At the Simon Fraser Student Society’s (SFSS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Wednesday in the SFU Theatre, students voted in favour of a special resolution which will allow the society to obtain a loan for the Student Union Building (SUB).
The students also approved an addition to the by-laws that will ensure that the Build SFU levy, which will be used to pay back any loan related to the project, will not be cancelled before the loan is repaid.
The AGM was the first since 2008 to reach the necessary quorum of 250, with over 400 students present and many more lined up outside the theatre. “It’s a huge accomplishment,” Chardaye Bueckert, SFSS president, said of the turnout. “I just want to thank all the students who came out. That was really fantastic to see.”
This AGM was particularly important because, under the Society Act, the issuance of any debenture by the SFSS must be approved by its membership. If the AGM had failed to meet quorum, or if the motions hadn’t passed, the SFSS would have had to hold a Special General Meeting (SGM) in January to ask the same questions of the membership, delaying the construction of the SUB significantly.
Students had the opportunity to voice their opinions about the Build SFU special resolution and the addition to the by-laws. Most of the students who spoke asked for clarification regarding the student levy to be used to pay for the building, as well as how space will be allocated inside of the building.
Clayton Gray, a fourth year criminology student, raised concerns that the finished SUB will be owned by SFU and not the SFSS. “I’d just like to make sure that everybody here is aware that, if it’s analogous to taking on a mortgage, then we’re taking on a mortgage for the university,” he said.
After the discussions, students voted in favour of the special resolution with 328 votes in favour and 26 in opposition. They also voted in favour of the addition to the by-laws with 283 votes in favour and nine in opposition.
The AGM addressed other regular business, including the receipt of reports from the board of directors, VP finance Adam Potvin on the society’s finances, and the auditor, as well as the appointment the same auditor for the following year.
Former SFSS president, Jeff McCann, the proud father of the SUB and Stadium projects which began in 2012, had this to say: “The AGM turnout and margin of yes votes cast is an incredible demonstration of support for Build SFU. Credit to the current board and Marc Fontaine for their efforts and success at this pivotal moment in SFU history.”
Smiling, Bueckert summed up how she felt the AGM went: “We’ve set a high bar, and we’re going to need a bigger room for next year.”