Live Blog: Council January 12th

After a wonderful winter break (take a look at that alliteration!), the fine folks of the KSU will be back in The Boardroom for the first council meeting of 2014. The meeting will take place this coming Sunday, January 12th at 10AM.

Take a look what’s on the agenda.

Read the executive reports.

10:09: Call to order.

Alex strikes 5.6 from the agenda because it is out of order (the Dalhousie/King’s Swimming Society is not ratified).

Anna adds 7.1 “KSU New Year’s Resolutions” and 7.2 “Councillor check ins”. Agenda adopted as amended.

Minutes from November 30th are approved.

Oral reports of councillors!

I spent some time working with Alex on finance stuff, which you will hear more about in his report.

Katie has been busy! She’s been collecting FYP quotes for the t shirt and she’s found a graphic designer to work with. Next step: ordering (she’s been talking to Chris Parsons about how to sort all this out). She also talked last time at council about how some res students are interested in life skills workshops (to help them make the transition from res life to apartment living). She’s been in touch with councillors, dons, Dal Legal Aid, and a variety of other point people to set up a whole series of workshops.

Hoping to start the workshops at the end of January, running through to the beginning of March.

She went to an NSPIRG meeting about an activist day camp (more details to come from Jesse).

She also counted a lot of pins in the KSU office.

10:15: Haritha. Report from DASSS meeting: possibility to engage some King’s students in performance art at an upcoming event.

Looking to have student symposia at the end of the month (very informal, would only submit topics a week in advance). Also: photo contest and scavenger hunt in the works. They’re looking to do a bookswap in March, details to come.

An AGM for the DSU is coming up to debate their membership in CASA (Haritha explains that this involvement is analogous to our involvement with the CFS). It’s this week but we don’t have the specific date.

Academic journals are all going well! They’re hoping to have a coordinated release party.

10:18: Emily’s report. She has been talking to Stephen Kimber about how to inform first and second year students about journalism electives available to them. This would involve engaging upper years who could tell younger students what they could expect from certain courses.

10:19: Hannah! Hosted a FYP science students study snacks with Katie, which went well. There was the suggestion of organizing a wardy science night. Still looking to putting together a science society.

10:20: Sophia’s turn. DSS winter GM is coming up on Friday at 2:30, or maybe 3:30? Some uncertainty. But it will be in the wardroom.

10:22: Karis has nothing to report.

Colleen says the DSS christmas party in the wardy was a fun and chill time. The wardroom will have a WORKING piano eventually! So awesome. Colleen’s working on this now. At the GM they’ll be talking about wardy improvements and exec honoraria.

10:24: Anika did a summary post on her facebook page about the CFS’s report on Public Education for the Public Good. 

10:25: Haritha makes a correction: no DSU AGM, just their regular council meeting and a brainstorming session.

10:26: Anna’s turn. The Galley Board of Directors met and released the levy. This will be really helpful this semester as they hope to do some renovations. The Galley is still super young and finding its footing. There are some small price increases to hot drinks, but these will not affect you if you bring your own mug. More prizes and contests and specials are coming up this semester.

Anna thanks Patrick Wappler, Kayla Fells, and Adrienne Bernstein for being awesome members at large on graduation committee selection committee.

Anna chaired a constitutional review committee meeting in December (hey, I’m on that committee too!). We’re going to talk more about this later on at council. These updates are going to be a major project for the KSU this semester.

Anna encourages us to reflect on the Sobey donation. While it’s an amazingly generous donation, she’s asking us to consider the implications of these scholarships being merit based rather than needs based, and to think about the role of private donations in university funding as a whole. That being said, this is a huge milestone for King’s as the biggest single donation the university has ever received.

10:34: There was a government roundtable this week. Anna’s giving us a bit of background. 4-5 times a year the NS government sits down with all students’ unions in the province to talk about their concerns. They’re not consultation sessions or lobby sessions. It’s an opportunity to talk to the government with no expectation that they will take action (the only expectation is that student concerns will be heard). These sessions are relatively new and came about as a result of the Day of Action in 2011.

This week they talked about Mental Health and Student Financial Assistance.

We’re going to talk soon about Consent Week planning (it’s going to happen the week before reading week). A bunch of councillors are interested in helping plan this. If YOU are interested in being involved, you can contact Anna at There will likely be a meeting this week.

Councillors are also going to sign up for DSU council meetings to go represent King’s.

10:38: Michaela’s turn! She sits on the Academic Planning Committee and the Enrolment Planning Committee. Student consultations are coming up- she’ll be sending us more info soon.

Societies are currently filling out their mid year reports.

She’s also on the Planning Development Committee. Nothing crazy is happening right now but it’s still important (stuff like schematic drawings). They’re also working to make sure that the Dalplex does not stop running in the midst of renovations.

225: Michaela’s focusing on events/events committee, and $$$, while Haydn is taking charge on artists and technical details.

Michaela thanks councillors for encouraging students to fill out personal ratings of instruction, and also thanks councillors (shout out to Hannah) who have been supporting their constitutions, especially first years, with informal academic advising.

10:45: Alex’s report. Shout out to Sam Stub (who is now in China) for doing a great job on Finance Committee first semester. We’re going to elect a new person to finance committee later today.

Yearbook. There were a lot of difficulties in the process but the 2012/2013 yearbook should be delivered shortly! Colleen and Erica have been doing a great job and will be at the helm for this coming year’s yearbook as well.

Alex did a lot of financial work over the break (check out his tweet from Christmas Day). He brought home a lot of papers from the archives, which made him realize how much is missing and made him think about the importance of sending proper documentation to the archives.

Society mid term checkin: so far we have allocated $15,122.72, meaning we have $8481.28 left for this term, which is exciting! (Many larger societies have already been allocated all their funding for the full year).

Watch Board of Publishing: This is coming up on Tuesday, January 28th at 6:30 in Lab 3 of J-School. They’re looking at the board’s constitution.

10:51: Jesse’s report. He’s giving us more info about the NSPIRG Student Action Day Camp that Katie already mentioned. They’re working on getting speakers and events organized. Tentative date is Feb 1st, but that could be pushed back. Anyone interested in helping to organize can chat with Jesse.

Jesse’s also helping Katie with her workshop series. He’s been in touch with some people re: tenant’s rights workshop. Action! King’s will be on Thursday at 3:30.

10:58: Haydn’s turn. Unfortunately, the KSU email server is “basically the worst thing ever”, but there’s a new server coming this week! Thanks CFS national for helping to set this up.

Haydn has been in contact with booking agents and talking to Chris Parsons, who seems to know every band that has ever come out of King’s since its founding (Jake says: Chris isn’t that old! Haydn: Sometimes it seems like he is…). Haydn also has some hilarious ideas up his sleeve (cake eating contest?). He’s talking to the archivist about King’s traditions we can revive (Anna: we might have to check in with our lawyers about some of them…). Hopefully this will happen in the gym, otherwise maybe Prince Hall.

Oohlala: David Etherington of the CFS wants to get the KSU started with a mobile app (Oohlala is the name of the app, but it is also an appropriate reaction to the news that the KSU will have its own app).

Haydn had a check in with CRO Oliver Burrows about the upcoming exec elections. They’ll be meeting weekly from now til the elections in February.

Haydn updated the KSU website over the break. You can now find info about all ratified societies here.

We’re on a ten minute recess right now.

11:15: We’re back! We’re electing members of the KSU Staff Review Committee. This is an ad hoc committee to evaluate the role of staff people in the union in general (e.g. does the distribution of work between the IC and the HM make sense and work?) and also evaluating our particular staff people (Chris Parsons and Nick Wright) to think about whether they want to think about renewing contracts or opening up applications for next year.

The make up is modelled on the hiring committee but it is possible to amend the composition (but Anna emphasizes that smaller is better).

Alex nominates Claire Burnard.

Katie nominates Mia Feldbrugge.

Haritha nominates Emma Wolfe.

Alex nominates Josh Fraser.

Katie nominates Vidhya Elango.

Katie nominates Alexandria Rose.

Anna nominates Emily Watson.

Anna gives us some additional info: the committee will interview galley and wardroom staff, so even if no galley/wardy staff are on the committee, their voices will still be heard.

Alex says Claire would absolutely love to be on this committee. She has really wanted to be involved with the union and she is incredibly hardworking. She works at the Wardroom.

Katie says Mia expressed interest in this committee, though she wasn’t able to give her a very accurate sense of how much work it would be, but Mia is reliable and hardworking.

Haritha says Emma has been involved with the galley since its inception. She’s incredibly fair, responsible, and hardworking, and has worked closely with Nick this year. Haritha hasn’t yet been able to get in touch with Emma to confirm her interest and availability.

Josh Fraser is motivating for himself. He really wants to be more involved with the KSU. He’s a parttime student so he would have lots of time to commit to this. He’s been involved with hiring and evaluative processes before.

Katie says she just talked to Vidya this morning and she’s very excited about this possibility. She’s a super involved first year (e.g. part of the feminist collective) and she’s comfortable examining policy. Katie emphasizes the importance of getting first years involved.

Katie says Alexandria is also a very involved first year. She’s the first year campus tour guide.

Anna’s motivating for Emily. She thinks its really important that there be one councillor on the committee. She also thinks having a perspective from the journalism department would be helpful as it is important for staff people to be able to incorporate journalism students into union activities. She thinks Emily has done some amazing work for the union so far and she would be so excited to work with her again.

The blanks will be filled by Claire Burnard, Emily Watson, and Josh Fraser. Emma Wolfe will be the alternate.

The motion adopted.

11:29: We’re talking graduation committee. The grad hiring committee is putting my name forward as the President of the Grad Committee. Anna thinks I will “flourish” in this position (thanks Anna). She also emphasizes how excited she is to graduate. Anna notes that there has been some past discussion about whether councillors can be UHPs, but she notes that this is not a UHP but just a paid committee position.

Council approves it, I’m president of the grad committee!

Michal Stein is being put forward as treasurer of the grad committee. Michal has not been heavily involved in the union thus far but she has a ton of great ideas and really wants to put her heart into it. Council is down, yay Michal!

Amelia Wilding’s name is put forward for the position of secretary. She has some particularly exciting ideas for the pub crawl. Anna thinks this is an extremely strong committee. Amelia is elected! Yay grad committee.

11:33: We’re electing someone to replace Sam Stub on finance committee.

Anna nominates Jacob Baker.

Alex nominates Anne White.

Katie nominates Justin Moir.

Alex nominates Sarah Burns.

Sophia self nominates.

Anna says Jacob’s name was the first to pop into her head when she heard this position was opening up. Jacob has been an incredibly active first year. He regularly attends council even though he does not have an elected position. He’s been very involved with the photography collective and has even secured the union a new darkroom.

I just motivated for Anne White, a third year student who has just come back from an exchange programme. She coordinated the King’s infringement Festival last year and she’s incredibly organized, dedicated, and responsible. She knows how to deal with a budget and she has sat on a KSU committee before (elections committee). Furthermore, she’s opinionated and articulate and would feel confident speaking her mind.

Katie says Justin Moir is a very involved first year who is excited about the opportunity. He would wear a fancy suit for fancy financial discussions.

Within five minutes of announcing finance committee needed a new member, Alex got a text from Sarah Burns saying “I MUST be on finance committee”. She formerly sat on council as Chair of Bays. She’s an economics student and the treasurer of WUSC.

Sophia has served as treasurer on various societies and she’s spent a lot of time doing budgetary assessment with various organizations.

And the blank is filled by Jacob Baker!

11:45: We’re voting on whether the King’s Foreign Film Sociey will receive $300 in contingent funding and 80 colour photocopies. Alex says the society has done great work first semester and he’s excited to fund them for the upcoming semester. The motion is adopted.

Time for KSU New Year’s Resolutions. Anna is presenting what the exec is planning to do for the rest of the semester so that everyone is up to date and has enough notice to get involved.

Budgeting: Goal is to welcome a new executive into a union where income matches up with operations.

Bylaw updates: Goal is to register updated and appropriate bylaws with the province. Currently developing a draft which will be brought to council, then to open consultation, then to lawyers, and then to the general body. As it turns out, we need to update the bylaws based on how they were voted on last time they were updated with the province (in the 1980s). At that time it was voted on by res students, so this is gonna go to the FYP class (after the general body votes on it).

Staff review: the goal is to gain insight into the role of staff people within the union and to determine the nature of KSU staff people 2014/2015.

Consent week: Collaborating with the NSCAD student union, the goal is to celebrate, explore and discuss sexual consent. There are going to be some great new “Consent is Sexy” materials.

Planning for a great changeover.

Elections: hoping to push for high voter turnout.

225 party is gonna be awesome.

Levy uniformity: we don’t have an overall policy on levies even though we have a bunch of them we collect from students. Looking into it.

University consultation: meaningful contact with the university administration.

Karis emphasizes how important it is to think about good candidates for exec and BOG reps. She says it never even occurred to her to run for BOG rep until two executive members approached her. Anna agrees and reminds us that even if people have never been on council they are absolutely qualified to run for exec. She encourages us all to talk to members about the upcoming elections.

Council check in: on Friday Jake and Anna are going to make themselves available in the KSU office all day for councillors to drop in to talk about what’s going well, pitching new ideas for the term, etc. This will also be a good time to talk about pet projects in case certain councillors have work they’re doing that the exec can support. There will also be time for councillors to speak one on one with Jake about how the exec are doing, so that the exec can later meet with Jake about that feedback.

Haydn proposes January 26th as the next council meeting (10 am). We all agreed to it. See you then!

(Council adjourned).