By: Drew MacEachern and Brenna Doucette
At 6:02pm, the Student Union Council meeting was called to order by Chair Bob Deziel. VP Academic & External, John Rix, made a motion to amend the evening’s agenda to include discussion on an external policy regarding a 12 month course calendar. The approval of this motion was quickly followed by the approval of last meeting’s minutes.
President Dana Kenny began his lengthy report by noting that he attended a conference at Memorial University which proved to be a great success with excellent material collected regarding leadership and culture on campus. Kenny noted that the Get Out The Vote campaign that ran throughout September and October was wrapped up nicely, allowing the Student Union to resume lobby efforts to the provincial level. On this note, Kenny announced that this year’s Lobby Doc has been completed and gave the Student Union’s graphic designer, Hannah Gibson, a shout out for her hard work on this project. President Kenny then spoke of both a followup meeting he and VPAX John Rix with the Honourable Richard Brown and a meeting with a Committee regarding the review of the Tobacco policy at UPEI where questions for a campuswide survey were drafted. The Inclusion Fair, Mock Refugee Camp, and Outrun Stigma were all noted as successful events in the campus community with a particular emphasis on Outrun Stigma and the positive feedback that was received in regards to student involvement in the run. It was then noted that UPEI has gone up two ranks (from 10th to 8th) in Maclean’s University Rankinggreat news! Student Affairs has been running a Bringing in the Bystander training which councillors were encouraged to take part of. Kenny announced that the Student Union’s Annual General Meeting that was postponed from its initial date of October 8th has been scheduled for Wednesday, November the 25th at 7pm in The Wave. To wrap up, Kenny noted his encouragement for all to support Movember efforts coming up on campus!
Next up was VP Academic and External John Rix with his report. He recapped the final events for the Get Out the Vote campaign, notably the Election Night coverage at the Wave. He noted that he was able to return to his primary role in provincial advocacy with the end of the GOTV campaign. He was able to present the newly completed lobby document to Minister Richard Brown, Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker and NDP Deputy Leader Gord MacNeilly the previous week. He also noted that he will be meeting with provincial officials up to and after the opening of the Legislature on November 12th. New policies; gathering data on how other schools approach fall reading weeks, how to distribute the George Coles Bursary (including with incoming Grade 12 students). He hopes to have this ready sometime in February. Nov. 16th-17th, the Advocacy team hope to unveil the student complains flow charts.
VP Student Life Nathan Hood noted that Halloween Pub was in general a success, selling out tickets. However, he noted that there were some minor flaws including someone breaking a window in McDougall Hall, someone punching a hole in the Student Centre’s wall, and the event ending early due to the fire alarms going off. He noted that the Liquor Control commissioner praised their handling. He also noted that the X-Rated Hypnotist Tony Lee is happening this Thursday. He also had more stuff for Future Exec and had the Clubs Coordinator hiring board. Councillor Simmons asked about security for the Wave, in regards to the incidents during Halloween Pub. Hood noted that the Wave only has jurisdiction over the Student Centre, and that Campus Security is responsible for students anywhere else on campus. He also noted that the window-smasher was being observed by campus security before the window breaking and that he was reportedly not a UPEI student.
VP Communications Alex Heighington’s report focused on the Street Team’s work. There was also further updates on the new SU website; Heighington is receiving a business proposal from a company that wants to get the contract. She also noted that she is going to
Finance committee had its first meeting where policy recommendations around formalizing the coat check application for societies, and looking into whether student funding requests should no longer be officially retroactive. He also noted that the Council Retreat was a success. He met with Melissa Morrow, the SU’s General Manager out on maternity leave, to continue his training involving the SU bank funds. He also has completed the SU’s 2000+ expenditure reports.
Senate noted that they are meeting on Friday. Board of Governors noted that they are meeting on the 26th of November.
Council then moved to appoint new councillors to committees. Councillors are required to sit on at least one of the SU Council’s committees. However, before this could begin, Senate Rep Owen Shaw noted that the SU’s Committee By-law states that all committee members must be officially appointed, whereas all the councillors appointed earlier in the year were only appointed on an interim basis. Subsequently, all councillor appointments need to be made from scratch. Chair Deziel then decided to go through all the committees and appoint members, apart from the ones who are there ex officio. However, Chair Deziel suggested moving ahead to the next point in the agenda, as the spreadsheet would need to be reworked. Senate Rep Zak Jarvis asked if they would be revisiting committee appointments later in the evening. Chair Deziel said that they would. Council agreed.
Money, Money, Money
VP Tweel then moved on to present his 2000+ expenditures report for the month of September. Most of the expenses were ATM filling. However, both the September and October Campus Trust Insurance Fees ($90,227.17, $92,119.09). He also noted that the rest of the expenditures were for paying the building fee for the Student Centre (the SU has 51% ownership of the building with the rest being owned by the University itself).
GOTV Expenditure Report was presented next, again presented by VP Tweel. Tweel noted that VP Rix got more money from CASA and they were able to amend the budget. Originally, $2,061.90 was budgeted from the SU for expenses, but this came to $1,609.81 when the new money was factored in. As for actual reported expenditures, in every area except for election trivia, the SU spent less than they budgeted for. Overall, $869.82 was the amount of money left over, with the SU spending $1,016.43 less than what they originally budgeted for, while basically reaching the goal of around 1,100 pledges during the campaign.
VP Rix put forward his policy proposal for the 12-month academic calendar. Rix noted that a lot of good discussion was had at the last meeting and noted that it was a feasible and beneficial policy that was on the University’s radar, which would make it a good policy to adopt. It was adopted unanimously.
At an executive meeting, were discussing the direction of the Yearbook. Kenny noted that the SU puts $11,000 into the Yearbook which goes to approximately fifty people each year. However, the executive decided that the fate of the Yearbook was not something that the Executive should decide by itself. Kenny then put forward his motion to strike an ad hoc committee to examine options of what to do with the Yearbook. Kenny noted that the two acting-GMs would chair, and the committee would be composed for the VP Finance, the VP Communications, a student-at-large, a councillor, and the Nexus Yearbook Editor. There was no discussion and the proposal was adopted.
Clubs Coordinator and VP Finance Hiring Boards
Council then went into camera for the discussion for the hiring boards for the Clubs Coordinator and VP Finance. The Cadre has received anonymous information that Arts Rep Megan Rix is the new Clubs Coordinator. This tip seems to have been validated when the only people to abstain from the vote on approving the hiring board’s recommendation were VP John Rix, her brother, Senate Rep Zak Jarvis, her SO, and Megan Rix herself.
Council also approved the hiring board for the VP Finance. We did not receive any tips about who got this position.
AVC SAVS Presentation aka Council Actually Discusses Issues
Vet Rep Ellen Boyd gave a presentation on the SAVS group, which acts as the connection between the student body and the administration of the Veterinary College. They also run the orientation and oversee the various clubs and association at the AVC. She noted that this mirrors the self-regulation in the veterinary industry. She noted that the Dean of the School hoped that veterinary clubs could apply for funding and insurance through the SU through the SAVS umbrella. Boyd argued that while SAVS, which is a SU ratified society, could officially take on these events and apply on behalf of their sub-orgs, she thought that
Hood explained that when the SU presents its insurance information. He also noted that the by-law says insurance and other benefits can only. He noted that. Boyd recounted that the SAVS President suggested that the SAVS ratification process could be made stricter, so that they can provide the information of their sub-orgs. Councillor Poirer moved a motion to examine whether the SAVS sub-orgs could receive benefits from the SU through SAVS. Boyd also noted that SAVS was hoping to avoid a situation where the Veterinary sub-orgs would have to be doubly ratified. She insisted that the clubs were not an insurance risk, consisting of such clubs as the Feline Club and Canine Dental Club.
VP Rix then expressed concerns around having SAVS have a different ratification process, as it would undermine the SU’s position as a united voice for all students. Councillor Pierce Smith disagreed with that assessment but stressed that the SU would not be able to oversee risk management. Nursing Rep Jack Stultz then spoke in favour of looking into a policy change and, going off an informal suggestion Rep Hanson made earlier, suggested sending it to the Policy committee to examine the issue. VP Hood then made an amendment to include himself in the SAVS examination question. This was adopted. President Kenny then asked if there was a timeline in place, as Rep Boyd had noted this was a pressing matter. Boyd suggested that the end of the month was acceptable but sooner would be better. Councillor Sarah Outram asked if the recommendation of the Policy Committee would come back to Council for a vote; Chair Deziel, who also chairs the Policy Committee said that it would. The motion was then approved.
Fall Reading Week aka Council Continues to Actually Discuss Issues
Council then went into discussion over the possibility of having a Fall Reading Week. VP Rix urged the various councillors to express their views on the possibility of the Fall Reading Week. Before this, Councillor Joel Hansen asked if this would result in an extended fall term. Rix said that there are a required number of teaching days, and that the University would accommodate these lost days by either extending the semester a few days into December, or by shortening the examination period. Rix noted that the shortened examination period during the snow storms last spring made no difference on the exam scores. However, Engineering Rep Simmons argued that. Councillor Poirer also noted that this would probably result in more back-to-back exams. Rix then clarified that shortening the examination period was only an option. VP Heighington then suggested that. Rep Stultz asked what other schools are doing it, Rix mentioned that Mount A is the only Atlantic School, as well as talking with the University of Alberta. Rep Meagan Rix then argued that a longer Christmas Break is nice, but that a break during the hectic period of exams might be better. Upon being asked a question by Rep Julia Ross, Rix noted that the break, if it would to be approved, would probably be during the Remembrance Day week in November, as students already have some Student Development Days during that time and extending it to a week may be an easier sell. Ross then suggested that this time period. Rix retorted that the time period could be used for working on mid-terms and studying. President Kenny then clarified that the specifics of the decision would made by the Senate with input from the SU’s Senate Representatives.
Upon being asked about what stage he was at in this proposal, Rix clarified what the entire process of approving this suggestion would be. Rix noted that he was researching the specifics now, then he would write an internal policy doc, present it to Council, if approved then would present it to the Academic Planning Committee, which would then be presented to the UPEI Senate, which would vote on whether. Accessibility Rep Kaylee Blackett. Rix responded that he was approaching mental health from a broad basis, as all students have mental health. Rix then moved to make a straw poll among councillors either in support or against Fall Reading Week.
For: 15 Councillors voted in favour of a Fall reading week, including Reps Owen Shaw, Joel Hanson, Julia Ross, Kiley Kim, Zak Jarivs, Stephen Wilfread, Zack Tweel, and President Dana Kenny (15).
Against: 10 Councillors voted against a Fall Reading Week including VPs Nathan Hood and Alex Heighington, as well as Reps Jack Stultz, Andrew Simmons, and Ellen Boyd.
Council then moved into appointing/voting on Councillors. Here is what the Committees look like after much debate (by which I mean mostly acclaimations) and constant nomination of Jack Stultz for all positions.
New Initiatives and Future Directions Committee.
This committee is composed of Chair President Dana Kenny, the General Manager of the SU, the Graduate Student Rep, Teresa Tu the International Student Rep, 3 Councillors; Jack Stultz, Sarah Outram, and Ellen Boyd, as well as 1 student at large who is yet unnamed.
Academic and External Affairs Committee.
This Committee is composed of Chair VP Academic and External John Rix, Policy and Research Coordinator Owen Shaw, Two Senate Reps, Graduate Student Senate Rep, Board of Governors Rep, and 2 Councillors; Sarah Outram and Tayte Willows.
This Committee is composed of Chair VP Finance, 3 Councillors; Brandon Derry, Andrew Simmons and Kaylee Blackett, as well as the GSA Representative.
UPEISU Street Team.
This Committee is composed of Chair VP Communications Alex Heighington, VP Student Life, Waves Promotions Coordinator Kaylee Blackett, Graphic Designer, Campaign Coordinator Kaylee Jabbour,First Year Rep Halen Sky, 7 Councillors; Teresa Tu, Meagan Rix, Emma McDermont, Kiley Kim, Joel Hansen, Jane McCorriston, Kamran Omar, and assorted volunteers (Brenna Doucette, Zak Jarvis, Owen Shaw, Dana Kenny, Sam Ferguson, Rebecca Dawson).
This committee is co-chaired by VP Academic and External John Rix and VP Student Life Nathan Hood, and is otherwise composed of Policy and Research Coordinator Owen Shaw, 2 Councillors; Julia Ross and Tayte Willows, 4 students at large (Sam Ferguson, Michael Ferguson, Taya Nabuurs, Casey O’Sullivan), and volunteers.
There was also one councillor position for Wave Management Committee filled by Jane McCorriston and three councillor positions for the Policy Committee, which were filled by Owen Shaw, Jack Stultz, and Pierce Smith.
President Kenny then asked Council to nominate a Councillor to sit on the newly minted ad hoc Yearbook Review Committee. For the first time in the evening, there was potential for an actual vote between Meagan Rix, Pierce Smith and Halen Sky for the position. However, before the vote actually took place, the vote was tabled to allow Council to go back and amend the Yearbook motion they passed earlier to allow two councillors instead of one to sit on the committee. They then decided to amend it again to allow three councillors to sit on the committee so that all nominees could participate. Then Smith said that he would drop out of the race and Council voted no for three councillors but yes for two councillors. So in the end, Rix and Sky both got their committee position.
Then it ended.