Print Edition: February 8, 2012
It was a little early in the year for the UFV Student Union Society’s (SUS) Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), but there was plenty on the agenda and a good turn-out to made it an effective gathering.
While the changes that were voted on won’t be implemented until the new fiscal year that begins April 1, the 15-person quorum voted on a host of different motions on January 30 that will apply to the new board that commences this spring. According to Carlos Vidal, SUS president, the main issue that was addressed during the meeting was responding to how the SUS is changing and growing.
“We were basically trying to do some strategic planning to basically restructure the executives to adapt to this,” said Vidal.
This restructuring ended up being split into two structure sections and one log-in section. The first two motions that were addressed, and carried, were hour increases and subsequent honoraria increases for both the SUS president and vice-president. Under the new guidelines, the president will now be responsible for 30 hours of work per week, double the established requirement now, with a proportional honoraria increase from $800 to $1600 a month. The vice-president, in turn, would be required to clock 20 hours per week, a five hour increase from before, and would receive an honoraria increase from $800 to $1050 a month.
“We felt that it was time for us to take these positions and bump up their required hours so that they would have a mandate to make sure that they can get the work done,” said Vidal. “We have a lot more work to do, frankly, than what was five years ago.”
The second motion that was carried was a matter of accountability. The change will now stipulate that all directors must keep a record of their working hours so they are keeping themselves accountable for the hours required of them.
While these changes received an “overwhelming approval,” there were two other motions that didn’t make the cut. One of these changes would have required that both the president and vice-president take a minimum of two UFV classes, instead of the already prescribed one, but this was stricken from the agenda before the actual meeting. The second change that was voted down proposed further requirements that presidential candidates would have to have been elected onto the board at least once before in the last five years before being able to run.
“The idea was that we would have this stipulation so you were at least familiar with how the SUS operates and how to represent it and you’re not thrown into the boat without a paddle,” said Greg Stickland, a representative at large who voted against the motion.
“Generally the people who voted it down were concerned that it wasn’t the best way to go about it,” said Stickland, “and the rewards wouldn’t be worth the risks, mainly because it would limit the pool of people who could be the SUS president.”
The last motion on the SUS agenda that was carried involved a change in by-law that allows a change in the designated time of the society’s mandatory meetings. They will still be held every other Friday, but the idea is to allow for the time to be determined by the new board that will begin in April to allow for more flexibility.
Beyond that, Vidal mentioned that funding that had been established for clubs and associations last fall were addressed again to “refine it a bit and make it work better,” and a 75 per cent funding grant of $2250 was given to the Biology and Chemistry Student Association (BCSA) who came forward and presented at the meeting.
The budget wasn’t ready yet for this meeting so another meeting will be called closer to March to have it approved.