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Notes from Council: Council elects new speaker, approves meeting schedule

For the second year in a row, Christian Zukowski has been elected as speaker.

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

The Students’ Council meeting on April 25 marked the first meeting of the 2023-24 year. Council elected a new speaker for the upcoming year and the timing of meetings was discussed.

Abner Monteiro, former University of Alberta Students’ Union (UASU) president, briefed the council on the code of conduct. Council then moved in-camera, a session closed to guests, to select the next speaker. 

Christian Zukowski was elected as speaker for his second term, and council approved the meeting schedule for the upcoming year.

Changes made to upcoming year’s meeting schedule to encourage councillor participation

Council then went over their meeting schedule for next year. Concerns were raised about the scheduled meetings during reading week in February, and the examination periods in December and April. 

Vice-president (operations and finance), Levi Flaman, suggested moving those meetings up a week, so council would have two weeks in a row of meetings around those periods, or cancelling them altogether. Flaman said that moving the meetings up would still allow council to get through the business that they had. 

“Our late fall schedule tends to be packed so we may not be able to cancel those meetings. But, historically, during exam period … absenteeism goes up, participation goes down,” Flaman said. 

President Christian Fotang suggested that the meeting at the end of December remain where it was scheduled in order to ensure council has time to address any issues. 

“For whatever reason, no matter what year it is, something just always goes wrong where something needs to be approved at the last minute,” Fotang said.

Nathan Thiessen, an arts councillor, also said that council should move up the meetings, rather than cancel them.

“We can’t, as a body, be out of commission for a month and not know what’s going on,” Thiessen said.

The motion to move up the three meetings at the end of December and April, as well as during reading week in February, was approved by council. 

The next meeting of Students’ Council will be held on May 9. 

Amanda Sparks

Amanda Sparks was the 2022-23 Staff Reporter for The Gateway. She is in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English. When she has time, you can usually find her under a pile of blankets crying over fictional characters, baking, hiking, or spending time with her cat.

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