CSU approves pursuit of a new referendum question for the creation of an IT repair service
In the final CSU meeting of the year, held on Friday, Apr. 7, the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) received a full report on the demographics of voters who partook in the Mar. 21-23 election and referendum from Chief Returning Officer Ron Laufer, who also made a number of recommendations to the Board of Directors. Laufer suggested that in the future the CSU separate their election from any referendum after noting that various candidates running in the CSU’s elections were filmed in the testimony video that promoted the referendum. Incidentally, some candidates received airtime, which may have provided them with an advantage over other candidates who were not featured in the video. Laufer made his position clear that he was in favour of adding new rules that will better outline campaigning procedures in the future.
The board accepted Laufer’s report and moved on to address the role of VP University Relations and Services, which was still vacant at this time. Until Apr. 7, no board member had put forth their name to fill the vacated position. Business and Professional Studies Faculty representative Marissa LeSire nominated herself, and was elected by the board to fill the role until the end of its term on May 31. Although, she will not be granted voting rights as an executive while she holds the position.
Each of the executives gave their reports, and then addressed a motion to suspend procedures affecting VP Student Life Beatriz Miralles, who had not been able to claim her stipend for the month of January due to not closing an open planning tool by the end of the month. President and VP External Sacha Fabry questioned how Miralles had been able to claim her stipends for the months of February and March, to which VP Internal Development Amina El Mentari explained that Miralles had been late to close her planning tool in January but did so at the same time as her other planning tools in February. The board then voted to suspend procedures and allow Miralles to claim her stipend.
In other business, the board voted to implement the Health and Safety Policy, which General Manager Chris Girodat described as being substantially the same as the existing policy using modern language and in a more accessible format. Simultaneously, the Labour Relations policy, the Violence Free Workplace Policy and the Harassment Free Workplace Policy were implemented. The Harassment Free Workplace Policy is a new workplace change made by Work Safe BC in the last few years that addresses how employers handle incidents of bullying, which is meant to replace the Healthy Workplace Policy in place currently. Girodat mentioned that the CSU does have harassment procedures, and the adoption of this policy is meant to provide consistency in how incidents of bullying and harassment are dealt with, including channels through which complaints can be investigated.
Following the acceptance of these policies, the CSU voted to pursue another referendum question concerning an IT repair service. Girodat mentioned that the board has been interested in researching and formulated this project for some time. This service would be run by the CSU and provide free IT services for students, including laptop maintenance and repairs as well as mobile phone screen replacements as a possibility. Even though Accessibility Justice Coordinator Alysa Huppler-Poliak brought it to the board’s attention that there do exist services that aren’t utilized by students, the board voted in favour of authorizing the referendum and beginning to research whether such a service is viable.
Furthermore, since the referendum questions regarding fee increases for Clubs and Events, Intramurals and Recreation and External Advocacy were approved, the CSU has questioned whether these fees should be collected from all students or only those attending the North Vancouver campus. Two options were put forth. The first option is to assess fees for all students regardless of their location, and the second option is to exempt students off of the North Vancouver campus from the fees altogether. Students who don’t attend school in North Vancouver include those enrolled in online credits and those attending the Sunshine Coast campus and Squamish campus, which was never officially removed from CapU’s list of satellite campuses, and therefore the CSU must continue to refer to it despite the fact that no CapU students attend classes in Squamish. The board voted in favour of the first option, and all students irrespective of which campus they attend will be assessed the Clubs and Events, Intramurals and Recreation and External Advocacy fees.
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