More than 75 members of the Fine Arts Student Alliance voted unanimously to ratify their organization’s new constitution at their annual general meeting last night, bringing into effect a document that FASA hopes will avoid the confusion that has plagued its structure in the past.
One major addition to the new constitution will allow for students of fine arts programs that are not represented by a club to still represent their program on FASA’s council. The organization’s co-president Paisley Sim said that FASA wanted to ensure that all fine arts students’ interests were heard seeing as several smaller programs currently have no direct representative on council.
Other changes to the constitution include the hiring of a neutral chairperson and secretary, positions currently occupied at council meetings by members of the executive. FASA will also be cutting ties with the CSU’s judicial committee by creating its own, which will be comprised of three to five regular FASA members.
Furthermore, during meetings of FASA’s constitutional reform committee and the document’s review by a lawyer, it was determined that having two co-presidents, as is now the case, goes against FASA’s incorporation act. Therefore, the new constitution allows for only one person to assume the position of president while also creating the position of vice-president internal. The constitution will also allow council to create ad hoc committees when needed.
“I think this new constitution will leave FASA in a much stronger position than it was earlier in the year,” said Sim. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but at least there is now a solid foundation in place.”
The new constitution was born after months of meetings among the members of FASA’s constitutional reform committee, chaired by VP finance Julie Johnston. The committee had used the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ constitution as a template for their own.
Constitutional reform at FASA became necessary after a heated September council meeting, when representatives were furious that the executive terminated VP finance Laura Glover without consulting council. But the executive maintained that because the position was the only VP that is hired, and not elected, it could oust the title holder on their own. This confusion led to the drafting of the new constitution, which now states that the VP finance will be elected and aided by a hired bookkeeper.