Board Briefs: Electoral office, Society for Students with a Disability present at Jan. 7 board meeting

The UVic Students’ Society (UVSS) electoral office made a presentation about the Nov. 29 referendum process to the UVSS Board of Directors (BoD) on Jan. 7. The referendum passed with 52.03 per cent in favour of establishing a dedicated fee for renovations to the Student Union Building (SUB) and Felicita’s, UVic’s campus bar. No formal complaints were registered, but the electoral office recommends that elections material be clearer in the future about the UVSS, the BoD and the electoral office all being separate entities despite sharing the UVSS designation in their titles. The presenters also suggested mandatory physical polling stations be reduced and replaced with information officers and other reminders directing students to web vote. Lucia Orser has stepped up as acting chair of the SUB renovation committee while the board has granted the previous chair, Ariel Tseng, a two-month unpaid leave.

An email motion approving the allocation of $76 366 from the UVSS’s Dr. Ewing Memorial Fund to architectural firm Stantec Inc. for all aspects of design, development and construction in the renovation of Felicita’s campus pub was thought to have passed prior to the BoD’s Jan. 7 meeting. At the meeting, the board briefly discussed the importance of publicizing decisions made in such motions, and stated intent to do so. Later in the meeting, though, a member of the gallery said email motions only either pass unanimously or fail. There had been one director opposed in the email vote. The chair responded that Robert’s Rules of Order would have to be consulted, and in the end the board reintroduced and passed the motion in person. The chair and several members said they much prefer not to use the practice of email motions anyway.

Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) representative Leah Grantham moved for the UVSS to provide the advocacy group with legal funding in light of anticipated changes to B.C. accessibility legislation. The SSD presented impetuses behind the motion, including the suitability of university advocacy groups as proponents of positive social change. After an in-camera session, the board passed an amended motion that says SSD legal funding will still need approval by invoice, but specifies that a response to legislative changes are a legitimate expense.

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