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URSU Board Update

Our intrepid minuteman braves boredom to bring you an URSU board meeting update.
Our intrepid minuteman braves boredom to bring you an URSU board meeting update.

This time they talked about racecars!

University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) election dates and procedures were debated in a relatively uneventful board meeting. This was the first meeting of 2016 and occurred on Jan. 12.

First, URSU entertained a presentation from Cougars Racing, a team that creates a mini racer. Hundreds of universities compete in the Collegiate Society of Automotive Engineers International competition. In recent years the U of R team has placed in the top 17, beating out teams of “70 people, with budgets much higher than ours,” according to David Taylor, the team captain.

Taylor said that the cars go through multiple tests designed to “basically just wreck your car.” At the end of the grueling tests, there is a race combining all the test elements.

The racing team was asking for $8,000 from URSU to cover transportation of members to and from the competition. A motion on the amount to be given will be debated at a later meeting.

Next, the board looked at a variety of motions. First, they debated setting URSU’s annual election for the 14-17 of March. This is in accordance with the fixed dates set out in URSU’s constitution, with a minor correction to ensure that all the dates fall in the same week. The motion passed unanimously.

The second motion concerned the creation of an ad hoc committee to choose a Chief Returning Officer (CRO). The CRO is responsible for ensuring the election is carried out in accordance with URSU’s constitution. A CRO is expected to know all election by-laws, and give proper notification if any are broken. This committee would consist of three board members, and two executives who are not planning on seeking reelection.

President Devon Peters noted that “in past years, it basically went, the executive realized ‘oh we need a CRO,’ and they shoulder tapped someone.”

The hope is that the committee will add accountability to the process of CRO selection. Adding accountability to the position of CRO also ensures those overseeing the election are unbiased. The motion also passed unanimously.

The third motion set the date for the Annual General Meeting of URSU for March 30. After a brief discussion, the motion was passed unanimously.

In executive reports, Vice President of External Affairs Lynn Barber noted that Frost Week had not done as well as it counterpart, Welcome Week. “I think that everything went well,” Barber said, “but I think there can be recommendations made in scaling things back for next year.” Sponsorships for Frost Week had also declined since last year.

Several polling stations will be on campus for April’s provincial election; however, they will only allow students to vote in the Regina University district. In the federal election, students were able to vote from campus in any riding throughout Canada. Provincial election laws do not allow for voting in different polling districts.

In his report, Peters noted that in an executive council meeting, the decision was made to review deans halfway through their term as well as the end of their term.

“From my perspective it’s overkill. It might cause some new hires, but I don’t think it will accomplish a lot,” says Peters.

The next meeting will be Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the boardroom.

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