Concerned staff and community members, students and donors attended an eight-hour long General Assembly to restructure Concordia University Television Saturday. The goal of the GA was to implement a legitimate set of bylaws and oversee the creation of a provisional Board of Directors.
The campus-based television station’s lack of structure has impeded it from moving forward this semester. A rough transitional agreement from the Concordia Student Broadcasting Corporation, copious resignations and interpersonal conflicts coupled with financial instability led CUTV to lose its footing on already shaky ground this October.
With a legally illegitimate provisional BoD and unratified bylaws, volunteers and former staff members of CUTV held meetings to discuss how to rebuild. Following two information sessions, the GA was set for Dec. 1.
Over 40 individuals attended the meeting, chaired by Fine Arts student Alex Matak, to voice their concerns, questions and suggestions. The meeting, which lasted from morning to early evening, provided undergraduate students, volunteers, donors, staff and community members with voting rights.
A temporary set of bylaws was adopted following contention and lack of time to develop a set of guidelines everyone could agree upon. An amendment was made to bylaw 4.1 to include all students who pay a fee-levy to CUTV as members.
Due to time constraints and conflicts over the formation of a proposed board of 11 members, a motion was put forth to implement a provisional BoD. The original proposal incorporated a position for a donor and three students, a point that was met with contention from some.
CUTV member Julian Ward proposed a board model with more student representation including four students, four community members and one staff member. This motion was amended to exclude a staff member leading to a final eight members after discord among attendees.
Following a secret ballot, the newly implemented provisional BoD consists of four undergraduate students: Emily Campbell, Ward, Michelle Moore and Kian Ettehadieh and four community members: David Widgington, Mikelai Cervera, Anthony Côte and Catherine Poitras Auger.
“Getting things sort of back to normal takes precedence,” Ettehadieh told The Concordian. “We have to address the wide variety of issues going on, whether they are personal, legal or financial.”
Two re-counts revealed a tie in the number of votes for Côte and candidate William Ray. The only proposed solution in the bylaws for such a situation stated that the chairperson could vote. Citing discomfort, Matak opted instead to flip a coin. Therefore, Côte was appointed as the result of a coin toss.
“The priority was to make sure they have a legal board to bring CUTV back on its feet,” said President Schubert Laforest of the Concordia Student Union. “It’s the best outcome given the situation.”
While CUTV possesses a legal board, challenges and questions remain. A real BoD must be structured and agreed upon, a future GA must be held to continue going over bylaws, and the payroll is frozen.
“As the signing authority on the account, the Concordia Student Broadcasting Corporation froze the payroll. It was not the university,” said Chris Mota, university spokesperson. “The university has not been in touch with members of the station as this is a student fee levy group that needs to work out its own issues.”
According to Mota, the university has been monitoring the situation.
Angelica Calcagnile, president of the CSBC, told The Concordian that a motion was passed by the CSBC to freeze CUTV’s payroll account on Oct. 30 in light of the legal limbo the station found itself in.
“I know that the university had to catch up on that with payroll, but the decision to freeze that account was taken on October 30,” Calcagnile said. “I’m not sure of the exact moment in time in which that happened, but ultimately it was the university that froze the account.”
Correction made on 5/12/2012