By: Elizabeth Iwunwa & Lorelei Kenny
With the bang of a gavel, the first council meeting of 2017 was called to order at 6:08 pm. Councilor Wartman motioned to approve the agenda and it was seconded by Sarah Outram. After the minutes of the December 4 meeting were approved, the Student Union executives presented their reports. The first to present was the President of the SU, Nathan Hood. He shared that facilities had written a list of quotes for the proposed Student Centre refresh, moreover, that the SU is currently searching for a designer to head the renovation of The Wave. Outreach week was also scheduled for February 6th through the 10th.
In addition, there was a donation of a thousand dollars towards mental health initiatives. A luncheon invitation was also extended from the UPEI Alumni Association and received by the SU.
The policy committee is set to draft referendum question with regards to the constitution. Hood also attended the New Year Levee and met and mingled with many donors.
In response to a question, Hood explained that the Student Centre improvements would be geared towards serving student needs better.
VP Academic and External John Rix then look the floor. He stated that the standing committee on Education and Economic Development presented their needs to the government. These would go towards funding co-op and internship opportunities, extending grants to grad students etc. Advocacy team would also be getting involved in Outreach Week. He added that the Academic & External affairs committee was currently working on obtaining public opinion on the levels of support students has for their proposals.
VP Finance Clayton Smith presented financials starting with those for Final Fest. Total revenue stood at $2144.23, expenses came to $3884.32, and there was a loss of $1740.09.
Two Years’ Eve saw revenue at $8094.02, expenditure at $6242.27, and a gain of $102.30. The November/December $2000+ expenditure included visa payments, RRSP payments for full-time staff, Health and Dental (Campus Trust) payments, safe replenishment for payouts, ATM payments, supplies for Mickey’s Place, monthly building fees, monthly income tax for employees, insurance, and food orders for the Wave. The breakdown for these can be found written in the minutes on the SU’s website.
Smith explained the differences in food costs and liquor sales. Hood chipped in and explained that the SU tried to be more frugal and saw big improvements compared to last year. Smith mentioned that the operating budget was ready to go and would soon be available on the SU website.
It was then time for VP Student Life Kaylee Jabbour, to present her report. Two Years’ Eve and Frozen 4 were planned and successfully executed. The clubs caucus meeting was slated to hold between the thirteenth and seventeenth of February, and planning for Sex Week (February 13th-17th) as well as Beach Blast are underway. Jabbour stated that Mental Health Week meeting was held this week. She also met with the clubs coordinator on creating a clubs matchmaker, similar to the volunteer matchmaker that is already in place.
Senate rep Erin Macneill shared that the school of business was in the process of being renamed the faculty of business and that a few more days would be added to the semester to ensure that scholarly activities began at the start of the week, rather than in the middle following reading week. Last, Macneill reported that International and graduate student enrollment numbers went up.
The Board of Governor’s representative had nothing to present at the moment and council began to ratify e-votes. E-votes regarding the associate director of communications and the creation of the clubs coordinator summer(?) position were ratified.
Council moved into camera three times that night, the first of which involved the hiring board results.
It was then time for the presentation of 2016 financials by the VP Finance. They had been looked over by MacPherson Roche Smith and received recommendations. The firm had concerns over the nature of the SU’s business and stated that these businesses were risky due to activity types. Smith explained that this was out of the SU’s hands as they regarded things like off-campus housing ad placements. This report is still in its draft stages and has yet to be approved officially.
There was the ratification of two societies namely: UPEI Young Liberals and Dawson’s Lounge. The latter society was met with curiosity regarding its purpose.
Kaylee Jabbour spoke on the lack of first-year engagement and mentioned the need to spend more time engaging with first-year students and perhaps broaden their target to second-year students as well.
There were additional issues raised and deliberated upon. With that, the meeting came to an end. For a more detailed version of the night’s events, take a look at the SU’s website.