Council to investigate information breach in March 2 meeting

In-camera session was leaked online by an unknown Councillor

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the SFU stadium and track
PHOTO: Krystal Chan / The Peak

By: Yelin Gemma Lee, News Writer

Council establishes ad hoc committee to investigate public disclosure of in-camera session

Acting SFSS president Corbett Gildersleve moved a motion to task an ad hoc committee to investigate the public disclosure and potential breach of information disclosed in the in-camera session portion of their February 16 Council meeting.

Gildersleve explained ad hoc means the committee meets as needed rather than regularly.  In-camera sessions are when Council’s discussions are held in private without public access or on recording “under certain limited conditions.” These limited conditions include litigations involving SFSS and human resource matters. 

After the Council’s decision to temporarily close the SUB due to safety concerns around the Omicron spread on campus, SFSS executive members received three letters from SFU between January and February 2022. These letters expressed concerns about the closure of the SUB. The last letter notified the SFSS Executive Council that SFU  “considered the closure of the SUB to be in breach of the lease.” 

During the Council meeting on February 16, Council resolved to re-open the SUB on February 22. During that meeting, they moved to an in-camera session to discuss the letters from SFU and a legal strategy in a confidential space.

“During the in-camera portion of the February 16 meeting, an unknown councillor posted to Reddit that the SFSS was concealing that it was in breach of its lease of the SUB,” the motion reads. “Subsequently, on February 25, 2022, SFSS executive members heard that a recording of the in-camera portion of the February 16, 2022 meeting was circulating.” 

In response, Council decided to open an investigation and to consider disciplinary measures through an ad hoc committee. The committee aims to finish the investigation by April 30, 2022 before the newly elected Executive Council takes over. 

The motion to approve this committee and investigation was carried unanimously. 

Science Undergraduate Society requests an $11,000 grant to support their Spring Formal 

Shariq Ahsan, president of the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) gave a presentation where he went over the proposal for the SUS Spring Formal and asked Council to approve an $11,000 grant to front the additional costs of operating the event off-campus. 

Ahsan explained this event is important to the members of SUS as they were unable to host big events like Frosh over the past couple of years due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The budget breakdown for the $11,000 event included the venue rental ($4,500), catering ($5,000), staff expenses ($800), and miscellaneous and contingency ($700). 

Ahsan said the budget for the event is similar to that of previous events on campus. SUS is unable to host this event on campus due to the deck banquet hall being under construction. He said the proposed venue includes staff and a sound system, which would normally have to be purchased separately.

Jess Dela Cruz, vice-president events and student affairs and several other councillors shared questions and concerns regarding accessibility, safety, and inclusivity plans and measures in place.

“Our Issues Policies do not support the use of security for SFSS events on or off campuses. So how are you going to work around the use of security and to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and people of colour who attend these events are protected and safe under the use of security?” asked Dela Cruz. 

Ahsan explained security will be reporting all situations to the SUS executive team and conflict de-escalation tactics will be used. Dela Cruz suggested a follow up meeting to address this and identified security and safety of intoxicated students as her main concerns with this event. 

On COVID-19 prevention, Ahsan noted the floor-plan of the venue will prevent crowding amongst guests and vaccine cards will be checked.   

After discussion and several amendments to the proposed grant amount, the motion to spend up to $9,000 to support the SUS Spring Formal was moved. 

The motion passed with 12 votes in approval, 6 in opposition, and 12 in abstention.