Council April 6

Photo: Erica Guy

Welcome to the last Council live blog of the 2013-2014 year! Invigoratingly, this is also our very first PAPERLESS COUNCIL MEETING. That means I didn’t print anything at all! The agenda will be projected at Council, as will any other important documents.

For all you folks following along at home, here is the agenda and here are the written reports of the executive.

10:08: Meeting called to order. Turns out this won’t be the last meeting of the year. SEE YOU NEXT SUNDAY.

I just went through my year end report and summarized some ideas I think will be helpful for the next member at large. Too long for me to retype now, sorry!

Jessica says the water balloon fight has NOT been rescheduled for this monday because last week it would have been actively dangerous for everyone’s health and safety.

Hannah: science students are hard to get a hold of and hard to get out to events, but she did meet a lot of people and she thinks next year the science society will be a real society. There is a constitution drafted and the plan is to ratify in the first couple weeks. Hannah attended Dalhousie science society meetings regularly this year, they’re really important, doing great things.

James: The DSS still hasn’t done the changeover of their bank account. Apparently it has been a fun time for everyone. That sounded a bit sarcastic.

Colleen has some other announcements from the DSS- apparently engraved beer mugs are coming up?

Anika: There was A CFS NS meeting after last council and she was elected as Women’s liaison officer. She also recently sat on a government roundtable. She’ll be doing the same job again next year so she’ll save the changeover stuff for her written report.

Haritha attended DASSS meetings this year and that was a good learning experience, things are working differently over at Dal. But there are things we can learn about how students are represented academically higher up. She said academic committee was probably her favourite part of the job because it coincided with exciting planning stuff. Someone has already contacted her about being interested in running for Art Rep next year! Amazing! She’s proud of how the academic societies at King’s went together and how they’ve been working together.

Ellie: The last BOG meeting was right before changeover, so she has lots of time before her first meeting. She’s trying to establish herself in this interesting climate with the proposed fee increases.

Claire just walked in, we asked if she has anything to report from the DSS, she says they’re just the DSS elect so far and haven’t gotten do anything. “IS there a DSS budget from last year? Who knows!” she asked.

Following the meeting with the Bursar last council, Michaela and Emily met with Jim to set up a town hall meeting to talk to general meeting. The goal all along has been to make sure general members are informed and can make their own decisions. It was great to see so many people at the town hall meeting, she said it was great to see new faces in the town hall meeting. She also received more written letters from students than she has ever seen during her time with the KSU. Students are really concerned about the increases and many wrote in saying they were unsure whether they would be able to return to the college.

Admin recognized these concerns and talked about what they could do. Michaela met with them and there was a decision not to increase the meal plan by 8% and not to increase the technology fee by 3%. Michaela says member should be proud of this accomplishment, because when students make the effort to be involved in the conversation and to make their concerns known, admin listens.

There’s going to be an ongoing conversation about students who are forced to pay late fees after having to wait for student loans to come in.

Also, the enrollment plan! It’s big (literally, it’s very long). The appendix lays out all kinds of recommendations. There are a lot of ideas to support mental health especially, one idea being to have a dedicated councilor at Dal Health for King’s Students.

We also had a GM. Michaela wonders whether we can change the KSU schedule to try to make the meeting happen at a time of year when it’s easier for everyone to attend. Did we advertise food too much rather than focusing on the content of the meeting? Maybe. There was feedback that the food was excellent, though.

 Alex: He was able to meeting with the registrar’s office as well at the KTS about the “KTS Award” the registrar’s office wants to offer to incoming students. The KTS was concerned about their name being used without any consultation with the KTS. After conversation, the KTS will now be part of the selection process for the award. They are hoping, in the future, to change this award to be one for returning students who are actually involved with the KTS.

Awards night happened and was poorly attended. He attributes this to a mix of people being busy with school work and Alex being too busy to hype the event up. He thinks that if we are recognizing people we should do so in a way that is seen and heard in the community.

Alex talks about the huge contribution of athletes to the college. These are people who do great things for King’s but who KSU folk don’t see around so much. Alex is working to change that.

Emily: King’s students will almost certainly have the same access to summer bus passes as Dal students (for students who are full time students during the summer)- this is still in the works but should happen. She’s looking forward to consulting with students about what the Technology Fee will go towards. Maybe a google form?

Ongoing conversations about how we evaluate UHP honouraria. This is something we need to look into more for next year, it didn’t get into this year’s budget.

Katie: Powershift! Using the campaigns budget we were able to send 13 King’s students to this environmental/social activism conference. Everyone had an awesome time. It got people really inspired and everyone at Sustainability King’s is super pumped. We can expect to see great things from them this year.

Katie gives shoutouts to the members of her two search committees (sustainability and campus safety).

Katie is hoping to have better communication with the South House by getting our two reps to report directly back to her about their meetings. The two reps (Lily and Caitlyn) are hoping to increase South House’s visibility on campus (they may sit office hours).

She’s also working with the south house on the white ribbon campaign.

Government roundtable was great. Every student at the roundtable was in agreement about getting rid of the graduate retention rebate and shifting the money to grants. The government said they were listening. Then they cut the rebate but shifted the money to business subsidies in the new budget. So there’s more work to do.

Jacob: The exec has already covered a lot of the things Jacob worked on this week. Finally, the email server has been changed over and there’s a beautiful new interface! But, several addresses are missing. If you are emailing any execs, you need to use full email addresses (e.g. communicationsvp@ksu.ca rather than cvp@ksu.ca) but he’s working on getting them back. Council is pretty much paperless today. He says trees everywhere are thanking him.

He sent out a special advisory to the membership via TWAK about proposed fee increases, which was really helpful for spreading the word.

At the GM we passed changes to the governing documents. The presentation was short and there wasn’t a ton of discussion, he’s hoping in the future there would be more discussion about that kind of thing. However the changes are still public and available online.

Jacob says there have been some consultations about a potential new program in Italy. Jacob says he’s so happy to see consultation BEFORE a decision is made. He’s pleased that it seems that if people are into it, it will happen, and if not, it won’t.

10:53: Claire hears that there’s an ongoing conversation about the K Points happening. A lot of people think it should be called the “KSU points” rather than “King’s points” and that they are frustrated about how points are allocated.

Alex says a lot of these changes did happen this year. He met with James for four hours to talk things through. He noted that someone like John Maize, under the old system would have gotten about 200 points, but with the new system he got 1300 points. There’s still more work to do in terms of advertising the changes and ensuring that people feel their work is appreciated.

Katie is concerned that because we don’t have the printed exec reports in front of us and that we might be missing out on more info. Jake says we can chat about this kind of administrative info outside of council.

James Pottie is concerned about the placement of DSU posters on King’s campus and the specific placement of certain posters. Katie says they’ve agreed to stop putting their posters up on campus. The “unlearn” campaign is a little tougher as some of our levied societies (NSPIRG and South House) have been involved in these campaigns. She says we may need to have more of a conversation about whether we want these on our campus, but there definitely has been a conversation about inappropriate placement of poster and these need to stop.

Claire asks if this includes the “don’t be that guy” campaign. Katie says those posters come through the campus safety officer and that’s the person to talk to. Katie asks that if anyone has any issues with posters they should

Jake Clancy Edwards has a concern about the last GM. He notes that we lost quorum before we voted to move items to council in the case of losing quorum. He says he didn’t know how to raise a point of order which is why he didn’t call for a count, and he is concerned that no one who knew the proper procedure did ask for a count.

He’s concerned that so few people were present to discuss big issues, especially the allocation of new funds from a fee increase. He doesn’t think the solution would be to have a second general meeting because people are busy at this time of year.

Katie moves to table the motion about the Equity Affairs committee- there’s been some confusion about who is chairing this committee and they’d like to have more time to find students who are interested in getting involved. She wants to postpone it to next week. It’s postponed.

Now on to environmental affairs committee. Katie nominates Ariel Greenblat. Ariel Weiner self nominates. Anika nominates Ezra Manson. Katie nominates Katherine Thomas.

Alex asks if we can elect someone if they are not a union member currently. Ezra is not a union member but he will be in the fall (he did FYP last year and then took a year to travel). I noted that in situations like these (when someone takes a year off from King’s) we can invite people to be members of the union. Jake suggests we suspend the rules and take up a motion to make Ezra a union member. That way we can do this first and then vote on the committee members. Ellie asks what the implications are- does he need to pay dues? Jake says no, council can extend membership to anyone. We’ve extended membership to Ezra Manson.

Nominations: Ariel Greenblat is a first year who is a member of Sustainability King’s. She’s been involved in organizing green week. Ariel Weiner attended Powershift 2012. She hasn’t been able to attend Sustainability King’s this year because meetings conflict with Haliburton Society, but she has been involved in many other ways. She’s been working with Anna and Anika to see if there are ways we can improve student involvement in the decisions of our administrators surrounding environmental issues.

Ezra was VP of Sust. King’s when he was at King’s, and he was also an active member of Action King’s. He attended powershift 2012. He says he has a good set of connections at dal and King’s.

Katherine Thomas is a super involved second year who is involved with sustainability King’s. She has come to council in the past to nominate herself for committees.

Ariel Weiner and Ezra Manson will fill the blanks. The motion is adopted.

Now on to Galley Board of directors. Alex Bryant nominates Meghan Shields. Aidan McNally self nominates. Alex nominates Lily Ross-Millard. Hannah Medley self nominates. Claire nominates Elizabeth Orenstein.

Alex motivates for Megs. She has a powerful relationship with coffee. She’s super into both KSU businesses and she has yet to have an opportunity to work with the KSU on anything. She has applied to work for the galley, so it is possible she wouldn’t be able to sit on the committee if she does get that job.

Aidan is a first year student who is interested in food issues. She recently attended powershift and realized there how lucky we are to have the galley, which does support local sustainable food. She’s interested in seeing the galley expand. She has some experience advertising events from high school.

Lily has a lot of experience working in small businesses, and she has also worked at the farmer’s market. Alex thinks she is brilliant and would make a great contribution to this committee.

Hannah has experience working for small businesses and she would like to have a greater chance to work with the galley, and she’s interested in seeing greater transparency.

Elizabeth is a well known member of the community. She does a lot of work in the chapel. She is gluten intolerant, so as a person with food sensitivities, it would be great to have her voice on the committee as she understands the importance of these issues. She has connections in the community (e.g. with Schoolhouse bakery) that can help on this issue.

The blanks are filled by Aidan, Elizabeth, and Lily.

Hannah is added as an alternate. The motion is adopted.

Karen had to leave, so now Anika is doing this. There were some discussion around who is going to be on the Watch board that was missed because of some technical difficulties of me logging on. However, here are the final results.

Michelle Johnston, James Pottie, and Ocean Peters Will be elected to the Watch Board of Publishers.

Ok guys, this is super exciting. We are elected the four people to go the Canadian Federation of Students general meeting. This is a meeting where all the locals across Canada come together to pass motions that inform the goals of the CFS, go to panels to learn about issues that effect students, and discuss and learn about the services the CFS provides for us (mass condom ordering, health plan etc). The budget now allows for four people to go. This is amazing! I went to the general meeting this fall and it was amazing and energizing experience. It gives you so many skills and ideas that you can bring back to your school.

Michaela Sam, Emily Watson, Katie Douglas, Rachelle McKay, Jacob Baker-Kretzmar and Ellie Hornbeck have been nominated.

Michaela wants to give guidance to make a strong caucus, learn to do her job better on the board, engage in discussions and finding resources to improve diversity at King’s. She gave a great speech, my computer was just freezing up.

Emily is interested in the principles of the CFS. She has to represent students on many financial committees and wants to learn how to best represent students. She also wants to network with other small locals in order to find out best practices for finances. She is new to this role of FVP and is open to learning to do her job even better.

Katie’s job as EVP is to communicate between the union, members, the community and country. She wants to meet other people so she can better do her job planning provincial and national campaigns. She wants to learn more about the campaigns the CFS has and to bring them back to King’s. She also wants to bring new campaigns back, and brainstorm about a mental health campaign. She wants to be around to plan this. She wants to re-invigorate campaigns on campus this year. She hopes to bring back materials and skills to make campaigns more present and accessible. Her job is to coordinate our union with other unions–our strength comes from working together.

Rachelle McKay is a fourth year CSP and sociology student. She has been on the board of NSPIRG. She is also on the executive as the Dal native students association. She is the King’s equity coordinator. She wants to get more involved in the union. She has a background in organizing, so she will be able to bring back information from the CFS to the students in a way that is accessible. She will be the first KSU member to ever attend the CFS aboriginal caucus.

Ellie sits on the board and wants to learn more about how to represent students since we only have 3 reps. In her first year, she remembers the presence of the CFS on campus and would like to encourage those things again.

Jacob is a first year so he can use the things he learns for a longtime to come. He is new to council and the union, but is interested to know more, especially about university governance and advocacy. Jacob wants to learn about how other locals communicate with their members–both large and small institutions. He wants to bring what he learns back to serve this union.

Haritha asked if people living in Ottawa could just go for cheap. It is the same costs dispersed among people all across Canada to make things accessible.

Anika asked for a 5 minute recess to think about who to vote for.

The union members filling the blank are Michaela Sam, Rachelle McKay, Katie Douglas, and Emily Rendell-Watson. The alternate is Eleanor Hornbeck.

Claire brings up the question of the lack of balance between the genders going.

Alex says he is really excited to see Rachelle going to represent king’s on the aboriginal caucus. As well, there are many campaigns that will be discussed in woman’s constituency and he is glad to have so many female representatives. He also thinks that gender equity issues are really important at King’s, and we can hopefully bring learning back here. As well, there will be male alumni from king’s at the general meeting (ex president Gabe Hoogers and Dave Etherington). Jacob said that there are no male constituencies at the General meeting (constituencies are for traditionally marginalized groups), so by not sending a man we are not missing out on any opportunities to be heard at the CFS general meeting.

Haritha and Claire thank Alex and Jacob for their thoughtful responses. James also says it is very awesome that we can have such open talks about important issues.

We just passed to give the King’s Dance Collective $430.40 in contingent funding, pending the availability of funding from the King’s Athletics Department.

Gwendolyn Moncrieff-Gould (scribe), Kayla Fells (campus safety officer), Brianna Aird (sustainability officer), and Anders Jorgen (CUBE), all KSU union hired positions, all received their $250 honorariums. They have all done great jobs. Gwendolyn takes impeccable notes and improves transparency, Kayla has been really committed, Briana introduced recycling to king’s, and Anders has done a great job advertising and organizing events. 

We passed a motion saying Alex Bryant will prepare a report on Events Committee, to be presented to Council no later than September 30th, 2014.

We passed a motion saying Emily Rendell-Watson will prepare a report on Yearbook Committee, to be presented to Council no later than September 30th, 2014.

We are now going to hear the reports from the search committees.

Orientation week coordinator search committee met for a long time, and Michaela thanks everyone on the committee. There were tons of great candidates and it was really hard to make the decisions. Katherine Harrison, Eleanor Hornbeck, and Benjamin Singbeil have been chosen and they have been passed through by council.

The chair search committee also did a great job. The committee chose Haritha Popuri to be the chair and it has been passed through by council.

The search committee for the Chief Returning Officer selected Emma Morris and it has been passed through council.

The search committee for the scribe had a good time and selected Gwendolyn, and it has been passed through council.

The CUBE search committee selected Joseph Fish and Alex Rose, and it has been passed through council.

The search committee for the safety coordinator has had difficulty meeting. Therefore, there is no report and we will postpone this decision.

The search committee for the sustainability officer suggests Brianna Arid. It must be noted that this committee did not have quorum when they chose Brianna. Therefore, this report is out of order. However, council has the ability to ratify the decision anyway.

We are debating whether we should vote as council to ratify the decision of the sust search committee so that we take the suggestion even though it didn’t reach quorum. It was defeated. The sustainability officer search committee will have to meet again and will make their official recommendation at a later date.

We are moving into ‘new business’.

We passed a motion, suggested by Jake Clancey, that an intro to Robert’s Rules be presented at King’s General Meetings to better enable general members to participate. Great idea!

We are discussing a motion for the King’s Jewish Connection to receive up to $220 in contingent funding for a Passover meal. There are questions about how many people are coming and what they are making. There were about 20 people last year and some matzah lasagna. Council passed this.

Now we are figuring out a date for next council. It will be Sunday 13th at 10am.

Michaela thanks Jake Eidinger, the chair, for all his hard work. People are legit crying. We gave him a standing ovation. Mr. Eidinger, you and your vast procedural knowledge will be missed.

Jake adjourns his last KSU meeting. It’s the end of an era folks. Super excited for Haritha as chair and another awesome year.