In light of the tension looming over recent UVSS meetings, Chairperson Kayleigh Erickson asked for the Board’s input on initiating more out-of-work social events in order to foster camaraderie among board members, most of whom only see each other during meetings. The Board met this idea with enthusiasm.
FAILED MOTION FOR LEAVE
Director of Finance and Operations Anas Cheema requested nine days of unpaid leave during December and January in order to return home and attend his brother’s wedding. As Cheema had already taken the maximum unpaid leave allotted for executive directors, the request had to be approved by the board. Erickson expressed her wariness of granting this leave, given Cheema’s unreliable attendance of Board events and meetings, stating that she felt embarrassed that she had to continually chase him to make an appearance. Excluding Cheema, the vote for the motion to fail was unanimous. Cheema left the meeting, stating that he would take the leave that he required to attend his brother’s wedding regardless of the Board’s decision, which he claimed to be pure discrimination, and said that UVSS was free to fire him for doing so.
Joining the meeting from a conference via Skype, Director of External Relations Greg Atkinson requested that a motion be passed for the UVSS to show their support for the Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee (UCBC) campaign against the B.C. Liberal government’s record concerning post-secondary funding, a record described as “abysmal” in the meeting’s agenda. According to Atkinson, tuition costs have increased by 80 per cent under the B.C. Liberals, who have “all but eliminated” needs-based grants for students and implemented deep cuts to StudentAid BC. Atkinson suggested that UVSS support of this campaign would help encourage more students, particularly those at the undergraduate level, to show their solidarity for the unions that support post-secondary education. The motion to write a letter of support to the UCBC and CUPE Locals 4163, 951, and 917, and, furthermore, to display campaign materials and posters for the UCBC campaign, was unanimously passed.
TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
In a second order of business, Atkinson requested that the Board pass the motion for the UVSS to participate in the planning, organizing, and mobilizing of the Take Back the Night march, which is set to take place on Nov. 27. Put into motion by the UVSS Women’s Centre, the Take Back the Night march is an initiative aimed at supporting sexual assault prevention. Atkinson viewed this motion as a way for the UVSS to assert its solidarity with the Women’s Centre. The motion was carried.