By the Numbers
3: Meetings over the last week that created change for student interests
10.5: Sum of hours taken by meetings over the week
50: Students necessary to reach quorum for UBCSUO’s AGM, which was barely reached
0: Students from the social work program who spoke at Senate against the cancellation of their program
0: Slates that will be permitted in student elections from now on
0: Methods available to students for directly contacting student senators (contact info is needed on website, at least!)
Senate (Nov 20)
UBCO Senate votes to cancel BSW program; discusses students accessing professor evaluations
Bachelor of Social Work cancelled
The hottest debate during the meeting, the BSW program cancellation, ended in an almost unanimous vote, with only one against and one abstaining.
Student Senator Susana Baez raised concerns of students regarding the way in which this cancellation was communicated to them. Dr. Taylor, Director of the School of Social Work, responded by stating an email had been sent out and that he had attended one third year class. He has also been hosting office hours every Friday for students to bring their concerns to him. Upon hearing Senate’s decision he will call an assembly of all students to let them know the final decision.
Student Senator Tim Krupa asked if it could be delayed a year to allow students in second year to get through the program, and to notify those in first year of the decision. This was dismissed due to the cost of extending the program for another year. None of the student senators voted against
The Phoenix will have a final analysis of the BSW cancellation next issue.
Confidentiality assured in online professor evaluations, access for students to results may be available in the future
Addressing student concerns regarding the confidentiality of the new online professor evaluations, Wesley Pue, Provost and Vice Principal of UBCO, assured those present at the meeting that results remain anonymous. The concerns were that the need to login with a CWL password in order to access the evaluations could create a link to student numbers.
Discussion by Senators led to the topic of access to results. Many Senators spoke in favor of working towards allowing students access in the future, though there is no formal plan in place.
Other topics included improvements to education infrastructure throughout the province including switching government operations to electronic to make a more efficient and cheaper government long term, opposition to the enormous risk of new oil pipelines, and improvements and investments into lower-level healthcare employees and UBCSUO.
Board of Directors (Nov 19)
UBCSUO Board of Directors creates controversial student interest groups
New type of clubs
New forms of clubs called Special Interest Groups were ratified in the meeting. A main component of UBCSUO clubs is the mandate that they be inclusive of all. Special Interest Groups were formed to allow students to form clubs that would exclude people, to allow for groups such as Golden Key Clubs, which only the top students academically may join. It would also mean the possibility of a fraternity or sorority on campus. These clubs need minimum five members, two thirds of which must be current students. They are not eligible for funding from
There was significant dispute over these clubs by the Financial Coordinator, Curtis Tse, who voted against them on the premise that they were too similar to the type of groups that students had turned down in a referendum, and he did not want to go against the wishes of the student population if this was so. Other directors felt that any risks associated with these clubs would be mitigated by the need for prospective student interest groups to be ratified by a vote of directors.
2 new student clubs
UBCO Financial Literacy ratified: A club for helping students plan for their financial futures, something that many students are in dire need of, was approved. The club already has an expert on the subject coming in to give advice for personal finances.
UBCO BC Young Liberals ratified: There are now two young Liberal clubs on campus. Separate clubs are warranted because the BC Liberals and the federal Liberals have no connection with each other. This club is sure to have a lot of discussion surrounding B.C.’s looming May 14th 2013 election.
Problems in staffing
The UBCSUO is missing a key staff member—an organizer, who usually helps administrative deadlines be met. As a result, they have now made two administrative mistakes: failing to post unfinalized agendas to the SU website before the Board of Directors meeting, and failing to post the agenda for the UBCSUO AGM a week in advance as is required of them in their bylaws.
The job search is still on; a motion to split the organizer role into two part time jobs, to make it easier to find candidates, was tabled at the meeting and struck down.
UBCSUO Annual General Meeting (Nov 21)
AGM abolishes slates and turns down a presidential structure
UBCSUO AGM abolishes slates
A movement to ban slates in student politics at UBC Okanagan passed at the AGM. The new policy, moved by Tim Krupa, states that no candidates may be permitted to campaign in slates. A slate entails two or more candidates merging campaign finances, materials, slogans, designs, social media, campaigning booths, and any object tangible or intangible to be used for the purpose of promoting.
Chair sends sustainability motion to Policy Committee
Danielle Prins brought a significant policy regarding environmental issues and sustainability to the meeting, but the Meeting Chair ruled that it had to be vetted by Policy Committee for any problems before it could be voted on.
Student government changes voted down
Massive changes to the structure of student government, involving a potential presidential systm, were proposed, debated extensively, debated some more, and then fell due to a lack of support during the vote.
“I was disappointed to learn after the meeting that voting members in attendance voted against the motions because of misinformation. For instance, one voter thought that the new executive structure would mean the current Board of Governors representative (me) would become the UBCSUO President. That is both disappointing and not true”
“The motion about eliminating slates definitely took me by surprise …Personally, running as a slate was a great experience for me and I learned so much during that period”
“I think holding slates is wrong, morally and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States”
–Abraham Lincoln *not actually
“We voted to open the floodgates of accessibility and to keep candidates accountable for their own platform and campaign. I believe this makes the process as democratic as possible. It was a historic vote for our campus”
–Tim Krupa, on the vote to abolish slates
“I did not support that change”
–Nick Dodds, when asked about the vote to abolish slates