Live Blog: Council November 17th

10:06: Council is called to order!

10:09: First year rep Katie has been really involved in circulating the petition against library cuts, and she’s got a FYP bulletin board ready to go!

10:10: Emily to consult with journalism students leading up to academic committee meeting. She’s also hoping to get a bulletin board in the J school as journalism students often don’t walk by the bulletin boards outside Prince Hall and in the link.

10:11: Anika has been posting summaries of CFS Skills workshops on her BOG rep group. She also met with Nick Hatt about the food advisory committee, and she’s excited to represent the KSU at the CFS general meeting!

10:13: We’re welcoming Sophia, our newest DSS rep on council! She’s talked to some DSS folks as well as some councillors about how she can best work as a councillor. She wants to make sure everyone is represented and that DSSers are aware of what’s going on on council.

10:14: Colleen says Fall Ball went well, John says the Dante party was great.

Karis asks if there were a lot of day students at Fall Ball. Colleen says there were, early on, and more residence students at the actual dance. But she was impressed with how many upper years showed up!

10:16: Anna’s giving her report. She had an equity meeting last week. Secret of the past: when Anne Leavitt was President of the university two years ago, all funding for the equity committee was cut without any consultation (equity committee met anyway and found funding from other sources). Last year, funding was completely restored.

Anna’s working with NSCAD’s students’ union (SUNSCAD) to get some artists to come in and sell their art to King’s students. She notes that often student artists don’t have the storage space to keep their work or the venues to sell it, so they often have to just throw away their art. Anna’s excited to find this opportunity to work with another students’ union and to support student artists. And apparently there might be a silk screening workshop coming up?

She’s excited about the Students United group, seeing how well they’re working together with other unions (especially the DSU). She says there’s a great energy in the group that she hasn’t felt in quite a while.

She says this year’s CFS Skills was the best Skills Nova Scotia has ever had! Great turnout, great workshops.

Last week was also the CFS NS exec meeting.

(P.S. CFS stands for Canadian Federation of Students, our student union of students’ unions. You might be familiar with ISIC cards, which are provided by the CFS. Many of our campaigns on campus (including Education is a Right and No Means No) come through the CFS, too.)

Anika and Chris Parsons will be attending the CFS national meeting on behalf of the KSU. She encourages councillors to read the motions over in advance and to talk to Anika and Chris about it to know we’re sending them off to Ottawa with support and guidance.

DSU/Dalhousie relations- so apparently no one had really thought about the Dal/King’s relationship in like two decades. The universities are doing a review of it this year, and so the KSU and the DSU think they should do the same thing. One weird issue: King’s students can sit on DASSS (Dalhousie Arts and Social Sciences Society), but the President of DASSS sits on DSU council… so if the president of DASSS was a King’s student, how would that work? A KSU member on DSU council?

So we’re gonna think about our relationship and what other issues might come up.

The Fountain Lecture went well. Anna was really happy to see how students were highlighted at the event.

So people really need to apply for grad week coordinator. Like, really. Email Anna asap if you have any interest at all: president@ksu.ca. You don’t even have to be a graduating student (we think… we’re going to double check on that) to be on the committee, we just super need some help. There’s a $250 honorarium!

10:29: Michaela’s report! She gives us permission to pie her, frosh week style, because she and Haydn have not yet put together a budget for the 225 Birthday Party (they’re gonna do it tomorrow). She’s been at a meeting with the Stop the Cuts group. The university is now using the Strategic Initiatives Fund to pay for new acquisitions. It’s great to see student pressure working and getting the University to use a fund that would not normally be used for student services to deal with the issue. That being said, there’s still a major problem here with fiscal mismanagement and neglect for important student services.

Michaela has also been working with the registrar’s office on hiring a new academic services officer, and she says it’s great for the KSU to have involvement here. She’s also on the administration’s academic planning committee. They’re working with the strategic plan (developed last year).

Shout out to Anders for doing a great job running CUBE- yoga this year is a hit!

10:36: Alex’s report. He says “the closest interpersonal bonds come through the strife we deal with together”.

The executive bonded this week when they realized that the South House did not receive any of their levy last year. This comes out to about $4000 that the KSU is required to send out. That money does not belong to the KSU at all and only goes through the KSU in an administrative way. He wants to emphasize how shocking it is that this happened. Last year’s levy and this year’s levy will both be sent out this year.

He recommends that everyone read through the report that Haritha has prepared following the KSU finance consultation on Friday.

Apparently everyone our insurance broker talked to has turned us down for insurance coverage, but now we’re working with the same group the DSU uses and they’re definitely happy to talk. Alex is going to talk to council more about this once they’ve talked more and figured out how things would work.

He attended a University Finance Committee meeting, and he’s working on setting up a meeting with admin and the KSU exec to talk about operating grants from the government and how admin and the KSU might work together to lobby the government to reduce tuition.

Katie asks why the South House levy did not go out last year. Alex has no idea why it did not go out, because we are mandated to give it out. Alex can’t answer because he wasn’t the Financial Vice President last year and he was not the one responsible for signing that cheque.

Sophia asks if we can pay out last year’s levy, and if both last year and this year’s levy will be paid. Alex says there’s a bit of a process but yes, that money should still be sitting in our bank account and we owe it, so we will pay both last year and this year’s levy.

10:49: Haydn’s report. He’s been busy stage managing Oleanna so he’s been a bit less immersed in union stuff. He met with the Constitutional Review Committee on Monday (hey, I’m on that!). We have a big project this year: we need to go over our governing documents and turn our Constitution into Bylaws (bringing it up to code) and changing the Procedural Handbook (going forward this will be a document council can change- whereas the Bylaws can only be amended by the general body at a general meeting). We’re hoping to move some sections around (e.g. Elections stuff should not be in the procedural handbook).

The frame wall is looking a little sad, so Haydn’s gonna try to get those frames back up in the link.

Kamp KSU advertising materials are going out today! The event will happen next Saturday in the Wardroom.

10:53: Jesse’s up! On November 28th, there’s gonna be a welcome party for the new provincial government (it’ll be their first full day). It’s gonna be serious but also fun and not accusatory. We want to show that we have unity in the student movement and to remind them of the promises they’ve made.

He’s encouraging everyone to come out to Action! King’s at 3:30 pm on Wednesday in the Manning Room. It’s gonna be a big one.

He doesn’t anticipate that the CFS national GM will present too many contentious issues (he’s read through the motions).

Jesse has a copy of the CFS Skills binder that is available to everyone in the KSU Office. It has detailed notes from all the workshops. Anyone who is interested is welcome to check it out.

CFS NS is looking for a new office space (since the Roy Building, where they are currently situated, is getting knocked down). He’ll update us when a lease is signed.

11:01: Ten minute recess, see you soon!

11:13: We’re talking about ratifying the Young Alexandra Society. They’ve been around for many years and all their documents are in order. They run YAS Ball every year and are organized around raising money for charity. Michaela is a little concerned that such a large society would wait so long to to ratify as it can be difficult for council to plan accordingly, especially if they are going to be making large funding requests. That being said, it’s a great society with a wonderful exec. The motion is adopted.

11:15: The Poetry Society asks for 100 colour photocopies to advertise for their events. The motion is adopted.

11:16: The Photography Club asks for $20 for one extra large pizza for a meeting. Finance Committee recommends approval because this is just for one introductory meeting to gain interest (i.e. they’re not asking for pizza for every weekly meeting). Alex hopes we don’t have to have another long conversation about pizza.

Sophia asks about finance committee’s food policy- we don’t have a one set as different societies have such different situations and structures, but we may come up with some general guidelines. Motion is adopted.

King’s Dance Collective is looking for $120 for “a dance themed movie and pizza extravaganza”. Finance Committee suggests amending to $40. Not that we don’t want to let them have food, but that they haven’t run this kind of event before so we want to see how it goes and whether they get a big enough turn out to justify $120 worth of food.

Sophia asks if there is a big turnout for the event, if there’s a way for them to get more funding retroactively. Alex says no, but it could help them get a bigger amount next time. I point out that the KSU general meeting only spent about $70 on snacks for an event that pretty much filled up the Red Room, and Alex mentions that movie screening events (thinking of societies like Foreign Film Society) would normally not get that much for each individual event).

Alex amends the motion to $40 and adds 30 colour photocopies to the request. The amendment passes. The motion passes.

The HOST society asks for 300 black and white photocopies and 100 photocopies. They came up with the numbers based on the CSP and EMSP societies requests. They’re running several events this year so the number of copies is justified. The motion is adopted.

11:27: We’re talking about a motion concerning the clean up of some typos in the constitutional and the procedural handbook. At the last general meeting we made an amendment saying that the CVP can amend typos as long as s/he runs them by council. Haydn’s going through them now.

First one: in the procedural handbook table of contents, there appear to be two environmental affairs committee. One should be the Equity Affairs committee.

There’s a typo where “in coordinator” needs to be “in coordination”.

We’re updating a mention of the Dalhousie Women’s Centre to reflect their new name, the South House.

And the last one- we’re just capitalizing Executive Committee.

Council’s down with cleaning up these typos. The motion is adopted.

11:30: We’re debriefing about CFS Skills. I suggested letting people pick and choose which workshops they wanted to go to rather than getting us to all be there the entire time.

Anika mentions that the anti oppression organizing workshop was especially awesome.

Haritha thought the social media workshop could have been better tailored to an audience already fairly familiar with social media use.

Michaela especially liked the media workshop and learned some good stuff. She liked that we actually practised being interviewed by journalists (I also really liked that part).

Katie says she had a great time and the workshops were a great introduction to the CFS for her.

We’re onto a conversation about the structure of the event. John wishes there had been more interactive workshops earlier on. Haritha mentions that message box activity at the very end of the second day was great because we got to interact with students from other schools.

We loved the location (we were at the NSCAD Port campus, right on the water by the farmer’s market), but it was kinda chilly.

Most workshops were led by King’s students. It was great to see how much knowledge King’s students have, but Haritha wonders if it would be helpful to have more presenters from other schools. Alex says he gave a presentation on budgeting, but it was tough to speak to issues relevant to other unions.

Anna mentions that the event was planned on short notice.

I suggested that more advance notice would have been helpful- councillors got at most 5 days warning (and some didn’t find out until 2 or 3 days in advance). For a 15 ish hour commitment, more notice would be nice. This was partly because the Vote Education campaign was running close to the start of Skills. Jesse also says he’ll make an effort to make sure next year’s EVP does a better job getting the word out.

Karis says the anti oppression organizing workshop “was an hour long workshop that could have gone on all day”. She’d like to talk more to the woman who led it. Anna says she’s looking into doing more workshops with the KSU and NSCAD, and Jesse’s putting out feelers to see if there would be interest in a KSU specific anti oppression workshop (looks like there is interest!).

11:48: Discussion of Dalhousie Governance and the KSU. Anna’s looking for some feedback on this. Right now King’s students have no representation on Dalhousie governance. Anna thinks this is problematic as King’s students are also Dal students. For instance, Dal approves King’s academic policy, so it seems critical to her that King’s students have representation here. She wants to know if councillors think this is worthy and necessary.

Michaela says “absolutely!”. She thinks Dal & the KSU need to agree on things like the form student consultations take.

I ask if there are any downsides or if there has been any pushback- Anna says none yet but that’s why she’s bringing this up at council.

Anna and the DSU President are talking about getting observing reps on each other’s council’s. Hasn’t logistically been brought into place yet, but Anna has the winter DSU schedule. She says it’s her instinct that it would be unfair to make one particular councillor or executive member responsible for full representation. Her thought would be to have us take turns (each person would probably go once). No voting rights, speaking rights TBA.

Jesse asks if this could be something we vote on at council. Rather than planning a full year’s schedule in advance he wonders if we could book this one or two councils in advance. Michaela says it may be easier to book early so people can have it in their schedules well in advance.

Katie says that as a first year and a science student she’s very interested in this. She says it’s weird to think that next year all her courses will be at Dal. She wants to maintain ties to King’s but realizes that what goes on at Dal affects us a great deal.

12:01: Council’s gonna do a secret santa. Cute. Next council will be our last council of the term.

Alex wants to check in with council about the work finance committee has been doing over the last few months. He wants to answer questions if there are any, and he wants to make sure people are involved in the process.

He’s laying out the timeline: between now and Christmas, Finance Committee is working on answering some of the questions that came up at the consultation (found in Haritha’s report). Then at the start of the next semester we would consult with the student body as well as council and the exec before actually taking action. For instance, if there were to be a referenda on student dues put forward, there would be more student consultations before that would happen.

12:07: Good of the order. We’re signing up for KSU office training!

Executive reports are currently due the Wednesday before council, but sometimes major work happens after Wednesday (for instance, Finance Committee always meets on Fridays). Jake’s wondering whether council minds getting exec reports later. Seems like we’re all in favour of at least some extension to this deadline.

12:15: Next council will be Saturday Nov 30th, time TBA.

12:16: Meeting adjourned!