SFSS passes bylaw changes

sfss bylaw

Last week’s special general meeting made quorum, the first time in years

By Alison Roach
Photos by Mark Burnham

Last Thursday’s SFSS special general meeting (SGM) was the most attended in years, drawing the full quorum of 240 students needed to make changes to SFSS by-laws. The motion to amend the society’s bylaws passed, and will go into effect May 1, 2014.

“I don’t think since 2006 or 2008 has the SFSS actually had a quorate general meeting,” said SFSS president Lorenz Yeung, who chaired the event. The meeting was called to order an hour after it was scheduled to begin.

The proposed bylaw changes were voted on as part of an omnibus package. A motion to break up the bylaws and vote on them piece by piece was made, but quickly defeated. The omnibus package included changes to 15 of the 22 existing bylaws, as well as the creation of a new one.

Discussion was also cut short twice, as an audience member called the question and forced a vote to adopt the agenda, and later to pass the bylaw changes. Going through the omnibus package proved lengthy, and was cut off after by the student attendees after bylaw nine.
The changes ranged from small language changes to different terms, such as the renaming of SFSS Forum to the Council. Major alterations included the elimination of the board’s internal relations officer position, to be replaced by an executive director. The member services officer position was also split into two separate offices, one focused on community, and the other on administration.

Another major change was the formal creation of Faculty Student Unions (DSUs), under the new bylaw. Though DSUs such as the Society of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) and Business Administration Student Society (BASS) have been operating on campus for a while, they haven’t been recognized by the SFSS as FSUs.

Yeung explained: “The intent of this bylaw is to introduce another level of — you could call it governance . . . in between the board and departmental student unions. Currently the board directly manages and provides funding for departmental student unions.

It makes it difficult for those in the same faculty to hold campus-wide events.”

The new bylaw allows these FSUs to be formally established by referendum, and would then in turn recognize and represent DSUs in the faculty.
The motion to amend the bylaws passed by a wide margin, opposed by only a few members of the audience who had previously wished to sever the bylaws, and discuss each in detail. Afterwards, Yeung closed by saying, “Thank you, everyone. We made history in the society today.”

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