URSU board examines electronic voting

URSU Executive CommitteeDevon Peters and Matt Mutschler

URSU Executive Committee members Devon Peters and Matt Mutschler

Questions raised over electronic voting, small purchases

The University of Regina Students Union (URSU) held a board meeting on Tuesday, September 16. Twelve of the fifteen board members were in attendance. First, the record of two electronic votes were examined. The first was record of a Sept. 2 vote on a request for the Owl to purchase new “liquor guns” designed to increase service speed. This vote passed with relatively little discussion.

The second electronic vote from Sept. 7 regarded the purchase of graphic wraps to advertise the Canadian Concert Series being held at the Owl. This record underwent more discussion, mostly concerning the time of purchase versus the time the motion was sent out. All financial decisions over $2000 must be presented to the board of directors, and in this case, an Owl employee had planned to purchase the graphic wraps and had sent in three separate requests for a total of $2636.70. The executive had advised that he should send an invoice with all three included. The employee misunderstood the response, and went through with purchasing all three at once, and sending the executive the invoice. At this point, URSU President Devon Peters sent out the motion to the board.

Board member Stevan Mikha argued that even sending the motion after the fact was deceitful, as the money had already been spent. Devon Peters went on to say that had it not passed, action would have been taken to correct the mistake.

In the end, the record of the vote was passed, but it spurred a discussion of the use of electronic votes. The Sept. 7 motion was “not an emergency motion.” according to board member Eric Holloway. “Electronic votes subvert the democratic principle of the board a little, and we want to make sure they are only used when necessary. With that said, the majority of electronic votes this year have been for time sensitive or other emergency issues.”

After this, the board debated a motion to have the executive present a summary of all funding decisions below 2000 dollars. The board would not necessarily take action on the report, but it was felt that it would be helpful to give the board even more knowledge of URSU finances. The motion passed unanimously.

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