By: Taya Nabuurs
Call to Order
The Student Council Meeting was promptly called to order at 6:01.
President: Dana Kenny
After the agenda and last meeting’s minutes were approved, UPEISU President Dana Kenny began the meeting with his report. He commented on the progress of the VPA Search Committee, which has met a few times so far, usually in lengthy meetings of approximately 3 hours. Dana also spoke of his opportunity to represent the Student Union alongside Councillor Tayte Willows when meeting with Prince Edward during his recent visit to the Island. He expressed his disappointment that he was not able to get a selfie with the prince, who apparently does not take selfies.
Dana also spoke of the presentations that are being given to students across campus to help inform students about the Student Union, its purpose on campus, and the services and opportunities that it provides to students. He has been impressed with the reception of the presentations so far and asserted that with over 100 students having seen the presentation so far, it has proved a great outreach effort for the Student Union. President Kenny also noted that alongside VP Academic and External, John Rix, the two SU executives met with newly-appointed MP for Charlottetown, Sean Casey, following the recent federal election. Kenny followed up with the progress of the recently released Lobby Doc, of which they will be releasing a second edition as there are some edits to make. President Kenny and VPAX Rix will be heading to Halifax this week for the CASA conference and will be there until November 22nd. Kenny reported that the Tobacco Policy Committee met on Friday and will hopefully be ready to present its proposed policy in January.
He continued by commending the work of the Sexual Assault Awareness Team in the successful launch of their campaign. Kenny thanks the Street Team volunteers, notably Brenna Doucette, for helping put up posters in high traffic areas such as the library, as well as for their workshops and hashtags to help raise awareness about sexual assault on campus. President Kenny also thanked WUSC UPEI for their moving presentation in October of the mock refugee camp held in MacMillan Hall in the Student Centre. He then moved on to discuss the hot topic of the fence issue in Brown’s Court, reporting that he has spoken twice with the City of Charlottetown in regards to the matter. He noted that as of yet, nothing official has been signed regarding the fence, but that the case is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.
Kenny was relieved to announce that his talks with Google were finally over and that all issues with emails and domain names had been settled for the time being. He then went on to remind everyone of the Annual General Meeting taking place on November 25th from 7-9pm at the Wave and encouraged as many people to attend as possible. Kenny also reminded everyone of the Movember fundraising campaign and encouraged everyone to donate, as his goal of raising $200 was far from being met, despite the impressive progress of his mustache (The Cadre has verified this and can attest to the majesty of the mustache).
VP Academic and External: John Rix
VPAX John Rix began his report by assuring everyone that although he did not have cool graphics to accompany his report as did Mr. Kenny, he had lots of interesting things to announce. He spoke first of the Policy and Strategy Conference for CASA. He expressed their interest in improving policy platforms on areas such as Aboriginal education and youth underemployment and unemployment. He is interested in working to predict which policy objectives will be successful with the new government and targeting those, and noted the prep work for such efforts are currently taking up a lot of his time at the moment.
Rix then went on to discuss the newly-founded Advocacy Team, which met for the first time recently. In their first meeting, many different ideas were brainstormed and a wide breadth of student issues were highlighted as areas of interest for the advocacy team, especially student financial literacy, a review of course evaluations, youth employment, student space on campus, alcohol safety on pub crawls, and snow day notification systems. Rix also noted that the flow charts that were set to be released this week were delayed again as the Registrar’s Office is currently in the process of making changes to certain procedures which would render the flow charts irrelevant after a few months.
VPAX Rix has also been involved in doing research into fall reading weeks, and has reached out to other universities about their experiences implementing fall reading weeks. He was interviewed by CBC on the subject and the story garnered lots of media attention as the top story on Compass that evening. Rix reaffirmed President Dana Kenny’s mention of meeting with Sean Casey and their efforts in relation-building with the federal MP. They examined different policy priorities going forward with Mr. Casey and discussed what areas they should focus on. Rix noted that it was a successful meeting with Mr. Casey and that it proved to be very informative.
VP Student Life: Nathan Hood
VP Student Life, Nathan Hood, began his report by noting that the “final final” version of his student life awards proposal had been submitted (there were some minor edits to the “final” version that had to be made). Although a name for the awards program has not been finalized yet, they are playing around with the idea of naming it the ‘Diamond Awards’. Hood plans to launch the program in second semester.
He went on to note that the event held recently featuring hypnotist Tony Lee was well received, and although it didn’t do quite as well as he’d hoped, lots of food was collected for the food bank. Hood mentioned his upcoming event, MO.V.O Fest (a “Drake Appreciation Night”) and expressed his interest in hosting similar such events each month in second semester if they prove successful, and expressed the possibility of having theme nights every week.
Hood spoke about his strategic plan for clubs and societies, and reported that he has been meeting with different departments on campus that have common goals. He also spoke of the upcoming society and club general meeting and hopes that as many clubs and societies will attend as possible.
VP Communications: Alex Heighington
VP Communications, Alex Heighington reported having a meeting with Norex, a potential company they could use for the new SU website. They received her proposal and she was able to get some feedback. It is a rather expensive venture, so she is currently in the process of getting quotes from other companies to make comparisons. Heighington also pointed out that the Street Team will be meeting this week and that the street team report has been posted.
VP Finance: Zach Tweel
Our VP Finance, Zach Tweel, noted that the funding committee met again this week, and that funding requests were starting to slow down this week. Tweel predicts this is likely due to the busy time of year for students and that there is likely not much time for extracurricular activities. Tweel also mentioned that he is working on formalizing undergrad and grad student funding. His big announcement in this report was that they had been able to put the finishing touches on this year’s budget. The September business report for The Wave has also been concluded although he is still awaiting some more things to be reported from Mickey’s Place before its September business report can be concluded.
The last Senate meeting was held on September 8th, and although it only lasted 7 minutes, they were able to pass 22 motions in that time frame. The Senate will meet again on September** 4th.
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors reported that they haven’t met since their last meeting which was previously reported to the Student Council, but that another meeting was scheduled for November 26th.
Presentation from Co-Acting General Manager and Bar Manager
After a presentation from former UPEISU General Manager and current Acting GM Heather Love regarding the benefits of having two co-acting General Managers, Candice Hagen, who is helping Love in the position of Co-Acting General Manager while the current General Manager Melissa Morrow is away on maternity leave, provided the Council with a bit of her backstory. She explained that after she graduated from UPEI, she started working part time in administration with the Student Union in 2011 and then moved on to a full time position when Heather Love originally retired. She works on many different portfolios, but mostly she works as a liaison between health companies and insurance companies*, as well as on payroll, website maintenance, weekly deposits and reconciliations for The Wave and Mickey’s PLace, general inquiries, etc. She also attends executive meetings and works on the hiring board with Heather. In general, she handles anything from finance, to human resources, to long-term planning, to budgeting, or orientation planning.
Josh McInnis then introduced himself as the Bar Manager of the local campus pub, the Wave. He explained that he sits on various committees and deals with pretty much anything that goes on at the Wave, from weekly programming to society or club events. He oversees approximately 20 staff and also supervises security during big events. He often deals with the city, the liquor commission, representatives for food suppliers, and must also oversee the day to day operations at The Wave.
Wave Business September Reports (Zach)
VP Finance, Zach Tweel, then took the podium again to discuss the Wave Business Reports for September. He reported that the purchase of a new Wave grill was completed back in August and that the costs for this are being appreciated over the course of 6 months. He then expressed the importance of noting that due to Labour Day occurring later in the month, there were less operational days for The Wave as school started later than usual. He noted that training for staff had been more efficient and the management of staff had greatly improved due largely to the fact that there were many returning staff members, but unfortunately many of the current staff will be moving on next year, and so that is something to keep in mind for next year.
Tweel mentioned that although the Back to School Pub was sold out this year, it was not quite as successful as they had hoped, but that The Wave’s sales per day were higher than last year. He noted that the cost of liquor and wages were also down this year, and Tweel attributes some of this to the fact that they were using a different approach to keeping liquor stocked. Tweel concluded his report by reiterating the fact that there were less operational days for The Wave in comparison to last year, but that the overall picture was showing that they were doing better than last year’s reports*.
VP Finance, Zach Tweel, also presented the 2015-2016 amended budgets, providing some quick overview and insights. Tweel noted that the numbers are currently preliminary as they won’t receive any final numbers from Statistics Canada until December 1st. He was please to announce that this year there were 199 more students enrolled than what was budgeted for, which resulted in a significant increase in student fees. After going through some of the specifics of the budget, Tweel encouraged anyone with questions to contact him if they wish. President Dana Kenny spoke up after Tweel’s presentation of the budget to commend him for his work in presenting the budget on Sunday evening given his late start in his position.
Impeachment and Appeal by Councillor Poirier
Perhaps the most interesting and controversial part of the evening occurred when Senate Grad Rep Luke Poirier got up to give a personal presentation. Mr. Poirier announced that he had been automatically impeached due to a constitutional issue dictating that anyone who misses 3 consecutive Council or Senate meetings or 4 meetings within a semester is automatically impeached. Mr. Poirier wanted to clarify that he had good excuses for all of his absences, which were almost all for academic reasons, and reminded Council that he did not miss any meetings the previous year.
He then asked Council to consider waving the 2 year period that bans him from running in future elections after his impeachment as he would like to stay on as a councillor, and would like to run either for Graduate Rep or Senate Rep in the upcoming election. When asked if he anticipated any future scheduling conflicts in the following year, Mr. Poirier said that although he can’t make any full guarantees, he did not immediately see any future scheduling conflicts. Mr. Poirier was also asked if he absences had been communicated with anyone prior to the council meetings, upon which he clarified that his absences had been reported to the Secretary of Senate (although he regretfully noted that he did not personally notify any fellow councillors).
An in camera session was then initiated which lasted approximately 20 minutes. When the in camera session was adjourned, a secret ballot was cast and the motion to allow Mr. Poirier to be nominated in further elections was defeated with 8 in favour and 11 against. Mr. Poirier is therefore banned from being nominated for any position in further elections for 2 years.
It was proposed that a notice of a by-election occurring from November 16-22, with a nomination period from the 22-25, a campaign period from 25-30, with a voting period from December 1-2. It was noted that the council can adjust the dates of the by-election if they so choose, but that it must occur within a minimum of 3 regular university class days and a maximum of 10. President Kenny made a motion to go ahead with the nominations for the byelection within the proposed timeline given to council with was approved. Kenny also noted that although there had previously been no money in the budget for by-elections, the Get Out the Vote campaign came under budget, which would therefore be used to hire a Chief Returning Officer.
There was only one society that was looking to be ratified, the Society of International Students. The motion was successfully passed and the society was ratified. Members of SIS who were also council members were reminded that they should abstain from voting in such matters.
VP Student Life, Nathan Hood, was the first to bring forward new business with his intention to create creating a base for the committee structure for his new awards program. The awards recipient review committee will require one student union councillor to sit on the committee. After receiving a few questions from other councillors, Hood clarified that there will be approximately 20 award nominations to review. He estimates that the review process will be a one-day commitment and will take approximately 3 hours to complete, and also mentioned that if you are on this committee, you cannot be nominated for an award. Senate Rep Zak Jarvis stepped up to be a member on this committee. There is no concrete name for the committee as of yet, but Hood predicts it will be something along the lines of the Diamond Award Adjudication Committee.
He then brought up another point of business regarding the SU bylaws for elections. He reported that he noticed some spelling mistakes and other technical errors in Section 5: Subsection 1. A motion was passed to refer the elections bylaw for the policy committee to review. VP Communications, Alex Heighington, then reported that after a few comments from students that the Twitter account was getting too personal and too many inside comments were being made, they have decided that things on the Twitter account will be kept more informative from now on and noted that although it may serve as entertainment for council members, it may not serve the same purpose for the student body at large.
Senate Representative, Zak Jarvis, reminded Council that the Student Diversity Office would be hosting a Rants and Waves event November 18th* at The Wave and encouraged councillors to attend as it is a good opportunity to get an idea of issues that are of concern to students and things they might want to see change at the university. President Kenny then presented the last report of new business in mentioning the workshop ‘How Not to Be That Guy’. He reported that there are currently 30 spots left and reminded councillors that anyone interested in participating in this workshop should log in. The workshop is designed to provide helpful tips and information for bystanders for those situations in which you might see something that makes you uncomfortable regarding sexual assault prevention.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:44pm.