Written by: Amneet Mann, News Editor
Board prepares for advocacy survey to gain student input on provincial lobbying initiatives
Vice-president external relations Jasdeep Gill presented to the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) board of directors the preparation that has been done towards an advocacy survey.
“The purpose of this survey is to get a clear mandate for our provincial lobby,” began Gill. She went on to explain that the survey would cover three main issues the board is looking to bring to the province during their lobbying consultations — elimination of interest on student loans, establishing completion grants, and affordability of student housing — to obtain input from students on these initiatives before they are brought to the province.
The survey will be open to SFU students from July 23 to August 1, and students will receive an email containing a link to the survey on Monday, July 23. The SFSS is hoping to garner 1,000 responses for the survey. Gill mentioned that a greater number of responses would be helpful as the SFSS enters into conversation with the provincial government.
Board approves process to respond to online comments
In the face of the Fall Kickoff cancellation announcement, and the comments that followed on the SFSS’s Facebook post, faculty of business representative Jessica Nguyen brought forth the suggestion that the Board respond to negative or misinformed comments.
Nguyen mentioned examples of comments that claimed that the SFSS “only care[s] about profits,” rebutting that, “that’s not true, we’re doing this because we don’t want to go into deficit with student dollars. But I think no one was communicating that.”
Faculty of environment representative Russell Dunsford echoed Nguyen’s sentiments, citing the change.org petition that has been launched by SFU students urging the SFSS to consider Friday, September 14 as a potential date to host the Fall Kick-off. “If any of us would just respond to that with a single sentence that just says, ‘we checked that date,’ the entire petition and the entire group of students getting worked up over it would be dispelled,” said Dunsford.
The discussion culminated in a motion which appointed Nguyen and vice-president student services Samer Rihani to coordinate with communications coordinator Sindhu Dharmarajah to respond to social media comments.
Board allocates individual budgets to committees
The Board motioned to grant the Events Committee, Advocacy Committee, Surrey Campus Committee, and Vancouver Campus Committee $499.99 each. Vice-president Matthew Chow brought forward the motion, stating that “the principle is to empower the committees to make purchases without having to bring them to Board under a certain threshold.”
Each committee has also been tasked with completing a monthly expenditure report as well, to ensure accountability to the Board.
The current motion is only extended up until April 30, 2019 at which point the process will be revisited: “This is doing my due diligence and making sure the process is proper before I put a motion forth that binds it across [Boards],” stated Chow.
Board motions on payment for board development session
The Board approved $1,125 for the Vantage Point board development session presentation. The Board partook in this development session on Friday, June 13 and facilitated discussions on leadership, engagement, and governance.
Chow commented on the belated motion, stating that “in the future I don’t think I would feel comfortable approving money after the thing.”
Board approves ticket costs to send members to Art of Leadership conference
The Board approved up to $2,513 to send up to four Board members to the Art of Leadership conference which will be held on October 23 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.