Tweetcap | Feb. 24 UVSS Board meeting

Campus News

The board filled the recently vacated Director of Events position with two people (sort of), and one Lead Director encouraged members to join the Indigenous occupation of the B.C. Legislature ceremonial entrance

File photo by Belle White

During the UVSS Board meeting on Feb. 24, the board nominated and acclaimed a new Director of Events to replace Shay Lynn Sampson, who recently abdicated her position. Minor policy changes were also passed, and a new handbook explaining UVSS finances was introduced. 

Following the call to order from Jonathan Granirer, Director of Outreach and University Relations, Director of Campaigns and Community Relations Juliet Watts gave a territory acknowledgement that referred to members of the University of Victoria community as “uninvited guests of the WSÁNEĆ, Songhees, and Esquimalt First Nations.” 

Watts noted the arrest of three Gitxsan hereditary chiefs and their supporters during the dispersal of the CN Rail blockade.  She encouraged all who are able to go to the B.C. Legislature to stand with protesters in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Although Watts noted that those at the legislature were at risk of arrest, at time of print the injunction against groups blocking the doors and preventing staff from doing work has not been broken and arrests are not imminent.

One announcement was given by Watts. A naloxone training session wasis being held on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 5:00pm in Vertigo Lounge of the Student Union Building (SUB).

Alannah James, Executive Director, started off the reports portion of the meeting. She is currently working to coordinate training new UVSS Board members on strategic planning later this year. At this time of year, much of James’ time is also taken up by hiring. She advised the board to “stay tuned” for more information in camera, the private part of the meeting that the Martlet and wider student body is not privy to.

Granirer then directed the board to reports from campaigns and committees. Watts reported on campaigns, saying that in a recent meeting, NDP MP for Victoria riding Laurel Collins was receptive to the idea of a textbook tax rebate. Watts and Granirer are hopeful that they will receive follow-up on a letter supplied to the NDP caucus.

Granirer added on to Watts’ report, noting that meetings were requested with all south-island MPs regarding the textbook tax rebate. He also said that he has met with city councillors regarding a controversial Saanich bylaw that limits the number of unrelated people living in one residence to four — a bylaw that impacts students living with roommates.

Director of Finance and Operations Dakota McGovern reported on the finance and operations committee. Recently, they published a request for proposals to fill the space soon to be vacated by Merit Travel in the SUB. 

McGovern said that breakdowns of the guidebook will be appearing on social media.

Granirer reported on outreach and engagement, saying that the committee’s outreach efforts are focused on the upcoming referendum which, if passed, would provide funding for open-source textbooks. Granirer also intends to put together a booklet for the next Director of Outreach and University Relations on how to conduct meaningful outreach with students.

There will be a UVSS table in the quad once a week serving coffee. The SUB marketing committee also recently sent out a business survey — the first since 2015, according to McGovern.

A report from the Peer Support Centre noted the recent hiring of a new outreach coordinator, and acknowledged a Valentine’s Day event held in the quad in celebration of platonic love.

A make-your-own cloth pad workshop will be held on Mar. 12 at the Gender Empowerment Centre (GEM). The GEM’s Semi-Annual General Meeting will be held on Mar. 13.

UVic Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) Representative Natalie Blecha reported that the SSD Annual General Meeting will be held on Feb. 28. Community lunches on Wednesdays and social teas on Fridays are ongoing, and Wednesday board game nights (making use of the SubText board game library) are a new addition.

“Soon,” as it turned out, was before the end of the meeting. Director- at- Large Dalal Tubeishat chimed in to say that Sampson would be difficult to replace.

The motion (which passed) stated that the UVSS Board would support UVic PIRG — which was conditionally accepted at a previous board meeting — becoming a separately incorporated fee levied group (SIFLG) as opposed to an affiliated group. Student fee-levied funding will not be made available until an operating agreement is ratified.

Granirer brought forward a motion that would allow for extenuating circumstances should a director miss the deadline to submit a written board report to the Director of Outreach & University Relations and Research & Communications Manager before a scheduled board meeting. 

In response to a question from Blecha about who decides what “extenuating circumstances” means, Granirer stated that the matter would be settled with a motion at the board meeting. Director at Large Caleb Burd raised the concern that some extenuating circumstances might be too private for presentation before the board, to which Granirer responded that a director could simply refer to “personal” reasons they were unable to meet the deadline to submit their report. The motion passed as stated. 

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James questions the co-director situation, and Richins clarifies that on paper, he would be the sole Director of Events, and that he would pay MacGregor out of what he earns from his new position.

Following Richins promotion to Lead Director, the UVSS board moved in-camera.

The next UVSS Board of Directors meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. on March 9 in the Vertigo Lounge.