Written by: Paige Riding, News Writer
The Board discusses Student Union Building space allocation for SFSS groups
VP Finance Corbett Gildersleve brought forward a motion for a different space allocation for organizations set to move into the Student Union Building (SUB) upon its completion, projected for Fall 2020. The motion carried.
The previous plan, agreed upon in the Spring, has one unallocated suite amongst those in the corridor. This includes DNA, CJSF, SFPIRG, Embark, SOCA, and FNSA. Gildersleve voiced concerns about SOCA and Embark, two completely different student groups, sharing one suite. After a thorough tour of the suites in the SUB, Gildersleve did not find the currently proposed plan to be the best one overall.
“We did a very thorough check of pretty much every room from top to bottom, pretty much every space — talking about potential usage for this space — and when we looked through some of the suites, I realized that some of them would not be effective for the organizations being placed in them,” Gildersleve noted.
He explained that the SFSS projects that these groups will be in the SUB for at least 10 years. In that time, Gildersleve worries that groups like Embark and SOCA — who are currently projected to share a single suite — will not have room to grow.
Business Representative Mehtaab Gill expressed concern that making the Board vote the same day the motion was sent out may be hasty.
“My only concern would be that this motion is a lot of information, as Corbett mentioned, and it was sent this morning [ . . . ] This is a lot of information to take on and vote on, I feel,” said Gill.
Gildersleve responded saying, “We’d have to get this type of thing decided sooner rather than later.” He also mentioned that it is an amendment of an already-existing motion.
Board members Osob Mohamed, Balqees Jama, WeiChun Kua, and Anuki Karunajeewa advocated for this alternative allocation because it provides important spaces for marginalized groups on campus, including BIPOC and neurodiverse students.
The motion carried with 12 in favour and three abstentions.
Board members discuss concerns about exam proctoring software and student privacy
VP University Relations Gabe Liosis brought up the topic of online examination invigilation as the Summer semester draws to a close.
“We’re coming to the end of the summer semester real quick here, we’re in about week nine, and the topic of exam invigilation doesn’t seem to be going away — and it doesn’t really seem to be getting any better, either,” he began.
“Students’ concerns are three main things. One: [exam invigilation] is downright creepy. Two: it’s stress-inducing. And three: it’s an invasion of privacy.”
“These are students’ homes that we’re talking about. Students aren’t comfortable with someone watching us through our webcam. Plain and simple.” He mentioned how many students do not have a space to block off to write a three-hour exam. As well, Liosis raised concerns about international students in different time zones.
“The university has really failed to give any clear guidance, procedures, or take any policy measures to actually make any clear, enforceable rules around exam invigilation.”
The Board vouched to continue pushing the university to consider this matter in time for the Fall 2020 semester.
The Board discusses concerns around police recruiters on campus
Some Board members had a discussion with those in charge of the career fairs held on campus that has included the presence of the RCMP in the past. President Osob Mohamed elaborated on what must be done to facilitate what representatives are allowed at these fairs.
“The issue is, if they want to stop having police recruiters on campus, they need to have some kind of policy put in place or some kind of really good reason they said to stop bringing recruiters on campus,” said Mohamed.
“The fact that RCMP and police presence makes students very very unsafe on campus is a really big deal. And amidst the calls of us supporting the defunding of the police force and also calls to defund and abolish police forces all over the world, this is not something small [ . . . ] this is students’ safety and well-being on the line.”
Mohamed noted that the Board will have a meeting with SFU Safety Services and will work to develop guidelines around who will be welcome at the job fair.