Board Shorts

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Schools Building Schools does work in Uganda. - Photo courtesy of Jennifer (Flickr)

Schools Building Schools levy referendum

The board discussed a motion to approve a referendum question that will accompany the 2016 SFSS General election regarding funds that are given to Schools Building Schools (SBS). Currently, the SFSS collects one dollar from every full-time student to go to SBS, a non-profit organization that aims to expand educational access in Uganda.

This follows concern that SBS was not submitting to the board “satisfactory details regarding the precise activities of the organization of the uses made of that financial contribution [to] the SFSS.”

A representative from SBS was on hand to answer questions from the board. She echoed concerns from VP University Relations Brady Yano that the proposed referendum question was leading students to answer one way. She also said that many students are unaware of the levy and the fact that it is optional through an opt out on the SFSS website, a fact which the referendum question doesn’t mention.

VP External Relations Kathleen Yang stated that the financial statements available on the website ought to be audited by an external source. She also noted that since the SFSS contribution constitutes a majority of their funding, if funding were to be pulled, it would impact the operation of their program. A report from the Advocacy Committee, of which Yang is chair, cites a lack of response from SBS representatives about concerns regarding how funds were used as part of the reason they recommend the SFSS stop collecting the levy.

Faculty of Arts Representative Arr Farrah moved to postpone the vote on the referendum question until the next meeting since many board members had not read the package circulated before the meeting. Said Yano, earlier in the meeting, “Board members, do your homework.”