Written by: Amneet Mann, News Editor, with notes from Zach Siddiqui, Copy Editor
Board discusses various dates to hold Fall Kickoff concert
The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) discussed potential dates to hold their annual Fall Kickoff concert, and their current negotiations with SFU.
According to CEO Martin Wyant and vice-president student life Tawanda Masawi, SFU had previously approved SFSS holding the concert on Friday, September 21. However, in a recent email sent to SFSS, the university was no longer willing to offer September 21 as the concert date, and proposed the concert be held on Thursday, September 20 instead.
In a meeting between SFU, Masawi, and Wyant, SFU reported that the September 21 date was no longer available for the concert because SFU had booked another event for that day. SFU was concerned about the “negative effect” of having two events on the same day.
Following the refusal of the September 21 request, Masawi presented three courses of action the Board could take: the concert may be held on the offered date of September 20; the week before on Friday, September 14; or the SFSS could push SFU on the September 21 date.
Masawi mentioned that UBC was also hosting a concert on September 14, which may reduce the number of attendees to SFU’s concert. He also raised concerns about holding the event on Thursday night, as there was no precedent for the university hosting a concert on Thursday and sufficient ticket sales could not be guaranteed.
In the event that not enough tickets are sold for the concert and the SFSS must assume a higher deficit than originally anticipated, the SFSS would have to cut back on other aspects of their budget. “We won’t be able to host any events for the rest of the year,” said Masawi. He also mentioned that the SFSS might need to dip into the Surrey Campus Committee budget as well to cover deficits.
“My personal recommendation is that we push SFU to book the concert on the twenty-first,” said Masawi.
Wyant brought up additional concerns regarding hosting the event on September 14 (a date which falls upon the same week as Clubs Days). He cited logistical issues, saying, “We can’t have Clubs Days just magically end and then have the production just come in magically and set up [for Fall Kickoff].”
The idea for hosting the event off-campus was also brought up by Board, but SFSS president Jas Randhawa raised objections to the idea due to liabilities associated with transporting students to an off-campus location and having non-SFU students attend the event.
The motion to approve a budget of $143,746.77 for the Fall Kick-Off was not passed by Board, and the discussion was tabled for the time-being. The general consensus held by the Board was that the SFSS should continue to negotiate with SFU for the September 21 concert date.
“We have to be prepared to walk away,” said Masawi. “If they don’t give us the twenty-first, [we might have to walk] away from the concert.”
Board discusses revisions to the branding guide
SFSS communications coordinator Sindhu Dharmarajah presented potential revisions to the the society’s brand guidelines and printing guidelines for departmental student unions (DSUs) and clubs as a discussion item to the Board.
“In light of recent events, we realized there are gaps in that guideline,” said Dharmarajah. She mentioned two possible options for Board moving forward: “The way that I see it, there are two options: put some legal language around how [brand guidelines are] used and state the conditions that need to be followed and consequences if they’re violated. The other option is to review every single club poster and DSU poster.”
Applied sciences representative Kia Mirsalehi suggested altering the policy which requires all clubs and DSUs to use the SFSS logo on all their promotional material. “As a society, we have our own views, and we permit a whole bunch of clubs and DSUs to go and have freedom of speech [. . .] but force them to use our own branding,” said Mirsalehi.
“The issue that comes in is that now whatever a club or DSU wants to a part of, whatever way they want to use their freedom of speech, now they have to be branded under our branding guidelines, which doesn’t make sense, considering how we don’t necessarily follow their opinions and their views,” he continued.
Mirsalehi suggested that the SFSS only require their logo being included on promotional materials for events and initiatives that have been directly sponsored by the society.
Vice-president university relations Jackson Freedman agreed with Mirsalehi, stating, “I don’t see why we’re imposing on all of our groups to put our logo on all their materials.”
Freedman added, “I do see the other side of the opinion — that we do need a lot of work to be done on branding awareness and brand engagement, and that is a good way to do it.”
Leaving the discussion on whether the use of the SFSS logo on all promotional material should be enforced, the Board reached the consensus of creating a working group to pursue the first of Dharmarajah’s suggestions and instate more clear legal language around the branding guidelines.
“I think it’s important to have that language about it, because clubs get confused as to what’s appropriate and what’s not, so that needs to be updated and also consequences as well [in case the guidelines are violated],” said vice-president external relations Jasdeep Gill.