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Notes from Council: Board of Governors representative steps down, return to in-person classes discussed

The January 11 Students' Council meeting began with an announcement that Board of Governors representative Dave Konrad would be the stepping down from his role.

“Notes from Council” is The Gateway’s ongoing series of recaps of noteworthy items from Students’ Council meetings.

Board of Governors representative resigns from position

The Students’ Council meeting on January 11 began with an announcement from Julia Villoso, who was filling in as speaker of Students’ Council, on the resignation of Board of Governors representative Dave Konrad.

“I want to inform all of you that Dave Konrad has stepped down from his position as the Board of Governors representative,” Villoso said to the rest of council.

No other information on Konrad’s resignation was not mentioned during the meeting. According to the Students’ Union (SU) bylaws, since the resignation occurred after September 1, the Students’ Council will appoint someone to serve as the undergraduate Board of Governors representative for the remainder of the term. This replenishment election for the Board of Governors representative will be held at the next Students’ Council meeting.

Chief returning officer discusses plans for UASU 2022 elections, rules around pre-campaigning

This announcement of Konrad’s resignation was followed by a presentation from Lucas Marques, the chief returning officer of Students’ Council, along with Sithara Naidoo and Madeline Mayes, two deputy returning officers. During their presentation, Marques announced their plans to hold the Campus Saint-Jean (CSJ) forum during the Students’ Union 2022 elections primarily in French.

“We’ll be trying to run this year the CSJ forum mostly in French, so that is something that has been advocated for in the past and that the elections office has finally listened, so we’re currently working on the logistics of that,” Marques said. “We need to still work with CSJ in order to make that happen, but that’s something I’m very excited for.”

Marques also clarified the rules and regulations surrounding pre-campaigning before Students’ Union elections.

“In the past couple of days there have been a couple of issues with campaigning rules… the bylaws, as some of us know, are not complete and sometimes they lack understanding or they lack certain items,” he said. “That is why I made the ruling that I made that a couple of days ago… pre-campaigning activity will not be allowed prior to the nomination deadline.”

“That will be because if pre campaigning was allowed, and people that were not candidates were allowed to campaign, I would need probably 30 or 40 more people in the elections office to monitor everyone’s social media accounts and everyone’s posts.”

Students’ Union executives share reports with Students’ Council

After the presentation from Marques, the Students’ Union executive team went over their reports. Talia Dixon, vice-president (student life) discussed how Indigenous Celebration Week has been moved to March 21 to 25 due to COVID-19 restrictions. She also gave an update on the pronoun campaign.

“The pronoun campaign emails for the second round went out right before the start of classes,” Dixon said. “We had a little less uptake from profs than we did last last semester but there’s still hundreds of classes that are going to be receiving those resources this semester and that means thousands of students. I count that as a win in my books, and that means that the pronoun campaign is more or less finished.”

Emily Kimani, vice-president (operations and finance), briefed Students’ Council on the Students’ Union’s operating and capital budget, which the executive committee is tasked with creating for the upcoming year.

“It’s the job of the vice-president (operations and finance) to come up with a list of budget principles which outline the priorities and values for the budget,” Kimani explained. “So ultimately, that means we kind of determine how much funding is going to go where and how much funding projects and reserves and certain initiatives are going to get.”

“This process is meant to be done collaboratively with council so please, if you have any questions along the way, I’m here to support you the best way I can. So please ask, and I am looking forward to this process.”

Christian Fotang, vice-president (external), followed Kimani’s report with an update on transit options for Augustana Campus.

“For this semester, President [Rowan] Ley and I will be working to figure out some more transit options for students over at Augustana Campus,” Monteiro said. “That has been our priority when we went to Augustana and to meet with the executives there, so we’ll be discussing ways with the university with which we can help us find more viable options this year.”

Last to present their report was Ley, Students’ Union president, who discussed getting students back on campus and advocacy surrounding exceptional tuition increases.

“Two of the biggest focuses of my time right now are ongoing advocacy for student safety during [the] Omicron [variant],” Ley said. “Trying to secure a return to classes with enhanced precautions as soon as it can be done safely is our most important priority.”

“Our advocacy against the proposed exceptional tuition increases is also ongoing — Fotang and I are working hard on that and we are making substantial progress. I can’t share much detail right now but I hope to have a more significant update for you at our next meeting or in early February.”

Areeha Mahal

Areeha Mahal was the 2021-22 News Editor and previously served as a Deputy Arts & Culture Editor and Deputy News Editor. Additionally, she is a second-year Biology and English student. When she’s not learning the Krebs cycle for the millionth time, Areeha enjoys stargazing, baking pies, and listening to Bob Dylan.

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