Fall General Meeting September 29

Hi all, this is your communications VP Julia-Simone Rutgers writing the live blog for tonight’s general meeting.

It is 7:19pm, and we have just reached quorum. Thank you to everyone is here.

Charlotte, our chair, is starting out by introducing Robert’s Rules and the procedures of a GM

7:21pm – The Meeting has come to order.

We are amending the Agenda. There are two motions to add to the action items.

Motion 5.5 is to elect a member to the Watch Board of Publishers, motion 5.6 is regarding a referendum to add a levy for the Dalhousie bike centre. Both of these motions are added to the agenda.

7:26pm – The minutes from the past two General Meetings have been approved.

7:26pm – We have begun the oral reports of the executive!

Aidan McNally is updating us on her major tasks since the last General meeting. She worked on Orientation Week, the hiring of Michaela Sam (our Staff person), and the renovation to the Wardroom (which opens TOMORROW at 4pm!!).

Aidan also sat on multiple committees this summer, most importantly the University’s Board of Governors. Something upcoming with the Board Of Governors is the creation of a new sexual assault policy. Aidan says that she will be pushing for a diverse and inclusive committee and student input in creating this policy.

The Board also voted this summer to keep their meetings closed, but they passed a number of recommendations to board operations that will hopefully make our Board of Governors more transparent.

There was also a vote at the June board meeting to increase tuition by 3%.

Lastly, Aidan mentions that the question of the $1000 FYP tuition increase (introduced last year) has been moved to this fall. We will be continuing to fight this increase in the coming months.

Gabriel asks about the tuition reset, and how the university can raise tuition by $1000 outside of this reset. Aidan explains that the university did not take the reset when it was offered but deferred the conversation to a later time. That time is now.

Nova Scotia is the SECOND most expensive province to pursue a post-secondary education in. This is wildly unacceptable.

Aidan has been fielding questions about the upcoming tuition decision. The board will not discuss this at the October 13th board meeting, but perhaps at a later meeting.

Questions are being directed at Jenn Nowoleski regarding the Wardroom. There will be debit accepted! There is a pool table! The prices for post-happy hour drinks have increased by $0.25.

7:45pm – Brennan McCracken, our Student Life VP, is beginning his report!

He mentions O-Week. He was very involved in this over the summer. Since the beginning of the academic year, Brennan has been working primarily on society work.

He hosted a society training session with Zoë recently.

Brennan’s role also includes supporting the CUBE coordinators! There are events every Tuesday and Thursday.

Brennan also sits on university committees. This summer, he took part in hiring the dons, and hiring King’s first official librarian since 2012!

Currently, Brennan sits on the committee overseeing the hiring of a food services provider, as Sodexo’s contract has run out this year. Brennan will be working to consult students and ensure that their voices are heard in the process of hiring our next food providers.

7:49pm – Up next is Zoë Brimacombe with the Financial VP report.

Zoë worked on the university’s finance committee this summer. She has been working tirelessly to fight the increase in tuition fees that we saw this year. We love you Zo.

Other work Zoë has done this summer includes: organizational work (we love audited financial statements!), the budget (to be spoken about soon), and a new union finance committee!!

Zoë is also sharing updates about union services. Our health and dental plan has expanded to include more psychological services, and up to $1,100 of an ambulance bill, which makes health and safety more accessible for our students. We now also have a condom wall with MANY different types of condoms for ALL of your condom needs. We also have day planners. For you. For free. Love that.

“Low cost to produce, high quality to HAVE” -Zoë Brimacombe, about day planners.

On Wednesdays, we print ISIC cards.(So many things were said here but I spent much of it laughing… the point is please come get an ISIC card, we love to provide this service for you!)

(ISIC cards are the same as health cards in case you were wondering)

7:57pm – Aidan McNally is presenting the report of the external VP on behalf of Gina Grattan.

There is a MUNICIPAL ELECTION COMING UP! The deadline to be registered to vote is October 5th, and you can figure out how to get registered by talking to Gina or by heading to halifax.ca

Gina will also be sitting on Sustainability committee this year, which she is super pumped about.

Gina is working on a few other things!

Aidan is now presenting a brief report on our Fight the Fees campaign!

“Let’s talk about what’s not free and accessible: education right now.” -Aidan McNally

This presentation is full of facts about tuition fees, but the gist is that, as King’s students, we pay some of the highest tuition in the country. The average Nova Scotian student graduates with $39,000 of debt. Yikes. To combat this, and to combat the inaccessibility of post-secondary education nationwide, the entire country is having an action on November 2nd. #AllOutNov2. Start talkin’ bout it.

At King’s, we have just begun a petition which we will bring to the Board of Governors meeting that will call for the Board to reject further increases to tuition. If you want to get involved more, the person to talk to is Gina Grattan, who can be reached at evp@ksu.ca

8:?? pm – Hey friends! It’s JS’ report now, so her twin/replacement is here! It’s me! Zoe! Your FVP!

Councillor election nominations are STILL OPEN until tomorrow at 7:00pm! Get your name in there. First year rep, arts rep, journalism rep, science rep, residence rep, and member at large are all up for election in this one. She notes that you can complete the nomination package in ONE PRINCE HALL LUNCH! (can confirm. Have done.)

Even if you aren’t running, come and vote. Elections are 12th and 13th of October. Need king’s ID or ISIC! 9am to 7pm outside prince hall.

She also says: don’t leave! we need quorum!

8:12 pm – Action Item 5.1: essentially, if we lose quorum at some point, then any motions we don’t get to go to the next council meeting. Vote! The motion passes.

8:14 pm – Action Item 5.2: The Budget. Zoe is back and here to present our budget. She explains that a budget is not a bank statement, it is a set of priorities. It is also voted on by the General Membership at the General Meeting. That’s what we are doing.

Zoe explains the budget process. Essentially, we prepare a proposed budget in the spring, and a final budget in the fall. This is the final budget.

In her general notes, Zoe mentions that enrolment has dropped by 86 students this year, meaning we have lost over $6,000 in revenue. This means some general cuts.

Also! This is our first deficit budget. This means that we are planning to spend approximately $1,500 more than we will make this year. This is a MODEST deficit my friends.

Zoe explains that we have a cushion/cash flow amount of money that remains in our bank account but is not reflected in our budget. This is the money we are dipping into to cover our modest deficit. Zoe has worked long and hard to ensure that this budget remains a service to students, and this is why we are running a deficit this year. Zoe wants us to be financially sustainable, and hopes that this is the only year we have to have a deficit budget. (We seriously love you Zo)

8:25 pm – The detailed budget run down has begun.

Perhaps most important to note:

-There have been cuts made in the Union Hired Positions. For this year, there will be no Sustainability Commissioner or Equity and Advocacy Commissioner. Zoe notes that this is not a reflection of our priorities at the moment, and the roles they served will be integrated into executive roles for the year. It is important to see this as a cut to the budget, not to these positions.

-There are no longer any snack budget lines. This is unfortunate, but we still love our committees.

-Our management expenses now have up-to-date information!

-There are no longer Grad Week Coordinators. We are instead having the President, Student Life VP, and Services and Campaigns Coordinator facilitate grad week events

There are no amendments to the budget, and we will now vote to adopt it.

8:46 pm – The budget is adopted!!!!!!!!!!!!

still 8:46 pm – Action Item 5.3: Electing members to academic committee. Brennan is up to speak about academic committee.

We are now taking nominations!

Kate Ashwood nominates Jonathan Brown Gilbert, Chris Pearse nominates Isabelle Reynolds, and Mikylah Gillis nominates Katy Weatherly.

They are all elected to the committee!

8:52 pm – Action Item 5.4: electing a member for WUSC Levy Board!

Mary just killed a fly.

Kristen Leigh Ann Thompson self nominates.

She is elected!

8:54 pm – Action Item 5.5: electing a member to the Watch Board of Publishers!!

Zoe Brimacombe nominates Mikylah Gillis.

Ryan Irwin nominates Lianne Xiao.

Zoe motivates for Mikylah. Mikylah is a third year student who is interested in being more involved at King’s and with the Watch. She is getting involved in the Dal English society, and hopes to bring her ideas from that society into the Watch.

Brennan motivates for Lianne. Lianne is a 2nd year journalism student who is very interested in the Watch. She hopes to bring a new perspective to the Watch.

Now to the vote.

Lianne Xiao fills the blank and is elected to the Watch BOP!

8:59 pm – Action Item 5.6: regarding the Dalhousie Bike Centre Levy!

Matthew Apostolides is hoping to hold a referendum to potentially introduce a levy for the Dalhousie Bike Centre. This levy would give King’s students the opportunity to get free 3-day bike rentals from Dalhousie, which they presently do not have access to.

Alex Bryant is suggesting an amendment to the motion to eliminate the use of positive or negative language when referencing the services provided. The amendment passes.

Note that the decision made tonight is not about whether we will put this levy into effect, but rather whether or not we will be posing this referendum question during the fall councillor elections on October 12th and 13th.

A representative from the Dalhousie Bike Centre is granted speaking rights, and will now being taking questions. Her name is Kara, and we are grateful that she is hear to speak to us.

Alex Bryant again amends the motion. It now includes a specific timeline (the fall term), and includes a clause which allows the levy to adjust for inflation each year.

The Bike Centre is asking for this Levy because their support from the DSU has decreased, and they are now paying their staff and their insurance independently.

9:26 pm – We. Are. Adjourned.