Print Edition: February 4, 2015
Student Union Society (SUS) fees are increasing again, this time by $4.98 per semester.
The referendum for a new IT support centre passed; it will be housed in the new Student Union Building (SUB).
From January 25 to 29 students voted on whether or not they wanted SUS to offer services for electronics, and at the board meeting last Friday SUS announced the results: out of 515 voters, 58 per cent voted yes.
President Ryan Petersen explained that students can expect to see the service implemented sooner rather than later. “In the summer we’ll start implementing the fees and we’ll have this up and running in the new building in the fall, which will be exciting,” he said.
Fee collection will begin prior to the debut of the centre, Petersen says, in order to hire staff and train students and purchase equipment.
SUS also discussed the implementation of a social media policy to improve SUS’s social media presence. By decreasing the number of people who have administrative access to their social media pages, as well as making sure that all of the information they share is completely accurate, SUS hopes to improve their communication on Twitter and Facebook. SUS is also encouraging members of the board to be careful of what they post on their personal social media pages.
After some discussion about whether or not SUS has the right to dictate what board members post from their personal social media accounts, VP internal Thomas Davies explained that is not SUS’s aim.
“We are not trying to restrict people from sharing their opinions; we’re just trying to protect the society,” he said.
VP external Dylan Thiessen supports the policy and doesn’t see it affecting what he posts.
“I’m a very politically minded person and I’ll definitely be posting a lot on my personal Facebook with the upcoming election. This isn’t meant to [affect] anything like that,” he said.
In the offline social sphere, students can expect to see new clubs on campus this semester. Davies announced three new clubs registered in January: Café Francais, a French language club; Pen and Paper Tabletop, a role-playing board game club; and Modern Electronic Arts Appreciation, a club dedicated to appreciating art including digital art, movies, music, and games.
There was also a proposal for a revision of bylaw 16, regarding quorum requirements for meetings. SUS has struggled with engaging the student body enough to meet quorum for their general meetings, so Petersen suggested that the proposed revisions will lower the percentage of required students, making it easier for them to meet quorum.
“Student politics is very similar to Canadian politics: they just don’t care as long as things are running smoothly,” he said.
Board of Governors rep Sukhi Brar did not agree that this was a good idea for SUS.
“I do understand where this is coming from, with the challenges of bringing people [in] — but at the same time, I think the timing is bad,” she said. “If we really think that students are going to be more engaged, then I don’t think this is a good time to be lowballing the amount of people that are coming out to things.
“I believe that people are going to come out more, I really do,” she said.
SUS has a draft of the revised policy and will motion for its passing at next month’s board meeting.
With files from Megan Lambert.