Irene Lo / The Peak

Written by: Gabrielle McLaren, Features Editor


Board approved a partnership between the SFSS and Refresh Financial

Vice-president (VP) finance Matthew Chow announced a new partnership between the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and financial services company Refresh Financial in the hopes of increasing personal financial literacy amongst the SFSS membership.

“I noticed a gap in terms of financial literacy and understanding how credit works,” Chow noted. He put this motion on the agenda and arranged the partnership in support of the SFSS’s pillar of financial wellness for students.

Refresh Financial will provide financial intelligence training to students free of charge in exchange for sending brand ambassadors to campus. According to the memorandum of understanding that has been established, Refresh Financial will also be fronting the costs for their brand ambassadors’ presence at events.


Board approved up to $691.31 for the club and student union collaboration event on September 11

This event will feature cupcake decorating to allow club executives and departmental student union executives to get to know members of the board of directors and ask questions that clubs may have regarding the SFSS. The original motion had to be amended to account for a higher number of RSVPs than anticipated, and to provide a vegan option to accommodate dietary needs.


Board resolved to accept the resignation of arts and social sciences representative Kailyn Ng

Ng submitted her resignation, which has been effective since that date, on August 24. According to the board chair Mohammed Ali, Ng’s resignation stems from her transfering to another university.


Board resolved to appoint science representative Natasha Birdi, at-large representative Mohammed Ali, and VP university relations Jackson Freedman as human resources representatives


Board discussed the upcoming Annual General Meeting

“There’s been a lot of confusion about what people can expect at the AGM, the process that’s been mentioned, any idea what’s going on [sic]. . .” said Samer Rihani, VP student experience. “The agenda has been set.”

The board reinforced that the special resolutions that SFSS president Jas Randhawa mentioned he would bring forward can no longer be passed by board, by Council, or by student petition. The board confirmed that Randhawa missed multiple deadlines to hand in his petition and “has not informed the board of any other decision he plans on making.”

“The special resolution for the impeachment of the President is the only additional item that has been approved by a majority vote to be on the agenda,” Rihani reinforced. “Any other resolutions will not be allowed on the agenda even if there is a petition brought forward [. . .] there is only one additional item that students can expect.”

The board also discussed making the vote on the special resolution a secret ballot vote, given the sensitivity of the issue. This is permissible according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

“There are a lot of people who are a bit concerned that [they are] friends with both sides of the special resolution,” Rihani admitted. The board hopes that the secret ballot will help students feel “no pressure while voting.”

According to the board, this will not stop students from finding out the results of the vote on the day of. Administrative supervisor Karen Atara is looking into establishing a neutral group of volunteers who are not affiliated with the SFSS or part of its membership to organize and tally the votes.


Board discussed the issue of SUB space

VP external relations Jasdeep Gill opened a discussion on the issue of space in the Student Union Building (SUB), drawing a link between the issue and the Board’s “internal conflicts.”

“In terms of SOCA, we’ve had this discussion multiple times, where the Board agreed that the SUB was a shared space model and every club and organization was supposed to use that model as equals,” Gill said. “Recently, what’s come forward is that Jas has been making deals on his own with these spaces, bringing forwards concerns that we’ve already discussed, that he’s personally voted against, but that he is now trying to use for his impeachment process that’s coming up.”

The board is firm in its first decision, and is hoping to develop a more in-depth response to the media attention the SFSS has been receiving. Rihani reiterated that Randhawa had previously sat on the Build SFU committee that had voted in favour of the shared space model.

Rihani noted that, as a date for the SUB’s opening has been set later than originally anticipated by the board, the board now has the flexibility to extend the subleases provided in the rotunda for longer the current end date of December 14. “So it is a good option that we could potentially explore the potential of a renewal of space.”

Rihani did point out that many of the groups in question were asking for a renewal of lease in the first place, but that by the time that the SUB would be open this board’s term would nearly be over, meaning that “it’s not a good idea for us to explore how that model would work, but we should definitely look into what the Rotunda will look like afterwards.”


Board takes steps to improve HR within the SFSS

On the agenda, the motion reads: “Be it resolved to appoint Jasdeep Gill and Matthew Chow to participate in identifying an appropriate third-party to work with the SFSS, CUPE, and employees to identify and develop strategies to resolve relationship concerns and workplace issues.”


The board discussed an agreement between the SFSS and Portside Pub

VP student life Tawanda Masawi brought the motion forwards to organize the first pub night of the year on September 27.

The event comes at no apparent cost to the SFSS as Portside Pub is hosting the event, although there was some unclarity regarding whether or not the motion needed to include an allocation of $300 for Portside Pub to arrange a coat check.

When some members suggested that the SFSS might supply a volunteer free of charge, it was deemed that the motion could not be passed until the board had more information.


Board discussed a motion to increase their Web Site & Tech Support budget by $9000 in order to redevelop the SFSS website

Communications, arts, and technology representative Amrita Mohar and the SFSS communications coordinator Sindhu Dharmarajah had previously recommended Ballistics Arts Media Studios Inc. as the preferred web development company.

“This is just the better, more efficient way,” Mohar concluded. “Basically, we pay this and it’s done. Also [. . .] I feel like we need to do this, just because we’re trying to make Campus Vibe and our website cohesive and one, so students are aware that Campus Vibe isn’t a part of SFU or whatever, it’s a part of SFSS.”

The original motion was amended by Mohar to replace SFSS president Jas Randhawa as one of the authorized signatories by vice-president student services Samer Rihani, along with Build SFU’s general manager Marc Fontaine. While the board agreed with this amendment, confusion persisted over where the funds for the $9,000 increase would be coming from.

“I think it’s a good initiative to pursue,” said CEO Martin Wyant, who was telecommuting to the meeting. “I just want to make sure that we identify where you’re going to pull the money from.”

“If you wish to have this website upgrade happen, then the money needs to be approved,” Fontaine said.  Later, he added that “If there’s concerns about the motion and it is not understood then I suggest that we should not vote on it today. It should be quite a simple motion, and board members should understand, since it was already discussed at FASS last week and at board the previous week or the same week. But if it’s unclear, let’s move on.”

The source of the funds remaining unclear, the motion was not carried.


Board resolves to approve up to $2,100 for SCC BBQ

In a motion added to the agenda by Gill, the board resolved that the Surrey Campus Committee (SCC) will match the contributions of the Mechatronics System Engineering Student Society towards the SCC BBQ for a value of up to $2,100.

“Recently we had the pancake breakfast at the Surrey campus which was very successful,” said Jasdeep Gill, vice-president external relations. “We want to carry forward that movement and make sure that people are still having some kind of activity after Fall Kickoff Week.”

The event will be held in September in the mezzanine, though the exact date has not been finalized.