A review of the five new by-law resolutions that were passed by students
Bridget Stringer-Holden // Contributor
The Special General Meeting (SGM) was called to order at 11:58 a.m. on Nov. 26 in the CSU Members Centre. Five resolutions were proposed and passed including how ballots are cast in CSU elections, the composition of the Executive Committee, the introduction of at-large representatives, executive compensation maximums and an extension of graduating board members’ terms.
“This is an opportunity to really have an impact. You get to vote, you have a say in what happens directly,” said Emily Bridge, the President and the Vice-President of Equity and Sustainability at the CSU.
In order for the proposed by-law amendments to take effect for the next board, they needed to be approved before the calendar year ended. Due to the AnnualGeneral Meeting (AGM) in October not meeting the quorum—one per cent of the general student body—of 75students, the SGM was called and it peaked at 91 students.
“We were really excited about changing from first-past-the-post to a ranked ballot system using [a] single transferable vote,” said Bridge. “If this is something we stand for as an organization, then we should also conduct ourselves in this way.” To match the CSU policy position of support for proportional representation, the resolution passed mandates that the CSU will now be conducting their elections with ranked ballots.
Prior to the SGM, the Executive Committee was composed of five elected Vice-Presidents (VPs), one of which would be elected as the President. By reorganizing the Executive Committee to replace the old VP Academic and VP Student Life with a standalone President, and a new VP of Student Affairs, their work can be more evenly distributed. The VP of Student Affairs can focus on creating an inclusive campus environment and working with the faculty reps while the President will assume the internal roles of the old VP Academic.
Another motion adopted was the creation of four at-large representatives. Since some faculties used to have two reps, the switch of the second rep to an at-large position allowed it to be open to any faculty. A student raised concern regarding whether a single rep can efficiently handle the duties of an entire faculty, but typically when both positions were filled then one would represent the faculty and the other would be more involved in committee work.
Two smaller operational motions also passed. The first was allowing graduating members to keep their membership for an extra month to facilitate turnover and allow them to train incoming members. The second allowed for changes to be made to executive compensation that would take effect for the next board’s term, without needing to pass it through an AGM or SGM.
“I’m really passionate about increasing [students’ access] to education and that means not only affordability but [ensuring] that they can attend classes and attend the university campus and feel safe. We know that lots of people face different barriers when facing access to education, so that’s something that I’m really passionate about,” said Bridge.
Students with questions or concerns can visit the executive and administrative offices in the Maple building or talk to the desk staff in the CSU Members Centre (LB195). Another way to become involved is to volunteer with the CSU, apply to be on a standing committee or attend board meetings every other Friday starting at 2:30. More information about meetings or executive office hours can be found at csu.bc.ca.