. Councillor Pierce Smith questioned where the money was coming from. Rix then noted that the funding comes out of the enrollment section of the SU Budget. He noted that the SU always under-estimates the number of new students enrolled when planning their budget so that when the numbers are actually higher, the Student Union has extra money to work with for positions such as this. The motion was approved.
President’s Course Load and Back to School Pub Budget Report
President Kenney noted that the President is only allowed three courses per semester. However, he miscalculated the number of courses he needs to graduate with a double major in French and Spanish. He explained that his professors and the Arts faculty were willing to offer him to take two directed studies courses to meet his requirements. Councillor Smith asked if there was any thought of making increase of three to four courses permanent. He also asked if the SU would be paying for the new courses. Kenny explained that to make it permanent, Council would have to amend the Constitution and he’s not proposing that, then specified that the Student Union pays for two of the President’s courses each year so that this would be coming out of his own pocket. With Kenny abstaining, the vote was approved.
The Nathan Hood show came roaring back to life with the presentation of the Back to School Pub Budget Report. He noted that the costs for entertainment were lower this year than last year, as well as ticket printing. The projected costs of the event was $4770 and only came out to $22128.5. The projected revenue was $9000 while the actual revenue was $10,699. Overall, the total profit of the event was $7073.50, much higher than the projected profit of $2970. He also noted that 60 tickets were not sold at the Wave because they were misplaced.
By-laws, By-laws, By-laws
Hood then presided over the second reading of the amendments to the by-laws presented at the first Council meeting of the year. The amendments to the Sub-Organization By-law and Executive Committee By-law were both approved.
VP Rix then presented new amendments to the Standing Committee By-Law. The changes were to add the Policy and Research Chair to the Advocacy and External Affairs Committee as well as creating a new standing committee for the new UPEISU Advocacy Team. The Advocacy Team would be composed of the VP Academic and External, VP Student Life, the Policy and Research Chair, 2 Councillors, 4 Students-at-Large, and Student Volunteers. Rix noted that to fill the Student-at-Large positions, he planned to extend the opportunity to exceptional volunteers on his Get Out the Vote team. It would help educate students on advocacy efforts undertaken by the SU, create a culture of advocacy around campus, and assist the VP Academic and External with advocacy around campus. Chair Bob Deziel noted that the vote on the proposed by-law will happen at the next meeting on Oct. 19th and that it will be published in campus media, including the Cadre.
Chair Deziel then moved into examining committee positions with the councillors. VP Heighington noted to the candidates in attendance that all councillors have to sit on at least one committee and that it might be good for them to pay attention to which ones they might like to serve on. The New Initiatives & Future Directions Committee will now have Councillors Jack Stultz, Ellen Boyd, and Sarah Outram as members. The Policy Committee will have Jack Stultz and Pierce Smith. The Academic & External Affairs Committee will see Councillors Sarah Outram and Tayte Willows fill the Councillor-at-Large position. The Street Team will be joined by Councillors Joel Hansen, Stephen Wilfread, Tayte Willows, Emma McDermmott,, and Kiley Kim. No one wanted to join the Funding Committee.
The next scheduled council meeting is for Oct. 18th.