SFSS’s Annual General Meeting recurs on September 25

Why students should pay attention to their student society

An SFSS AGM from 2014

By: Paige Riding, News Writer

There’s a lot of acronyms plastered across campus this Fall. Ones that say things like “SFSS,” (Simon Fraser Student Society) and “AGM” (Annual General Meeting). As a new (or possibly returning) student, you may wonder what all these acronyms even mean as well as whether or not they pertain at all to you. 

“Our meetings are your meetings,” states the SFSS website in bold, colourful text. Beyond a catchphrase, the AGM is the “highest level of decision-making authority within the Simon Fraser Student Society,” according to the SFSS AGM webpage. The AGM is the society’s way for members to communicate with one another, which may include addressing: major events, the society’s future plans, and getting input from those in attendance. The AGM is a place for students to stand toe-to-toe with the Board of Directors on a relatively level playing field and have their input on the society’s yearly endeavours. 

The meeting takes place each year around the months of September and October. 2019’s AGM is just around the corner, being held on Wednesday, September 25.

One important reason for students to pay close attention to the SFSS is that it is funded through fees levied on all undergraduate students. These fees include a substantial $107.99 for full-time and $54.01 for part-time students (this is not including fees levied from other student groups, such as The Peak and CJSF). Even if students feel disconnected from the student society, they are helping to pay for its events, operations, and the pay of both its staff and elected representatives. 

During the meeting, several important reports will be given to the membership, including the Society’s Annual Report, the President’s Letter to Membership, the Financial Report, and the report from the SFSS’s auditor on the financial state of the organization. 

Giovanni HoSang, SFSS president, notes that “near the end [of the AGM], we will give the opportunity to students to raise questions, concerns, [and] suggestions for the Society… This is a venue to have your voices heard as students.” 

This is the time in which “students ask any questions and raise concerns about various issues of importance. . . [this is] the biggest way to have [students] voices heard on record, for the rest of the membership to note and organize accordingly. Every student is on a level playing field and gets to participate in the business of the society where each student gets one vote,” HoSang says. 

One vote may not seem that impactful, but multiply that by over 16,000 enrolled undergraduate students that could get involved and that is when waves are created. An example of this, notably in the Fall of 2018, occured when students voted to impeach the President of the SFSS, in a demonstration of large-scale direct democracy.

The meeting will be held at the Leslie Gordon Diamond Family Auditorium on Wednesday September 25. Registration time for the AGM is 12:30 p.m., with the event kicking off at 1:00 p.m.. Students are required to show their SFU student IDs to enter.

Want to learn more? The AGM’s Facebook event page provides updates on the event. HoSang invites students to contact either himself (president@sfss.ca) or admin.hr@sfss.ca for information on the AGM. Look forward to an email providing a copy of the AGM package in your SFU inbox shortly.