Written by: Amneet Mann, News Editor with files from Alex Bloom, Editor-in-Chief
Board set date and appointed planning committee for AGM
The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) Board of Directors resolved to host their annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday, September 24 at the Leslie and Gordon Diamond Family Auditorium at 1 p.m.
Another motion was passed to appoint SFSS president Jas Randhawa, vice-president external relations Jasdeep Gill, vice-president student services Samer Rihani, and applied sciences representative Kia Mirsalehi to the AGM planning committee to organize the meeting alongside SFSS administrative supervisor Karen Atara.
Board added special resolution to AGM agenda and discussed procedure for adding resolutions
The board passed a motion adding the impeachment and removal as president and as a director of Randhawa as a special resolution on the agenda of the AGM.
When the special resolution motion was read out, Randhawa questioned what differentiated this motion from the one that been passed at the previous Board of Directors meeting which also resolved to impeach Randhawa. Rihani responded that, as the impeachment motion was not a normal agenda item, it must be added on via board majority.
Randhawa rebuked the claim that board majority is required to add an agenda item onto the AGM, referencing the stadium project which was passed at the 2015 AGM.
In response, Mirsalehi referenced By-Law 11 from the SFSS Bylaws saying that, to add any business other than the six points mentioned in the first point of the by-law, “you must get it approved by the board or council, or members of the society — members of the society obviously being a petition that requires at least five percent of the members in good standing, council being anything that’s passed at council, and board being what we’re doing here today.
“So according to our by-laws, to have something put on the AGM that’s separate from the six items specifically required and noted, we have to pass this motion here. So this is part of our due process; we’re putting any motion within the actual AGM,” said Mirsalehi.
Build SFU general manager Marc Fontaine commented on the general process by which resolutions may be added onto the AGM agenda: “At the AGM, students at large can bring forward ordinary resolutions — those that require 50% approval plus one voter. But special resolutions are required for an impeachment situation, and special resolutions are defined in the Societies Act and require a specific timeline of notice to be given to the members before the meeting happens; it’s 21 days’ notice. Special resolutions need to be put on the agenda, therefore, in advance of the meeting by the board, or council, or students via petition,” he said.
“Members of the society does not refer to five percent of the student vote, it refers to any member in good standing, and I’m a member of good standing,” replied Randhawa. “I can therefore add motions onto the AGM. The AGM is a public meeting and any board member can add on agenda items and bring forth motions as well. [. . .] I’m going to argue that students can put on motions onto the agenda, I am putting this on in advance, this is 21 days in advance, my agenda items will be added onto the AGM.”
By-law 11 refers to any business other than the six listed points as “any other business proposed by the Board, Council or members of the Society.”
Randhawa did not specify what his agenda items were, but mentioned that he had sent them to Atara the morning of the meeting.
Board appointed at-large representative Mohammed Ali as new chair for fall 2018
The election was an extension of a motion passed at the previous board meeting in which Ali was appointed as board chair for the remainder of the summer.
At-large representative Wareez Ola Giwa removed from Board of Directors
The removal of Giwa as a director was preceded by his absence from two consecutive board meetings.
“This is completely a process thing,” said Mirsalehi. “The by-law specifically states that we need to declare that position vacant and so that’s the reason why we’re doing it. This isn’t a decision to remove Ola, it is just that he missed two meetings and [. . .] this is the way that we have to proceed.”
Board contributed $75,000 to keep.me SAFE mental health student support pilot program
According to Rihani, SFU has agreed to match the SFSS’s contribution to the program.
“We’ve already agreed ahead of time that the $75,000 is already been pretty much put on the table,” said Rihani. “It’s a program that is a flat fee so it’s not gonna be continually added to payments that students have to make.”
Board discussed SFSS representation at the Week of Welcome
A discussion on which SFSS representative should speak for the society at the Week of Welcome saw a divide between the president and the rest of the board.
“We’ve had a bit of conflict around this point,” Rihani noted at the beginning of the discussion. “I think it is good to get some round table discussion as to sorting out who this speaker is going to be.”
“Regardless of what the consensus here is [. . .] it states in the by-law that I will represent the society on all formal occasions so I will be speaking at the Week of Welcome,” responded Randhawa. “If there is some stuff you want to help out with, Samer, I’m sure we can figure something out offline.”
Randhawa had sent in a written confirmation to the organizers of the event, stating that he would be speaking at Week of Welcome.
Science representative Natasha Birdi followed up on Randhawa’s point, saying, “So the next line of that by-law policy saying that you represent us also says that if we choose to have someone else represent us, the board can do so [. . .] so I’m just wondering why you’re disregarding what the rest of your board is saying.”
“I think the bigger question is that for the next month and a half you’re still our president and we still need to work together,” Mirsalehi told Randhawa. “I think this is a board discussion item on who the board wants to speak on Week of Welcome, and whether the president wants to override them and let himself speak. And then moving forward, [a discussion of] if we want to have some sort of group process on how we deal with issues like this — because it might come up again — to avoid the next one.”
Randhawa mentioned that he felt the board supporting someone else speaking on Week of Welcome was politically motivated.
Rihani responded: “The speech is not anything to me that matters. [. . .] If you’re going to be overriding us discussing with each other and sending out emails to SFU administration without acknowledging us, at the end of the day, whether this is political or not, I think you’re just disrespecting your board. I know you have the power to override, but at least inform us ahead of time on to what your decision will be.”
“I was not informed when someone randomly dropped into the group conversation that Samer was speaking in my place,” said Randhawa. “You guys had been well aware that I was going to be speaking at the Week of Welcome. No one actually mentioned to me that someone didn’t want me to speak here, no one communicated that to me. People just went ahead and said someone else will be speaking, and I felt disrespected as well.”
A straw poll, from which Randhawa abstained, revealed a unanimous vote from the rest of the board for Rihani to speak at Week of Welcome.
“So I would be willing to work with Samer offline if he would like to. To find a way that we can both speak on the Week of Welcome but other than that [. . .] I will override the decision,” said Randhawa.
Rihani commented that he would not be following up with Randhawa.
“ I think the board has made its decision clear that no one vote is stronger than the other. Unanimously we voted that they wanted me to speak. But again if you’d like to exercise your right to override the board as a sole individual just because you are president, you are more than welcome to speak at the event. But thank you for the offer,” said Rihani.
Board approved up to $4,017 for transportation to Welcome Back BBQ
The allocated funds are to be used for busses to transport SFU students to UBC to attend the AMS Welcome Back BBQ being held on September 14.
Masawi mentioned that the location from which SFU students would be picked up was still under deliberation, and that only one-way transportation would be provided.
SFSS has partnered with AMS Events to help host the event after the Fall Kickoff concert was cancelled earlier in the summer.
Board proposed changes to Clubs Days’ organization and execution
The changes ranged from charging a fee to any groups who no-showed to their tables to changing the name of the event.
SFSS communications coordinator Sindhu Dharmarajah presented the changes that the communications division had been working on alongside vice-president student life Tawanda Masawi to the board.
Dharmarajah noted that one of the proposed changes was “moving away from dedicated space for a business zone and rotunda groups.”
“We’re still keeping zones for the SFSS table and for recreation and for student unions though, but that might change in the future,” she said.
Other changes were aimed at holding groups more accountable for attendance and
presentation, such as requiring groups agree to terms and conditions prior to booking a table, and implementing a fee for groups who don’t show up to their booked tables.
“Since this event isn’t just for clubs, we have an idea to change the name of this event,” said Dharmarajah. She noted that the top choice from the communications division at the moment was “community days.”
Fontaine suggested that a better time to implement a name change could be when the SFSS moves into the Student Union Building as “there could be an opportunity to hold smaller versions of Clubs Days over a longer period of time such as maybe the first few weeks of the semester.”
Board passed motion to amend food and beverage services partial lease surrender agreement
The amendment extended a provision in the August 2017 agreement in which SFU took over operation of SFSS food and beverage services. The provision maintained that the SFSS may book the pub for a period of 10 years following the surrender time. The motion that was passed amended this provision so that the 10-year period would only begin once the pub is opened.
“We had an agreement that was signed last year on the surrender of the space, anticipating that the pub would be open sooner,” said Fontaine. “It’s been a year and it’s still not open and the intent here is to extend that ten-year period to start when the pub actually opens so we don’t end up with only a nine-year effective period to use the pub.”
Board approved up to $1,222.48 for Global Talent Night 2018
Masawi noted that the event was a collaboration between the society and SFU, with the society’s contributions being used towards covering the production costs of the event.
Board approved up to $4,589.35 for Sexual Violence and Prevention Awareness Campaign
According to Gill, the allocated funds will be spent on consent toolboxes, safe sex supplies, and t-shirts for the campaign.
The awareness campaign will be held in collaboration with Women’s Centre and Out on Campus.
Board approved up to $4,266.25 towards Society of Arts and Social Sciences Frosh event
The grant was given on the condition that the proposal align with SFSS policy as the Student Union Resource Office was not able to provide sufficient funds for the event.
Board approved up to $9,000 for student engagement items
The allocated funds will be used towards items such as SFSS t-shirts, pins, stickers, and pens.
Board approved up to $1,000 for SFSS pancake breakfast on September 7
Board approved up to $1,273.88 for Surrey Campus Committee pancake breakfast on September 4