A great deal was accomplished at the CSU meeting held Wednesday June 12. The meeting ran for a record long 10 hours, during which time multiple committee and senate appointments were made, a new chairperson was chosen and the 2013-2014 budget was approved.
This was the second meeting of the newly-elected Executive and Council, and although many were still becoming familiar with policy and procedure, councillors demonstrated a dedication to thoroughness, asking questions and requesting clarification from executives. Chuck Wilson, Engineering and Computer Science Councillor, was active in presenting motions to Council and voicing his opinions. He was by far the most vocal of all councillors.
One of the many issues addressed during this meeting was the policy concerning councillor absence, departures and late arrivals. Wilson made a motion to to insert a new chapter called “Absences” into the Standing regulations, which would contain policies concerning councillor absences. The motion proposed that regulation 48 would state that a representative who is absent from the meeting for more than 60 minutes shall be considered absent. Absences must be approved by a vote of the Council and prior to the meeting regrets must be sent in writing to the Chairperson or requested by a representative. Furthermore, any request for excusal must include applicable supporting documentation and no excuse will be accepted for the reasons of homework, class, tutorial or non-examination academic event, work or vacation.
Council voted in favor of this motion. The only amendment to this motion that was approved was that attendance of midterm examinations is a proper excuse for missing meetings. In keeping with the standing regulations on absence, VP Student Life, Katrina Caruso was fined a $100 deduction from her pay for being absent because she was on vacation, which was part of the standing regulations before Wilson’s motion. The amended regulations as presented here won’t go into effect until five days after the meeting in which they were passed.
The bulk of the meeting was spent in interviewing candidates for chairperson and positions on senate in closed session. When session was opened again it was announced that Shannon Keymaram was appointed as the new chairperson and Terry Wilkings, Cameron Tisshaw, Melissa Lemieux and Jessica Glavina were appointed to Senate. President of the CSU, Melissa Kate Wheeler, will be sitting on the Board of Governors as the undergraduate student representative with Melanie Hotchkiss as the alternate.
In open session, appointments of Students at Large and Councillors to Standing Committees and the appointment of a Councillor to Student Space, Legal Accessibility and Fund Committee, were selected.
VP Finance, Scott Carr, presented a very thorough budget for the CSU’s operation for the upcoming year, projecting a total revenue of $6,634,265 with expenses amounting to $6,631,247, leaving a surplus of $3,018. In his projections for CSU bursaries, Carr prescribed that the CSU was to give out 50 bursaries at a value of $320 each. However, according to Annex A of the CSU Standing Regulations, the CSU is mandated to distribute 30 bursaries at a value of $500 each, which Carr was not aware of at the time. Nonetheless, this does not change the allotted amount of $16, 000.
Carr emphasized that he meant to reign in spending and keep a tighter hold on this year’s budget. Last year’s CSU finished the year in deficit largely due to a mismanagement of funds and poor spending, including the unauthorized spending of $30,000 on ASFA Talks by VP external Simon-Pierre Lauzon and VP finance Keny Toto, and a $9,000 Council party at Newtown restaurant.