URSU SGM scheduled for April 12

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URSU logo sits on a glowing board near the URSU front desk
Round 2! Lee Lim

Solutions for a smoother SGM come from a rough AGM

The University of Regina Students’ Union’s (URSU) Special General Meeting will be held in a hybrid setting with options to attend in person and online. The vote passed unanimously to hold the Special General Meeting (SGM) at 2 p.m. on April 12. The decision to start the SGM earlier was made hoping students can set aside more time if the meeting runs late.  

“We are hoping that more students will attend in person,” said URSU General Manager Talha Akbar, who also noted the online component will still be in an option for immunocompromised students. 

The URSU AGM was held remotely on Zoom on March 2. The meeting began with a late start due to a “Zoom bomb” of bots (virtual participants, not real people) in the chat. In a matter of minutes, the participant count went from 600 to 250 while URSU staff worked to kick bots out of the chat. Many students were left frustrated with the delayed start and left the meeting early after it ran an hour later than its estimated end time. 

“I don’t think we’ll get Zoom bombed again, but now that it’s happened, we’ll be much more prepared for it,” said Akbar. 

Akbar explained these options will hopefully help hike the attendance and deal with potentially racist and inappropriate comments – something that was an issue in the Zoom chat during the AGM.  

“It will create a more accessible space, we’ll be able to provide free food to students,” said Akbar. “Hopefully more of a collegial environment so that we don’t have some of the same kind of issues around targeted attacks or racism.”  

URSU members are trying to incorporate measures into the SGM that will address the issues that clogged the AGM. Different approaches will be taken prior to the SGM to help students feel more comfortable about the rules of voting, submitting motions, and workshopping motions. “It should help to help students engage in that student democratic system,” said Akbar. 

Concerns were raised in the AGM on March 2 about motions on the agenda violating the Saskatchewan Non-profit Corporations Act. The SGM will have a committee of board and executive members who can help work with students to submit a clear and concise motion. Style Stenberg, LGBTQ+ board chair and member of the committee, said this will be an opportunity to work with students who have elected URSU board and executive members into their positions.  

“One of the things I really want to do is connect with everyone that submitted a resolution, talk through the resolution with them, make sure that they’re on the same page,” said Stenberg. “They can then understand the process, how it’s going to happen, answer any questions they have about it, and how to make it a little bit less scary.”  

Stenberg hopes that this committee will stick around for future AGMs and SGMs to eliminate any confusion for students. There are still 21 motions to be voted on, but movers will have the opportunity to improve or strike their motions from the agenda before the SGM.  

In addition to the SGM committee, URSU will have members available at noon on April 12 to answer any questions students might have about how processes in the meeting work before the meeting itself at 2 p.m.  

There was no URSU AGM in 2022. This is because the URSU board of directors voted to change the scheduling for the AGM to the typical end of a student year rather than the end of a calendar year. AGMs have still been held during the URSU fiscal year, just based on different decisions made by different URSU members. Akbar explained it will be up to future years of URSU members if they want to have the AGM in November or March.  

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