“Notes from Council” is The Gateway’s ongoing series of recaps of noteworthy items from Students’ Council meetings.
At the November 1 Students’ Council meeting, a presentation on Student Representative Association (SRA) fees was given, Students’ Union (UASU) President Abner Monteiro delivered an apology, and council passed a motion to have a financial management assessment of the UASU conducted.
100 per cent UASU income is put back into student services, councillor says
Council was given a presentation on SRA fees by Simran Dhillon, a science councillor, and Fateh Arslan, a business councillor.
Dhillon explained the key values of Faculty Association Membership Fees (FAMF) which include transparency, accountability, fiduciary responsibility, sustainability, student experience, and affordability.
Dhillon explained that there are various fees that the UASU charges, including UASU membership fees, SRA fees, and Dedicated Fee Units.
When it comes to the SU’s income, Dhillon said that 30 per cent of it comes from student fees but “100 per cent is put back into student services.”
“Council and the student body, we just want to say that we’re sorry,” UASU president apologizes
During his executive report, Monteiro used his time to make a statement rather than go over his report.
“We the executives want to give an apology for how things have unfolded with Break the Record.”
Break the Record was an attempt to take the world record for the largest dodgeball game that took place on September 23. Monteiro’s apology was in reference to criticisms about the cost of the event, which totalled approximately $145,000.
“We recognize your frustration [and] your anger … we want to continue working with all of you to bring to life what students really want to see on campus, and [we] are committed to improving and listening to all of your concerns and criticisms.”
“It’s an integral part of how we are held accountable, and also how we can prove [ourselves] to all of you. Council and the student body, we just want to say that we’re sorry.”
Motion to complete a financial management assessment of UASU passed
Haruun Ali, an arts councillor, and Chanpreet Singh, an engineering councillor, moved to direct the finance committee — in collaboration with the executive committee — to complete a financial management assessment of the UASU. The motion also called for a comparative analysis of other students’ unions, and the involvement of student consultation. The motion proposed a deadline of February 7 for the assessment.
Ali said the reason he brought forward the motion was to “ensure that students continue to have confidence in [the] Students’ Union.”
According to Singh, Break the Record was not done with ill intentions, but it is still a good idea to review the UASU’s financial management.
“There was no bad intent on behalf of all the people who [made] decisions behind [Break the Record],” Singh said. “Reviewing our financial practices, comparing [them] with other students’ unions, and consulting with students on how they want their money to be managed or overseen within the Student’s Union, is what this motion is doing. I don’t see harm in doing so.”
Leo Huang, an arts councillor, said that providing transparency would “give students a lot of closure” about the cost of Break the Record.
The motion passed with four councillors opposed.
The Gateway asked UASU governance support for clarification on which four councillors opposed the motion, but they were unable to reply in time for publication.