URSU finally finds success at AGM
author: matt wincherauk | editor-in-chief
After years of missing quorum, URSU’s AGM came and went without any issues
The University of Regina Students’ Union [URSU] held their Annual General Meeting [AGM] this past Thursday, Oct. 27. This marks a change for URSU, as they normally hold their AGMs in the spring of each year.
The last time that URSU achieved quorum during one of their AGMs was in 2014. Being unable to reach quorum meant that a number of motions have been sitting on the table, waiting to be passed. Fortunately, URSU hit their quorum number of 150 at 12:36 p.m., meaning that the meeting could officially take place, and changes could finally be made. The chairperson of the meeting was Eric Holloway, the Business Director on URSU’s Board of Directors, who was filling in for regular chairperson Brad Lulik.
The first order of business was approving the minutes of URSU’s previous annual general meetings from April 15, 2015, and March 30, 2016. After that had been taken care of, regular business could be taken care of. The first motion of the afternoon regarding the “Appointment of the Auditor” was passed unanimously, as was the “Ratification of changes to Emergency Bursary Fund Bylaw,” that would put forth a number of changes that are designed to modernize the fund application process, and extend the bylaw to cover management of the Student Mental Wellness fund. Finally, the motion titled “Board Member Name Motion,” was also passed unanimously. This changed the name of an URSU Board position, from Differently Abled Students’ Director, to Director for Students with Disabilities.
Moving on to the Old Special Business potion of the meeting, motion 8.1 was regarding the process of establishment and abolishment of new fees/levies regarding student centres like the Carillon, and the Regina Public Research Interest Group [RPIRG]. RPIRG Executive Director Anna Dipple spoke in favour of this motion, noting the importance of having the entire student body involved with a referendum, rather than just those at an AGM. The motion was also passed unanimously. The next motion saw URSU being granted the power to amend their constitution in regards to grammatical and spelling mistakes, and out-of-date references, which was also passed unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was a proposed review of URSU’s constitution in an attempt to make it more efficient and clear, with an amendment that would see the Board of Directors be given the power to approve and begin utilizing a new draft of their constitution. Dipple once again spoke, this time in opposition of the amendment. After a brief applause for Dipple’s comments, the amendment to the motion was soundly defeated, with the original motion being passed.
Item 8.4 on the agenda saw a motion that would see URSU look into a different voting method for their elections. Engineering Director Sam Dietrich, who proposed the motion, spoke in favour of the potential change. After an amendment to the wording of the motion, it was also passed, allowing URSU to look into voting methods other than the First Past the Post system, a system that has taken heavy criticism recently.
Item 8.5 was regarding URSU’s building fund in their constitution. VP of Finances Matthew Mutschler spoke on behalf of the motion, and noted that it was “so old it hurts.” As a result, Appendix A was removed, to better reflect the changes that had already been made to the building fund in previous AGMs.
Item 8.6 saw a change be made to URSU’s position profiles, in an attempt to make the duties of the URSU Board members more clear. The wording was amended to read, “The members of the Executive Committee shall complete the duties assigned to them by the Board of Directors as laid out in the policy on Executive Roles, as modified from time to time.” The motion was also passed.
Item 8.7 pertained to a clarification that needed to be made in regards to URSU’s election process. The motion saw the wording in their constitution change to, “four consecutive business days during the third week of March,” instead of specifically a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in March.
Finally, the last item in the Old Special Business section saw a change be made to the way that URSU collects fees from students, in regard to the student centres, and the fees paid per credit hour taken. This will see students pay $38 to student centres, and a further increment of $5 per credit hour based on the number of credit hours taken. This motion also passed.
The final motion of the afternoon came under New Special Business, titled “Association Funding.” The initial motion would see a third level of funding, also known as Association funding, be added to the structure of club funding. After a great amount of debate, including comments from the mover of the motion, Zach Almond, and the president of the Theatre Student’s Association, Carson Walliser, spoke on behalf of the motion. The end result saw an amendment be made that would read as such: “Be it resolved that URSU modify the policy to differentiate department-level associations and student clubs. Be it further resolved that the Board look into funding by the 2017/18 AGM.” As a result, the motion also passed, ending all motions brought to the table.
URSU would end their AGM by having each of their executives make reports on what they have accomplished so far, and what they hope to achieve over the course of the rest of the semester and school year. The AGM would be adjourned at 2:17 p.m., after a brief questioning period. Any further information regarding the motions passed, and changes made, can be found in visiting or contacting URSU.