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New election policy and potential board reform?

The latest and greatest from SUS’s most recent board meeting



By Katherine Gibson (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: November 13, 2013

The latest and greatest from SUS’s most recent board meeting

AGM and proposed changes to SUS structure announced


The board also announced that their annual general meeting (AGM) will be held on November 25. One point of discussion to be addressed at the AGM will have to do with a series of proposed changes to the SUS’s structure.

“The entire goal of the new board reform structure is to broaden our representation,” SUS president Shane Potter explained. “We’re trying to move in a positive direction.”

Further details about SUS structural changes will follow a public information session on Wednesday, November 13.

The Cascade granted $1740 to attend annual conference


The Cascade also submitted a request for $1740 to send two additional student staff members to an annual journalism conference hosted by the Canadian University Press. Editor-in-chief Dessa Bayrock explained the merits of the conference, which features prominent speakers, networking opportunities, and a chance to connect with university papers across the country.

Petersen spoke in favour of granting the funding.

“This is coming out of a separate budget line, which is our grants line, because The Cascade is neither a club nor an association,” he explained. “We don’t normally get an extreme amount requested from grants, so we feel that this is a healthy amount.”

The motion was brought to the board for approval and passed, giving the full requested amount to The Cascade.

The board addressed a $6500 funding request for the proposed November 29 Casino Royale campus event, which would be hosted primarily by the university’s science student associations.

The finance committee recommended a reduced amount of $4000 for the event. VP finance Ryan Petersen explained that this amount was decided upon due to the funding available to each involved group, as well as a desire to keep money available for additional student events in the future.

“Even though the finance committee is aware that [the event] is being hosted in conjunction with three associations, those three associations do have quite substantial funds at their disposal,” Petersen noted. “$4000 is well over half [the requested amount] and the additional amounts could easily be covered by the [base] amounts that each association will be getting.

“The finance committee fully supports this event happening. We just also wish to be mindful of not giving all the money to one or two events,” he continued. “This is substantial amounts of money that we’re working with here … We are talking about thousands of dollars of students’ money.”

However, Biology and Chemistry Student Association (BCSA) president Jennifer Martel remained adamant that due to the inclusive nature of the event, the science-based associations should not have to fund the entire event.

“This event is not geared towards science students, and that’s one reason that we felt it wasn’t exactly fair,” she explains. “If we were to use our own funding, we would probably have to cut it off at only being [science] students which would be not our goal. Our goal of this event is to build a community within UFV. I know that’s one of SUS’s long term goals as well.”

“Right now only eight per cent of SUS’s budget goes towards Clubs and Associations, and if you include the events committee in that, that’s only 10 per cent of $640,000,” Martel continued. “If you want to build a community at UFV, you need to allow us the flexibility to run events like this.”

After a thorough discussion, Martel and the board came to a compromise, with the board allowing the event $5000, as opposed to the recommended $4000 and reduced from the original request of $6500.

SUS grant CISSA’s “Child’s Play” event $225  

CISSA vice president Graham St. Eloi spoke on behalf of the Child’s Play charity event to be hosted in U-House November 15.

Last board meeting, Eloi requested $725 in SUS funding to help cover a PlayStation 4 grand prize, as well as other smaller prize encouragements for students to take part and financially support the event. After reviewing the request, the finance committee recommended that $225 be granted to the event.

Petersen explained how the finance committee decided on the reduced figure.

“The PlayStation 4 is a large-ticket item and, in theory, it is the understanding of the finance committee that it would not hamper the event entirely if the large-ticket item was not there,  but instead other smaller items were there,” Petersen explained.

During discussion, VP academic Kristianne Hendricks questioned Eloi as to why CISSA could not finance the extra $500 needed to purchase a PlayStation 4 on its own.  Eloi explained it was largely due to a current lack of funding.

“We don’t have our base association funding yet, so we have no money,” he noted. “What money we do have is from the previous Child’s Play event which we cannot spend, being as it’s saved for [the event].”

After continued discussion, the board decided in favour of passing the motion as it was presented, granting CISSA the reduced amount of $225.

Electoral policy motion carried 

VP internal Greg Stickland and the governance committee’s proposed motion to change electoral policy, which was tabled for two consecutive board meetings, was passed on November 8.

As Stickland explained, the reason behind the motion’s tabling last week was due to rep-at-large Jay Mitchell’s request for a by-law section, which was accommodated by the governance committee.

“This was tabled [last meeting] due to the request for a by-law section,” he said, “so I have added that.”

During the discussion portion of this policy, rep-at-large Thomas Davies brought up a potential concern regarding the newly added by-election section.

“The by-election lasts the same number of weeks as the election period. My concern is that with preparation, advertising, nominations, and the voting period, that’s almost three-and-a-half months, which wouldn’t work,” he noted. “My concern is that this could take a very long time.”

After further discussion, the discrepancy surrounding the length of the by-election was sorted out, and the policy was passed.

Stickland ended the discussion by further explaining what passing this policy at the board level means.

“To clarify, this doesn’t mean the policy has passed; it still needs to be passed at the general meeting,” he concluded.

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