UVSS Nov. 4 Board of Directors meeting recap

Campus News

New Pride representative, bylaw name change, and objection to Saanich council bylaw all discussed at first meeting of November

File photo by Belle White, Photo Contributor.

Earlier this week, the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) met for the first time since their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Oct. 24 to discuss the latest happenings around campus. 

In a brisk 30-minute affair, the Board of Directors welcomed a new representative to the table, updated a bylaw, and made a promise to object a Saanich council bylaw restricting the number of unrelated people living together. 

After maintaining quorum for the entirety of the agenda at the AGM for the first time since 2015, the UVSS passed a plethora of motions last month including paying non-lead directors $50 a month for their work and not requiring to post their AGM agenda or referenda ads in the Martlet or physically around campus. 

In the first board meeting of November, however, there were just two main motions on the agenda. 

The meeting began with Director-at-Large Zyannya Fox reading a territorial acknowledgement. 

“For my action item, I will continue to support decolonization initiatives like the Little Big House through donating money and time, and use my time to listen to Indigenous speakers and apply their knowledge to my own actions,” said Fox. “I want to stand with the continued struggle of Indigenous people here on Vancouver Island, who must still sacrifice in order to fight for decolonization and freedom.” 

Moving into the first motion of the meeting, Jonathan Granirer, Director of Outreach and University Relations, opened the table to discuss the ratification of Chloe de Mata as the new Pride representative. 

With little discussion of the motion, de Mata was unanimously ratified to serve on the board and replaced Avria Chrystal as Pride’s representative. 

Transitioning into the announcements portion of the agenda, Shay lynn Sampson, Director of Events, reminded the board that there will be a bus shuttle service transporting students from the SUB to Swartz Bay Ferry terminal this Friday afternoon before reading break. 

“There’s going to be two shuttle buses on Friday, one at 1:30 and one at 2:30, heading out to the ferries. There’s a Facebook event, you can buy tickets,” Sampson said. “Check it out and tell your friends so you have a ride to the ferries.” 

Following the announcement, Granirer then opened the floor for reports from directors and constituency organizations. 

Notably discussed in reports, Director of Finance and Operations Dakota McGovern announced that the finance team met recently and are looking at potentially bringing more board games into the SUB. 

Sampson also highlighted the possibility of an accessibility Town Hall meeting in her Events report. 

“The government of B.C. has put forward some accessibility legislation, and they’re currently doing town halls across the province to get input from people who will benefit,” said Sampson. She expects to confirm a date for later this month. 

In question period, Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) Natalie Blecha asked Granirer why the board meetings aren’t being recorded and how the board could better hold themselves accountable considering they haven’t fallen through with that campaign promise.

He responded they don’t have the adequate technology to record both audio and visuals, despite having piloted that technology in early September, and would like to have a discussion with the board on finding serviceable technology. Granirer, however, did highlight that the previous board meeting’s audio recording was posted on YouTube

“You can look on YouTube, and find the audio recording from our last meeting. It has about seven views,” he said. 

With no further questions, the board moved into the main motion portion of the agenda — quickly passing two issues before half an hour passed in the meeting.

The first motion that passed switched the name of “Women’s Centre” or “Third Space” with “Gender Empowerment Centre” or “GEM” in the UVSS’ official bylaws, while the second motion regarded the Saanich bylaw that forbids four unrelated people living in the same dwelling together. 

The motion called for the board to call on the Saanich council to repeal the bylaw, and for the Director of Outreach and University Relations to send an email to the mayor and councillors of Saanich with stories of students who have been impacted by the rule. 

After the motions were passed unanimously, Granirer called the board in-camera and the Martlet was asked to leave. The next UVSS board meeting will take place on Nov. 7 in B025 in the SUB at 6:00 p.m.

To follow along with the Martlet’s coverage of meetings, read our live tweets at @TheMartlet on Twitter.