No more money for student groups?
The University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) board meeting held on Jan. 19 addressed a variety of issues including the Mental Wellness Fund, the Cougars’ Racing Team, and representatives for the Canadian Federation of Students’ (CFS).
First, the board listened to presentation from the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) and Pakistani Students Association (PSA). The GSA approached URSU for funding in the amount of 3,500 dollars for its annual International Night. They expect to have 500 students join them out for a night celebrating international cultures and international food.
The PSA approached URSU for 4,000 dollars for their Salam Pakistan event. At the event, comedians of both Pakistani and English heritage will perform. As well, Pakistani food will be served. The group expects 500 [people] including 250 students to attend. Both funding requests will be decided at the next meeting.
Motions began with the approval of the URSU Student Support Funds Bylaw. URSU offers support currently through its Emergency Bursary Fund. It provides 1000 dollars (1500 for those with dependents, and the Student Advocate can recommend up to 2000 dollars be allocated) for students in times of great need. It is intended as a one-time bursary. As well, last year’s Mental Health Week raised 10,000 dollars for an Emotional Wellness Fund. This Bylaw increased the eligible bursary amount, and established the allocation of the Emotional Wellness Fund.
For students who may require help accessing Mental Healthcare, the Emotional Wellness Fund will provide up to 500 dollars, or five services each semester. Services included in the bylaw are “counseling services, physical and non-physical wellness classes, and professional psychology services.” Application will be through the Student Advocate, and will remain confidential. The motion was voted on and passed unanimously.
The Cougars’ Racing Team, which had previously presented to the board hoping to receive 8,000 dollars of URSU funding, received 4000 dollars after the motion was debated and passed with a few abstentions. President Devon Peters noted that the funds for student groups this year was “almost depleted.” He also noted that the presentations earlier by the GSA and PSA, making for funds totaling 7,500 dollars, would likely have to be scaled back. However, Peters joked that he wished he could “give them 10,000 dollars.”
Finally, a motion to replace Matthew Mutschler with Jason Gagnon as CFS representative was debated. This was necessary as Mutschler was elected as treasurer for the CFS-SK component. The CFS is a government lobbying institution that seeks to make education affordable. URSU is a member of both the national and provincial counterparts. The motion passed with four abstentions.
Executive reports were relatively routine, with the exception of the Campion and Luther board members who noted they have had trouble contacting the receptive federated colleges students’ unions lately.
Finally, Peters noted U-PASS had been signed into effect, and said it would cost “$87.60 per student next semester.” This is in accordance with the referendum promise.