Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that UVic Pride representative Cal Mitchell promoted the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes campaign, and that Pride and the Students of Colour Collective will be hosting such an event. In fact, they received high heeled shoes that were once used for a Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event to provide to those who require them. The article has now been amended to reflect this. The Martlet regrets the error.
The call for nominations for the UVSS elections for the 2015-16 school year will run from Jan. 22 until Jan. 30. Anyone interested in seeking student office must submit the necessary forms to the UVSS Elections Office in SUB B211 by 4 p.m. on Jan. 30.
UVic Pride representative Cal Mitchell reported that the collective has received a number of high-heeled shoes that were once used for a Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event to provide to those who require them to express their gender identity but would feel uncomfortable or unsafe acquiring them through conventional means. The Students of Colour Collective will send a letter to Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City, condemning the refusal to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a white police officer, over the killing of Eric Garner, an African-American Staten Island resident.
Director of External Relations Greg Atkinson, who is part of the Let’s Get Consensual campaign (an on-campus effort to prevent sexualized violence), stated this group will host workshops throughout this semester.
Director of Student Affairs Kaylee Szakacs introduced a motion to criticize the university’s 10-year plan to increase residence fees, starting with a 13 per cent increase next year and smaller increases in the successive years. In her comments, Szakacs said a majority of these funds would go towards building a 600-bed residence on the current location of parking lot #5. Additional funds would go to maintaining existing buildings, some of which contain mould, rotting wood, and faulty windows, among other issues. As Szakacs stated, however, “I agree that more housing is better, but we need more affordable housing.” Szakacs believes that the proposed increases could make it difficult for many future students to afford to live on campus. This motion passed.
Erica Isomura, the co-ordinator of the Campus Community Garden, introduced a motion to ask for an increased student levy for the garden. The proposal calls for the current $0.76 and $0.38 levy (for full and part time students respectively) to increase to $1.50 and $0.75.
Isomura said the increased funding would go to hiring more staff, offering more workshops, fixing the greenhouse, and providing more opportunities for students to get hands-on research in gardening. Isomura said the garden is currently understaffed as its small number of employees are unable to teach the large number of students interested in the programs the garden offers. In addition to this, the community garden grows food that it donates to the campus food bank. By default, increasing funding to the garden would increase the supply of fresh, local produce in the food bank. This motion also passed and the question will be on the ballot during the UVSS elections in March.
The UVSS agreed to ratify and fund around 200 campus clubs. Members admitted that they had some concerns with some of the groups listed; however, given the legal issues due to the UVSS’s refusal to ratify the pro-life group Youth Protecting Youth in 2010, the UVSS agreed to accept all clubs that registered last week. Regardless, the Students’ Society will not tolerate any groups that engage in harassing, bigoted, or otherwise inappropriate behaviour.
The UVSS will meet again on Feb. 2.