Board Shorts — February 26, 2021

The Board discusses plans to accommodate students during the university’s reopening, and to provide students with long-term benefits in the future

Image: Irene Lo

Written by: Jaymee Salisi, News Writer

Student Union Building (SUB) reopening plan

SFU recently announced plans to reopen in Fall 2021. In preparation, Vice President (VP) of Finance Corbett Gildersleve brought forward a motion for the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) to begin coordinating with SFU and the SUB tenants to develop a reopening plan.

VP University Relations Gabe Liosis said the majority of the students in the 18–24 age bracket should begin vaccinations by September. 

In hopes of less restrictive summer public health orders, Liosis suggested a “soft opening to see what further steps we can take.” Considering the components associated with reopening, such as student safety and the university’s undecided plans, the Board agreed to create a working group led by Liosis to prepare for the fall.

Building manager for the SUB, John Walsh, projected that the building could be ready for use in four to six weeks. He explained that in four weeks, the physical structure of the building will be equipped for students, but the SFSS would need to give their cleaning company time to hire staff. 

The motion was carried unanimously. 

Recognizing Black History Month long term 

Brought forward by Balqees Jama, At-Large Representative, and Nafoni Modi, Health Science Representative, this motion supports the SFSS’ long-term commitment to respectfully celebrate Black History Month.

With consideration to “the performative nature of organizations when it comes to addressing Blackness in general,” Jama emphasized the policy was intentional in its stance to proactively support and amplify Black students. 

As Vancouver’s Black population consists of less than 1%, she said embedding the recognition of Blackness is crucial to maintaining representation.

SFSS President Osob Mohamed commended the policy for highlighting Black joy as “Black people don’t only exist when we’re talking about racism.” Liosis said the way policies are structured and enforced “really tell a lot about an organization’s stance on systemic oppression and its inclusion of Black folk.”

Board members unanimously supported this motion, saying, “[It’s] a good example of how we can use our policy-making power to amplify the voices that historically have been silenced.” 

Properly defining club-violation procedures

Edits to sections four and six of the Club Terms of Reference documents were brought forward by Phum Luckkid, At-Large Representative. 

Jama raised concerns regarding section six, which states that executives who violate club policies may be “subject to removal as an executive member by the SFSS.” She said this statement is unclear about who exactly would take responsibility for this action. 

To fix this, Liosis suggested that coordinators could advise options to executive members, but the Council would make the final decision. Although the process might be time-consuming, he said, “Sometimes the bureaucratic hassle is worth it in order to make sure these decisions are being made thoughtfully.”

The Board unanimously agreed to bring this motion to the Governance Committee for review and will bring back the recommended changes when completed.