URSU board meeting: Nov. 3


The Nov. 3 University of Regina Students’ Union board meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. Before starting the meeting proper, motions for funding both Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and members of the U of R Grad Students’ Association (URGSA) were added to the agenda.

Amendments were also made to the Oct. 13 agenda, indicating Thomas Roussin as a Canadian Federation of Students representative, noting the removal of Robert’s Rules of Order, and mentioning a motion that approved a $1,000 sponsorship for U of R student Chris Parchmanto to attend a National Educational Association of Disabled Students conference from Nov. 12-14.

Following these corrections and additions, the meeting proceeded to its sole pre-motion presentation. Two representatives from the Cougar Racing team, an inter-faculty program focused on automotive engineering asked for $1,500 to “get [their] shop up and running.” Questions and comments were mostly about the program’s promotional capacity for the U of R. One of the questions was whether the group was on schedule, which the presenters answered by explaining that they were intentionally behind in order to “light a fire under [themselves].”

The board then went over two motions to approve funds for student groups. Arts director Barton Soroka, on behalf of SIFE, had asked for $5,000 to put towards “general funding” for several projects; after consultation with URSU VP of operations and finance Matt Steen, who informed the board that there was $16,700 of URSU’s sponsorship fund remaining, URSU VP of student affairs Tyler Willox put forward an amendment to reduce the fundraising amount to $2,000. Both the amendment and the amended motion carried.

The SIFE motion was followed with a motion to fund attendance to the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS). Graduate students director Adam Belton spoke to the motion, explaining that the total funds requested – $500 per meeting attendee, for a total of $1,000 – was to cover travel costs for the two students CAGS had sent to the meeting. Steen referred to a “funding matrix” that suggested reducing the funding to $180 per person and put forward an amendment to that extent; after that amendment was defeated, Belton put forward an amendment to reduce funding to $300 per person, which passed. The motion carried as amended.

Executive reports followed, starting with URSU president Kyle Addison. His report closed with the distribution of a letter from URSU’s lawyer stating that, in their lawyer’s opinion, the Students’ Union’s constitution did not prohibit them from taking a stance in October’s Canadian Federation of Students referendum. Willox and URSU VP of external affairs Kaytlyn Barber commented that URSU’s stance was apolitical and was instead about keeping students’ best interests in mind.

The highlight of Barber’s report was a mention of the Saskatchewan Students’ Coalition (SSC) and its Nov. 2 meeting with Saskatchewan’s minister of advanced education, Rob Norris. According to Barber, the SSC’s platform, including its much-vaunted Tuition Management Strategy, was “very well received” by Minister Norris. Barber also mentioned that the SSC was planning to meet with NDP advanced education critic Cam Broten in the coming weeks.

Steen’s report mentioned the Owl’s plans to institute a dollar draught on Wednesday nights, which they began on Nov. 10, as well a promise that the continuing renovations and upgrades to the Owl would lead to “sweet new changes” in the new year.

Willox’s presentation hinted at an interesting on-campus confrontation between Coca-Cola and the university. Coca-Cola’s contract with the U of R stipulates that they are the exclusive beverage provider on campus, but a loophole allows URSU to sell Red Bull in the Owl. Apparently, Coca-Cola has launched formal complaints about this to the university and has even had photos of the Red Bull van at the Owl’s loading dock. Willox indicated that he felt Coca-Cola’s complaints were groundless.

Willox also indicated to the board that URSU’s student advocate, Karene Hawkins, was currently on leave, and that her responsibilities had so far been divided between Willox and URSU operations manager Mike Staines.

The board members’ presentations were mostly uncontroversial; excepting First Nations University director (and Carillon photographer) Jarrett Crowe’s statement that the First Nations University Students’ Association believed its students had the right to vote in the CFS referendum, most of the presentations were about Movember fundraisers being put on by the various student associations.

The next meeting was set for Nov. 17th; look for a summary of it in next week’s Carillon.

John Cameron

Correction: URSU VP of operations and finance Matt Steen was misidentified as "Matt Barton"; the Carillon regrets this error.

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