On Tuesday, November 3 in the Student Union Building (SUB), the Student Union Society (SUS) had its second try over the span of one month to make quorum for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). SUS required 47 students to attend the meeting, and at 5:51 p.m., there were 53 students.
The meeting sought to approve the auditor’s report from the 2014-2015 fiscal budget, change bylaws to extend the SUS election period by a month, and consequently make changes to the elections policy.
The meeting started at 5:55 p.m. and approved the meeting minutes from the AGM in March 2015 with no amendments.
Vice-president internal Ricky Coppola presented the updated SUS 2015 – 2016 operational budget showing an increase of approximately $2,000 in insurance expenses for the SUB, displaced funding from the student grants line, and a $3 raise for SUS executives.
After the raise, president Thomas Davies, vice-president external Sukhi Brar, and Coppola are paid $12.25 per hour — comparable to student union executives at Kwantlen, SFU, and UBC, who all make more. Coppola said that even though executives are required to be present for 30 hours per week in writing, that they are often working upwards of 40 hours per week.
“Our pay was the lowest that we could find,” he said. “Some of our past executives have had to resort to financial aid.”
The budgeted $8,000 per year for student grants was removed last semester through the SUS Board of Directors, as UFV has an educational enhancement fund. According to the budget update, $5,000 of that funding is currently going to UFV emergency student grants and $3,000 of it is going towards the SUS food bank on the second floor of the SUB.
To align their election period to UFV governance groups, SUS proposed to amend bylaws 23, 30, 31, and 36 to extend the SUS election period from March 31 to April 30 each year. Coppola said that this is to ensure students will be engaged in elections after final exams. “That way students don’t have to worry about final exams and the election,” he said. Brar agreed, noting that it’s easier for new SUS executives to come into their roles on April 30 — after they finish finals. The motion passed with a majority.
They amended the elections policy to reflect these changes.
Coppola showed one section of the audit report from the 2014- 2015 SUS operational budget last year, opining that SUS was in good standing with the standards of other non-profit organizations.
The EGM adjourned at 6:15 p.m.