Irene Lo / The Peak

Election report cites numerous issues

The SFSS Board of Directors unanimously approved the 2017 election report by the Independent Electoral Commission. The report covers no less than 36 issues that arose during the election period, including debate organization, ambiguous poster policies, and late hiring of the chief commissioner.

“I think it should be noted that it is a point of concern that, out of all these recommendations, a large proportion of it was regarding essentially policies in place regarding the election and the election process,” Erwin Kwok, vice-president of university relations, told the board. “I just want to note that it is something that we are going to be working on in [the] Governance committee.”

Pierre Cassidy, campaign, research, and policy coordinator, noted that the outgoing board approved a new set of election and referendum policies at the end of last term which he called “an immense improvement.”

“I think a lot of the stuff that [the chief commissioner] identified are things that are going to be improved upon already,” Cassidy said.

The SFSS is working to address the issues around the election process, he added.

Board approves budget for cleaning supplies

The board approved up to $250 for cleaning supplies so that members can clean their offices.

“We have never, at least as far back as the last two boards, they have never actually spent any single dollar on cleaning supplies,” Kwok explained. “If we expect students to come into our board office, we want it to be actually sanitary.”

He noted that members have been buying cleaning supplies out of their own pockets. SFSS President Hangue Kim added that there should be a policy developed regarding the allocation of office supplies because it is such a small part of the work done by the board.

Membership and reimbursement policies discussed

Two draft policies on membership standing and the reimbursement of membership fees were presented to the board for discussion. SFSS bylaws stipulate that students may retain their membership in the society during a gap semester when they are not enrolled in classes if they pay the membership fee. Cassidy is working on the policy to record the payment of fees by non-students.

“The goal [of this policy] is to make sure that we have a very formal process for collecting your SFSS membership fee, which, on a semester off, would keep you eligible to hold your director status,” Cassidy informed board members.   

Cassidy also told the board that the SFSS lacks a policy to deal with occasions where students are referred to the society for the refund of membership fees. Though the university is tasked with administering refunds to students, there have been cases where members were advised to collect the refund directly from the society.

“We don’t have any of the infrastructure, we don’t have any capacity to reimburse students currently,” Cassidy explained, proposing that the society set up a system whereby it can assist the students in dealing with the university.

“The idea is to position the society to advocate on behalf of members who are struggling with a reimbursement process,” he noted.