author: john loeppky | editor-in-chief
Meeting provides backdrop for elections
The University of Regina Students’ Union is holding a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. Applications for motions closed on Feb. 8 and no motions from the floor will be allowed. Three motions were submitted, all by executives. General Manager Carl Flis said the SGM was called in response to the feelings of those on the board as well as the electorate.
“That was brought about by some concerns raised by one or two board members that they were hearing from the membership that they weren’t overly pleased with URSU and its board and that this would be an effort to be more transparent and to give the membership another opportunity to interact with URSU and to make change if they so require it.”
Flis confirmed the nature of the three motions:
“One is with respect to limiting course loads of executives.” This motion was brought forward by President Shawn Wiskar.
The second and third motions were brought by Vice President Operations and Finance Derrick Gagnon, and involve the wording to be used for a referendum on a spring/summer UPass as well as one to do with governing documents, according to Flis.
“Updates to the referendum and elections by-law, more of a housekeeping thing, changes to a couple of positions.”
That “housekeeping” includes the creation of new positions for the next election, including the Francophone director becoming a faculty position for La Cité, the creation of a director position for the Centre for Continuing Education, and the formation of a board position for campaigns and equity, a move originally brought forward by former Vice President of External Relations Heather O’Watch at the AGM. Flis said there was confusion as to what the motion meant and that “the interpretation” was to create a board position as opposed to an executive one.
“If you go through the minutes on the AGM on the website, our interpretation of the motion is that it is a new director position not an executive position. Based on the minutes of the minute taker and the transcripts on Facebook that was the determination that we had. It was very unclear whether it was a paid position, a not paid position, so now it’s being construed as a director.”
Flis confirmed that no contact was made with O’Watch to confirm the intent of the motion. The Carillon was unable to get in contact to confirm O’Watch’s intent.
In an update to motions brought forward at the AGM, the Canadian Federation of Students has not yet been paid. Flis said that “they are in the process.”
“Basically, the ball is in my court, just waiting on our legal team to review a release that the CFS would have to sign off on first.”
Details of that release include a proposed payment plan, though Flis was unable to reveal specifics.
“It would be a repayment plan; I don’t want to pay all the funds in one lump sum and to clarify the arrangement as to who exactly is a local 9 member versus local 90.”
Barring “remittance issues,” Flis named the total amount owed as a “ballpark” number of $480,000.00.
The union reference relates to who is regarded as a member of the University of Regina local as First Nations’ University of Canada has their own local. CFS was not immediately available for comment. Students who attend the SGM will receive $10 from the CFS fees paid “between 2017 and 2018” according to a Feb. 4 press release available on the URSU website.
The SGM comes as the nomination period for URSU elections opens. Carillon board member Shafeeka Sayyid will be on leave from her duties, as she has been hired to be the Chief Returning Officer (CRO).
In all, 92 positions, not including executive of council, will be available. This includes the four executive positions, fifteen faculty seats, seven constituency seats (including students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, etc.), six senate seats, and the remaining positions belonging to university council.
The nomination period is from Feb. 11-27 with the due time for nomination packages being 4 p.m. to the URSU front desk. Candidate profiles are also due the same day and time. Candiates will hold drop-in question and answer sessions with URSU staff at their own discretion with the all-candidates meeting and photo shoot happening on Feb. 28. Campaigning will begin on March 4 at 12 a.m., and end on March 17 at 11:59 p.m. Voting will happen March 18 and 19 through UR Self Service.