Students’ Council meets every second Tuesday in the Council Chambers in University Hall at 6pm. Council meetings are open to all students. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 7 April, where free food will be provided for all attendees.
After waiting an undue amount of time for plates to arrive, councillors and fellow attendees were in for a treat! The typical boring sandwich wraps were replaced by a lovely spread of pita, hummus, tzatziki, samosas, and greek salad. In a word: delicious. So if you’re at all interested in student politics, swing by, fill your belly, and get your democracy on.
Vice President (Operations and Finance) Steven Dollansky provided Council with an update regarding the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) conference that President Janelle Morin and Vice President (External) Beverly Eastham are currently attending in Ottawa. He said that the two are pleased with the lobbying efforts so far. They were scheduled to discuss student issues with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday.
Dollansky then proceeded to explain details surrounding the situation with SUBtitles and the SU’s decision to not renew its contract with Prep 101 supplementary materials after discrepancies between the packages and class content became a concern. However, they will remain on bookstore shelves until year’s end.
Vice President (Student Life) Kristen Flath responded to a question about the upcoming U-Pass renewal process. She said another survey will be sent to students to gauge any concerns with ETS’ hours and reliability of service, and how the program affects students’ transportation habits.
Vice President (Academic) John Braga highlighted yesterday’s official reopening of Cameron library after its renovations, including the addition of Edmonton Public Library’s “Go” branch (eplGO).
Braga went on to answer an inquiry about the two vacant Science Students’ Association positions following the results of last week’s election. Voting for the positions may have to be postponed until a by-election can be called in the fall.
Board of Governors representative Michael Janz discussed the Board’s vote of the budget coming up on Friday. He indicated that despite not supporting the included tuition and rent increases, he views the two as separate issues. He said he will review the budget to make sure it reflects the priorities of student engagement funding, scholarships, and bursaries.
Janz also addressed the potential benefits of the recent Bologna conference for students wanting to study abroad. He explained that the unification of University standards across international boundaries will ease transfer programs.
A clean flush
Council passed a motion unanimously to rescind the Bear Scat Political Policy as the new design of Bear Tracks has been upgraded to meet the needs of students, and Bear Scat was therefore deemed obsolete.
Deep Thought’s budget
The second reading of next year’s operating budget passed unanimously on Tuesday night. Dollansky explained that through careful evaluation from all the departments, a deficit was turned around to a $42 surplus.
The budget includes conservative estimates of Dewey’s potential loss of revenue if they lose the pool table space. Expected lower rent costs may improve the establishment’s bottom line. Dollansky is optimistic that the investment in renovations for RATT will improve revenues.
Riding the omnibus
Council passed an omnibus motion of 27 bills headed up by Vice President Braga that altered and clarified rules for faculty associations. The motion passed unanimously, save one abstention from Councillor Murphy.