Council March 9

Hey folks. There is going to be council this Sunday, March 9th in the Boardroom at 10AM. K. Gross will be live blogging. Come on back here at 10AM AST for all the latest updates.

10:02: We’re up and running!

10:06: Katie’s report. The budgeting workshop (previously scheduled for last week) has been moved to next week.It will take place on March 13th, 7 pm in the manning room. FYP shirts are priced out at $12 per shirt. She’s ordering exact numbers and if people don’t pick theirs up, they’ll be sold to whoever wants to claim them. She’s also working on changeover for her new position as EVP.

My report: I announced that grad committee has completed their elections, and the Valedictorian will be Genny Plumptre and the Honourary Class President will be Ana Matisse Donefer- Hickie. Constitutional Review Committee has been meeting and will be bringing proposed amendments to council before the AGM. There are some big organizational changes coming up in terms of what content will be in the Bylaws (previously the Constitution) and will only be amendable by the general body, and what will be in the Operations Policy, which council will be able to amend.

I was the KSU observer on the last DSU Council. I noted that they’re in the midst of election season now, so part of council involved voting on several referenda for various levies. The main part of the meeting was taken up with votes on leaving CASA and Students NS (their external advocacy organizations). Both votes narrowly passed but a revote will be happening.

Hannah: Informal science student advising session happened this week and it was a good time.

Haritha: She missed the last DASSS meeting but she checked the meeting, the DSU will be revoting on their interest in leaving CASA and SNS. DASSS conference is coming up and they’re hoping to get some art installations involved, which sounds awesome. She also made some ISIC cards and helped distribute a petition for lower tuition fees & increased government funding.

Michaela asks if Haritha knows if DASSS has made a decision about whether they’ll be doing their voting online or at an AGM. Haritha says the decision was unanimously in favour of voting at the AGM.

Karis: Big issue at board meeting = security and patrol issue. She notes that a lot of the points they wanted to bring up were made by faculty and admin (especially Kim Kierans and Neil Robertson, making the point that it shouldn’t be a decision between student jobs and security, we need both). They weren’t able to to talk specifically about the particular changes to patrol shifts. Anna pointed out that it shouldn’t have made it to the board as the process was a bit “wonky”- Alex and Jim went ahead with the plan without talking to some of the parties that should have been involved in the decision (e.g. Property, Grounds, and Safety Committee). Someone suggested hiring students to work for the security firm.

The budget for the year passed, though the three student reps voted against it as it assumed a 3% increase to tuition (though Jim claims he is advocating for lower tuition). She found the registrar’s report very interesting. The FYP drop out rate has been very high. She notes that students who live on campus are more likely to stay in FYP. She also notes that the amount of philosophy has increased (though this could just be correlation, not causation). Mental health issues have also been a major concern. Elizabeth said they needed a new strategy, which might include requiring an admission essay, being clearer about the requirements of the programme, and adding student support systems.

I asked whether recent increases in tuition had been discussed as a factor in the increased drop out rate (in terms of requiring students to take on more hours of work, more debt, stress, etc). Karis says Anna made a very good comment at the meeting addressing exactly this problem. Appreciation for this comment was expressed by members of the board after, but not during, the meeting.

Colleen: The DSS is trying to promote a “culture of lunch” to encourage more day students to feel involved in the community. She hopes this could help with drop out rates. They’re looking for a CRO to run their upcoming election, so get in touch if you’re interested in that process.

They had a GM where they changed some bylaws so that they would be able to get ratified with the KSU.

There’s a google form you can fill out re: wardroom renovations.

Michaela asks if voting for DSS elections is this week. Colleen says she hopes not as they don’t have a CRO yet. Michaela asks because their bylaws require that they hold elections between Feb 15 and March 15. Colleen will check in with Quinn.

John says the last two Battle of the Bays are set! This Friday (80s theme) and the last one will be March 29th.

Sophia has been talking to folks about the patrol/security issue. Many day students feel there is a need for a security force as well as a concern for maintaining campus jobs. She’s been integrating day students into the planning of the upcoming Battle of the Bays. She sat in on two DSS exec meetings. One of the things up for discussion was wardy renovations. She has a comment from Quinn re: the feedback so far on the plans. He says that the community feedback has received 20 responses (10 negative, only three positive, the rest mixed). The main sense was that the aesthetic is good and changes should be focused on functionality.

Haydn asks why these plans, which have existed for a couple years, are being brought to attention now. Colleen says its because student feedback hasn’t happened in a serious way in the past but is happening now. She expressed concern about maintaining the space as a day student lounge and not just a bar.

10:30: Anna’s last report! Her biggest time commitment has been the Staff Review Committee, but will report on that separately. The Wardroom Board of Management had an extra meeting with the new architects/ engineers working on the Wardroom Renovation Project. She notes that these plans have existed as long as she has been at King’s, and now that Alex Doyle is on board with facilities it looks like there will finally be some movement. She says there’s potential for the plans to be reimagined. The designers seemed really open to student feedback (and the DSS feedback is being sent to them).

The university passed the budget early this year (usually happens in June). In the past, the vote on the budget and the vote on increasing student fees happened at the same meeting. Now that the votes are done separately, there’s an assumption that student fees will have to increase even though it has not yet been voted on.The board emphasized putting a greater emphasis on recruiting Nova Scotian students. Anna notes that 53% of Nova Scotians make $30 000 a year or less, yet the average student debt is $36 000. She asked why this was not more seriously considered.

The galley is already posting profits! Two years early! That’s thanks to the wonderful work of the galley team. They discussed the galley levy and are looking at a decrease from $14 to $8, and that change will be covered at the general meeting.

Anna’s reading her final comment, a goodbye to council and the union. She says working with the KSU has been an effort of political momentum but also of community. She thanks us for giving her the chance to represent us. She’s been to 52 council meetings over the last four years in her four different elected positions. She thanks every member of the union for making King’s the delightfully bizarre, charmingly vibrant place it is.

Katie asks when the wardy renovations would happen. Anna notes that now that the Pit is just about done, and the lodge renovations are well on their way, the renovations are coming up soon. The advancement office is campaigning for funds now.

Haritha asks if the budget has already passed, how this relates to the academic committee’s recommendation for adding tenure track positions. This would have to be looked at in the next budget.

Jake thanks Anna for her four years of service, and we all give her a big round of applause.

10:40: Michaela says changeover is going super well, old and new execs are both super great. (She’s saying “great” a lot). She notes that many societies that call themselves “Dal King’s” societies have not been ratified with King’s. She says this is problematic for liability reasons if they ratify with the DSU council without contacting us. They’re working on putting a better system in place. She also sat down with YAS to start writing their changeover document. That’s something Michaela can help other societies with if they need help.

Dalplex talks have continued. Michaela is the only student rep there (no dal reps present).

Academic plan is doing great, the report is out and she’s hoping to be able to distibute it more widely to students in the upcoming week. She says many people have been asking what kind of feedback they should offer. She says anything is good but if you need something to focus on, you can look at the four main priorities (something else that should be added? a specific order of priority?).

The 225 happened! She’s so glad so many people came. It was brutal turning people away but all 400 tickets were sold. She gives Haydn an extra big thank you.

Security. At the last Property, Grounds, and Safety committee Michaela asked by what process the security question would be addressed. She was told that more consultation would happen, but it didn’t. She was disappointed that administration didn’t take consultation as seriously as it needed to be. That being said, she looks forward to working with admin to work on student jobs.

Anna notes that Alex Doyle said that in 2009, the patrol shifts that are being looked at being removed now did not exist, and that if these changes go ahead they’ll be reverting to the number of student jobs available in 2009. Anna says that this is incorrect- those jobs did exist in 2009 but they were defined as “facilities” jobs, though all positions were filled by students.

10:48: Alex’s report. Yearbook update- the team continues to be awesome. They’ve redesigned their advertising contract. They’re talking to Jacob (new CVP) about advertising in the handbook.

Alex is happy with how the Staff Review Committee has turned out. Shout out to Claire Bernard and Josh Fraser who have done great work on this job.

Alex was disappointed that they were not able to get a DSS rep to the Wardroom Board of Management meeting (timing issue) to discuss renovations.

Alex met with Alex Doyle and the KTS re: the pit. He says there was a conversation about running a theatre camp in the summer in the pit and employing students to run it. Sounds like an awesome idea.

Changeover: Alex and Emily have just started talks about the 2014/2015 budget.

He also adds that he received a proposal to buy condom dispensers for the A & A bathrooms from Kayla Fells (Campus Safety Officer). This still needs to be priced out.

Sophia asks about the pit contract. Alex says Alex Doyle and the facilities department at King’s and the KTS (as main users of the pit) are putting together a contract to ensure that everything that should be in place is in place.

Philippa asks whether the Pit will be returned to the KTS tomorrow. Sarah says it has been delayed to March 12th due to some undiscovered water damage.

Karis notes that the chapel is back!

10:54: Jesse’s report. He says sustainability week went okay. There was some miscommunications that went on. There were a lot of last minute hiccups, but the team did a great job regrouping last minute. Sustainability King’s deserves a pat on the back for that. North Pole Bay won the residence competition. Low turnout for off campus students. No one returned any of the dark and dirty sheets that were meant to be filled out. He says they’ll have to look at that next year, possibly working more with the DSS.

Powershift is coming to Halifax from the 20th- 30th of March. The KSU will be doing registration in the office. The cost per person would be $200, but with subsidies we’ve managed to get the price down to $35 for King’s students if they register in the KSU office with Chris. The deadline for registration is March 21st. They’ll be able to bring the cost down even more using money from the sustainability line- they just don’t know yet how much this price will be reduced depending on how many students register. Also, if anyone wants to go but can’t afford it, Jesse says they’ll find a way to make it happen. Powershift is asking students to consider making an additional donation to the Frontline Youth Scholarship Fund.

Changeover is in progress and Jesse believes Katie is more than capable of doing the job, maybe better than he has. His closing note: execs should use bullet points in their reports, and he hopes Alex manages to plan the country night he suggested in his campaign speech. Alex confirms he is working on it and it should be coming up somewhere around the end of March.

Sophia asks if Powershift is happening at King’s. Powershift is happening at Dalhousie. There will be lots of guest speakers and workshops. (Anna will be speaking!). They fly out a lot of speakers from all over, which is why there’s a a big cost. There are lots of subsidies and King’s has an extra subsidy ($35 rather than $45). Anna emphasizes that this is the opportunity of a university career and over 500 students from all over the Atlantic region will be there.

Haydn’s last report! The 225 party was awesome.

CRC: a huge thank you to Jake and Anna who spent part of their reading week drafting new bylaws and operations policy. The committee has gone through the draft line by line. It was almost “flawless”. We’re meeting again one more time tomorrow and then it’ll go to council, then the GM.

Email server update: he was so optimistic this would happen before January. All the work is done on his end but the CFS is swamped (they have one tech guy running all the tech for the nation- but he has been very friendly!). Hopefully it happens by changeover.

CKDU board of directors just met. They’re trying to get more involved at King’s. For the first time they’re going to host a meeting here! It’s called a “blue sky” meeting and it is happening on Saturday.

King’s is gonna have a float in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Lovely.

Katie asks about the CKDU board- usually that’s a duty of the EVP’s job. Haydn did it because he’s interested in radio so it worked out well. He’ll chat with Katie about who will pick up the responsibility next year.

I asked Haydn if the float would be a float. Haydn said it would be a bunch of people walking, but if you have a pick up truck, let him know.

Staff Review Committee discussion time. As we split our one staff position into two last year, we are reviewing what those positions look like structurally as well as evaluating the performance of our specific employees. Feedback was gathered from students who work with these positions. The decisions were based on that feedback.

There are two reports: the first is about the structure of the positions. After that, Anna will move to go in camera to discuss staff performance (which needs to remain confidential).

So, structural stuff. Starting with Internal Coordinator. The recommendation is to continue to employ a full time position with these responsibilities. Super valuable for the union. The committee is recommending a new title for the position. The position has changed since it was named, and the suggestion has been to call the position “Services and Campaigns Coordinator” to better encapsulate what the position actually does.

A suggestion that the IC/SCC be responsible for bulk purchasing. This year Chris does this anyway, but it would be better to have this officially written into the position.

The committee suggests changing the time for changeover. Rather than in April (which is a crazy time), they suggest mid summer would be a more reasonable, less busy time to do a full changeover.

Moving on to Hospitality Manager. The committee believes the IC/HM division was a really good idea and the businesses have benefitted from having dedicated management.

The committee thinks the union should investigate the possibility of finding an office space for this position, though space is very tight.

Distinction between summer and school term hours should be made explicit. The relationship between junior management and the HM should be made more explicit.

They feel the changeover should happen during March, rather than when the businesses are closed in April. If this is impossible, a similar goal cold be achieved if changeover were to occur during September.

Anna moves that these recommendations be adopted. Jesse demonstrates concern about the new IC title giving some confusion between the IC’s position and the EVP’s responsibilities. Anna says this title was made based on the IC’s description of his own responsibilities and she says he knows his job better than anyone, and she agrees with the recommendation put forward. The motion is adopted.

Anna moves to go in camera, asking that Jake remain as chair and Jacob Baker Kretzmar (as incoming CVP). Alex and Michaela say it seems odd to include Jacob in camera. General members are not usually invited into in camera sessions unless there is a specific reason to include them, though an argument could be made as he is an incoming exec member.

Jesse moves to strike Jacob BK’s name. That amendment is adopted. The motion passes, we’re heading into camera, see ya soon!

12:05: We’re out of camera.

Anna moves to invite Chris Parsons to extend his contract as Internal Coordinator. The motion is adopted.

Anna moves to invite Nick Wright to extend his contact as Hospitality Manager. The motion is also adopted.

Next, correspondence from the Watch magazine. They have asked that it be read out loud to council. It was addressed to Alex Bryant as well as all of council.

They were disappointed to see Alex Bryant’s comments on the letter the Watch published about fraternities after it was submitted to council. They were concerned about his use of the word “pimping” to describe the Watch’s publication of the letter. The Watch notes that livetweet followers asked for the letter to be published and that they have not made money off of it.

Anna clarifies that the letter was published on the KSU liveblog and was available before it was published on the Watch website.

Alex notes that he has been in conversations with Rachel Ward, the Watch’s publisher, about the issue. Philippa (editor in chief at the Watch) says that these conversations began after he shared his letter with council.

Haritha asks whether the Watch asked the author’s permission to post the letter on the Watch website. Evan says that Bethany emailed him the letter personally. There was no explicit permission given but it was read publicly at council.

We’ve ratified The King’s Mind and the Dalhousie/King’s Swimming Society. Now we’re talking about ratifying the Day Student Society. They’ve been flexible about amending their bylaws.

Haritha asks why there was such a delay in ratifying.

Colleen says several reasons were involved. They had to amend their bylaws to allow all students to be members of the DSS.

Jesse thinks it seems unfair that residence students can vote at DSS meetings even though only day students pay their levy. Michaela thinks a good compromise has been struck by making residence students register at meetings in order to vote, but she says it is an awkward case and it is part of a much bigger conversation.

Colleen says she can’t speak for the rest of the executive, but she agrees it is unfair that those who do not pay the levy can vote. That being said they will have a constitutional review process soon and she hopes they will be able to resolve some of these issues. She agrees that the KSU’s emphasis on accessible membership of societies is important but isn’t sure if it works with the DSS.

For clarity, Anna notes that it is not a specific levy collected by the KSU that funds the DSS, but rather there is money from the university that is allocated to the DSS. As far as Colleen understands, the pool that the DSS gets their money from is the same pool that goes to residence money. All students pay the same amount but it is allocated differently depending on day student vs res student.

Michaela has not yet received enough bank statements to be able to grant them special designation. Colleen says they should be in the office now but Michaela was told otherwise and hasn’t seen them yet. We’re postponing this until next council.

We’re looking at a motion to give the Philistine 900 colour photocopies for journal printing. This would be enough for 150 copies of the journal. They are publishing student work. They’ve been delayed in printing, this is the first one of the year. They’re having a launch with samosas. They haven’t put in a funding request for the samosas yet due to a medical emergency, but they have priced it out and would need $80 for samosas. Alex amends the motion to include the purchase of samosas.

We have $7100 left in the society budget line at this point in the year (about $6000 more than last year).

I ask why they decided to print 150 copies. They say its the number that they usually print. It’s a nice number to be able to submit them to the archives, mail them out to parents of published students, spread them around campus, etc.

Michaela asks if we can amend this to take the money for photocopies out of the society budget rather than through the photocopy budget. Alex says yes, that’s already what happens, this is just so that we can keep track and know how much societies are spending on photocopying.

Sophia asks why they’re doing photocopies rather than bound books. The answer is that this is much much cheaper and that this journal is more “casual” than the academic society journals.

The motion is adopted!

Now we’re talking about funding the King’s Hockey Society for $322.50 for ice time at the forum. Alex says he has never been so happy to see a funding request. Last year there was a big mess with retroactive funding requests. This year everything was done properly.

The motion is adopted.

The King’s Dance Collective is asking for $60 for rehearsal snacks. They’re putting up their show this week (book your tickets now!). The issue is that the rehearsal time that is available to them conflicts with Prince Hall schedule, and res students gotta eat. Finance committee asked whether the KTS could fund this, but the KTS does not provide funding for this sort of thing.

Jake insists, “There WILL be no discussion of the type of pizza they are ordering”. Motion is adopted.

PRIDE is asking for 35 colour photocopies to advertise Drag Ball. Motion adopted.

The KTS is asking for $980 in contingent funding for two stage lights. Many of their lights are broken or on their last legs. They currently have 9 fresnels, 2 source 4s, and 1 source 4 zoom that are working, and Alex Doyle is going to help fix some other fresnels. They want to buy new source 4s to be able to adequately light the space, especially now with the improved space in the pit. They price they’ve found is a great price.

Finance committee asked what the KTS is investing their own money in, as they’ve been fiscally conservative this year and have done well on their shows. They are looking to save up a nest egg to support future years, especially with the improved space with expanded possibilities. They are also looking to replace their own gels and barn doors out of their own savings.

Sophia asks if the KTS has pursued any other avenues of funding. Sophia notes the advancement office has been involved in fundraising for some of the things that are in the Pit (such as risers and chairs). Sarah says they’ve had a lot of talks with admin and although there’s been an amazing donation to revitalize the space, but that does not include money for lights. They are however getting an overhaul on the sound system. Anna says also that the union prefers to own lights so that admin can’t take things away.

I ask how much gels and barn doors will cost. They’re still budgeting.

Haritha asks why the funding is contingent. Non contingent would mean we write the cheque before they buy the lights. Practically speaking, they can still use the KSU credit card to front the cost, but this means the budget is very specifically tailored for the purchase of lights rather than just handing the KTS money.

Alex notes that the possibility of running a theatre camp could only be bolstered with these new lights.

I note that other groups on campus (e.g. dance collective) would also be able to make use of these lights).

The motion passes!

We’re looking at amending a funding request we approved for the King’s Image in the fall. It was originally for a film swap project, but they would like to have the motion amended to let them spend the money they have already been allocated to purchase picture frames. They spent less than they asked for on the film swap and they have money left over for frames. The motion is adopted.

Next council will be Sunday March 23rd at 9 am, the AGM will be March 31st at 7 pm in Alumni Hall.

I thank Haydn and Karis, as well as Anna and Jesse (who we already thanked) for their amazing service this year. We all gave them a big round of applause on the occasion of their last council.

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