Both societies held their annual general meetings last Wednesday
The SFSS held its annual general meeting last Wednesday in the Maggie Benston Centre. The meeting was attended by approximately 50 people and was chaired by SFSS president Lorenz Yeung. It was called to order at 3:00 p.m., after determining that the 250-person quorum wasn’t going to be met, and the meeting was conducted with the reduced quorum number. The proposed agenda, minutes, auditor, and report from the board of directors were adopted without opposition.
The meeting included a report from the society’s treasurer, Kevin Zhang, which outlined changes to spending. This includes increasing forum stipends to $11,000, doubling the SFSS bursary contribution to $20,000, and increasing funding for clubs from $94,546 to $152,000. It was also reported that the society’s food and beverage service — comprised of The Ladle, Higher Grounds and the Highland Pub — had financial losses of $309,279.
Yeung said of this, “There’s been this ongoing question of our food and beverage services. The philosophy is, do we run it as a business, or do we run it as a service. . . . Right now, the board is working on a change in management to help actually manage the pub and other services effectively, and the financial office has taken on a huge project of costing out each and every single product that we have . . . so that we can really get into the details, and analyze what exactly it is that’s causing us to lose money.”
Member Services Officer Humza Khan went over the work being done on SFSS spaces, including the atrium renovations that have been taking place in the Maggie Benston Centre Atrium. The improvements will include three new food vendors, nine new microwaves, and new furniture. The project is expected to be completed at the beginning of the spring semester. Humza also went over the progress on the Build SFU project; SFU and the SFSS have both signed the memorandum of understanding for Build SFU. The SFSS space expansion fund balance is now sitting at over $3.6 million.
In the open Q&A portion of the meeting, several attendees raised concerns over the planned Men’s Centre. Karanvir Thiora stated that there is no overall plan yet for what the Men’s Centre will look like or be located at, and they are currently still working on a mandate. Student Randy Yee brought up potential abuse of power on the SFSS board from his experience of working with them on pub nights, citing a fake guest list and missing money from ticket sales. Yee said, “Some of the members on your board should treat your jobs with more integrity. . . . There needs to be a lot more transparency, especially with some of the funding [for] clubs.” Treasurer Kevin Zhang responded that all club spending is rigorously checked, going through several stages for approval. Yeung added that he takes these accusations seriously, and would speak with Yee after the meeting. The AGM concluded with several cash prizes being raffled off to those in attendance.
The Peak Publications Society also held their AGM on the same day, chaired by Sam Reynolds. The agenda, previous year’s AGM minutes, auditor’s report, and auditor appointment were all approved without opposition. Reynolds then gave an overview of the changes and events fromlast year.
Due to SFU’s growth over the past decade and The Peak’s constant non-increasing costs, the society has a comfortable cash balance. The Peak staff was expanded by five, adding the positions of multimedia editor, copy assistance, layout assistance, and coordinating editor. A contractor was hired to create a new website for the paper, and old archives were scanned in so they are now electronically archived. The Peak also hosted the regional Canadian University Press (CUP) conference in March.
The board of directors voted to create a scholarship and bursaries in The Peak’s name. The board also voted to start paying contributors for their work — something that has never been done before — and will be implemented in the spring semester. Finally, the current business and advertising manager Larry van Kampen tendered his resignation, and will be replaced by David Proctor in November. At this announcement, it was called into question whether or not Proctor has the required handsomeness to fill the position, but it was quickly affirmed by the majority of attendees that he does.
The meeting ended with the election of the three at-large positions on the board of directors, with Estefania Duran, Sarah Veness, and Jeff McCann elected into the positions.