All motions pass and budget accepted
For the first time since 2015, the UVSS Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Oct. 23 met and maintained quorum — the number of students in attendance needed to pass motions — for the entirety of the agenda, allowing students to pass all motions and the annual budget.
UVSS AGMs and Semi-Annual General Meetings (held in February) have historically struggled to maintain quorum, if they meet it at all — even with the promise of door prizes and free pizza. This year, the Board of Directors placed a lot of focus on encouraging student interest in the AGM, offering free food from Student Union Building vendors and a coupon for three free beverages from Munchie Bar or Bean There.
Once a quorum of 115 students had been reached, the meeting was called to order.
A territorial acknowledgement was delivered by Kolin Sutherland-Wilson, UVSS Director-at-Large (DaL). Sutherland-Wilson was critical of standard territorial acknowledgements, saying that they “should be uncomfortable.”
“All I implore is please think very critically. The truth is out there — it’s very well recorded — and I’m sure you’ll do a fine job of uncovering it, upholding it, sharing it with your communities,” said Sutherland-Wilson. “Don’t worry, it’s not as uncomfortable as it seems. Find the truth.”
For the first motion, Jonathan Granirer, UVSS Director of Outreach and University Relations, called to eliminate the duties of a DaL from the required obligations of advocacy group and Native Students’ Union representatives.
This, Granirer said, was “a simple change, but a very important change.” According to Granirer, these representatives already do as much work as DaLs for their own organizations. There are 11 DaLs on the UVSS Board of Directors.
Director of Campaigns and Community Relations Juliet Watts spoke in favour of the motion, saying that students who may be struggling financially should not have to do unpaid work.
Efe Türker, Director of International Student Relations, approached the microphone to state that if he, as an unpaid member of the board, was to be offered an honorarium, he would donate the monthly sum to the UVSS Food Bank.
Despite the concerns from the audience, the motion passed.
Prior to this AGM, the UVSS was required to advertise AGM and SAGM agendas in the Martlet in advance of the meeting. The motion — which has been put forward unsuccessfully at previous AGMs — stated that members of the board believe that the current requirements are outdated.
The motion passed.
The UVSS Board moves in camera when discussing confidential issues. Meetings in camera are not recorded or observed. The motion passed.
The statements referred to the Technical University of British Columbia, which no longer exists.
With all the main motions passed, the board moved into the financial portion of the meeting, with a presentation from Dakota McGovern, Director of Finance and Operations.
The board took a break from finance to complete the draw for a bike.
With the bike draw complete, the floor was opened for financial questions.
Before the budget was approved, an audience member asked a question about the projected $97 463 deficit in the 2019-2020 budget, given that the previous year had a surplus of $106 919.
“There’s about a $100 000 difference here and there with Support and Admin Services,” said the audience member, “but in the Board of Directors [portion of the budget] there’s about a $100 000 difference between this year and last year, and it’s all concentrated under ‘Board Operations, Other Expenses.’ Last year those were $29 000, this year [they’re] projected to be about $107 000. So, whereabouts is that [approximately $80 000] difference going, specifically?”
McGovern responded by saying that the money would go to consulting fees.
“We’re actually about $50,000 ahead of schedule in this particular line item because we didn’t end up using those consulting fees,” said McGovern. “Realistically, I do expect [the deficit] to be bigger than last year … however, it’s not going to be as big as projected.”
The budget passed, as did the motion to receive the previous year’s financial statements.
Following reports by the Lead Directors, Osborne opened the question period.
There were no announcements. Someone in the audience opposed the motion to adjourn, eliciting laughter from the crowd. The motion passed, and the AGM came to an end.