Meeting offered directors’ reports and a preview of the agenda for the Feb. 6 Semi-Annual General Meeting
With some minor amendments to the agenda, the UVSS Board gathered on Jan. 20 for a live-streamed meeting.
The meeting kicked off with an announcement from Juliet Watts, Director of Campaigns and Community Relations.
“We will be conducting advocacy [at the Saanich Council meeting] — we have been conducting advocacy over the past month — towards council to encourage them to remove a bylaw that discriminates against students and low-income folk,” said Watts.
The bylaw in question, which limits the number of unrelated people that can live in a single residence to four, has been a notable concern at UVic since seven students were evicted from their home in September 2018.
The amended agenda was adopted and the meeting began in earnest, with reports from the directors.
Executive Director Alannah James reported that she and Dakota McGovern, Director of Finance and Operations, are updating and modernizing the language used in the Strategic Plan Policy.
Watts gave the report for Campaigns: the Divest working group has been preparing for the Jan. 28 Board of Governors meeting; bad weather during Mental Health Awareness Week caused the keynote event with Inuk NHL player Jordin Tootoo to be rescheduled for Feb. 12. Watts also noted the success of the Jan. 14 UVSS Harm Reduction: Know your Drugs event that took place as part of the UVSS ReThink Mental Health and Safer Use campaigns.
McGovern reported that the Finance and Operations Committee is working in partnership with the UVic arts department in order to showcase student art in the Student Union Building (SUB). The SUB will also be undergoing a “sustainability audit,” with results being delivered in late February.
The UVSS created a Marketing and Events Coordinator position, causing the committee to review and edit their strategic policy.
The Food Bank and Free Store reported that they have hired two new work-study students, and are looking into a new system to track usage.
Watts, who is also chair of Divest BC, stated that a submission was made to the Board of Governors breaking down the myths and facts around divestment.
The meeting then proceeded to priority business.
The motion changed the time of the SAGM to 3:00 p.m. instead of 2:30 p.m., in an attempt to make the meeting more accessible to more students, and ratified the agenda.
The definition of “environmental sustainability” provided in the agenda stated that the UVSS is committed to supporting initiatives that limit the environmental impact of the society’s operations, and that the directors intend to set an example of climate justice leadership. The “decolonization” definition recognized that UVic sits on unceded Lekwungen land, and stated that the UVSS’ commitment to holding institutions accountable to reconciliation, and confronting and dismantling colonial frameworks and systems.
The next order of business was a motion to open nominations for university search committees: the Academic and Technical Writing Chair Search Committee, Executive Director of Co-op and Career Services Search Committee, Chair of Psychology Search Committee, Chair of Geography Search Committee, and Social Sciences Dean Search Committee. Director at Large Jelayna Van Dyke nominated herself.
After a recess, the meeting moved in camera, and the Martlet departed.