Seger Nelson/ The Phoenix News
Seger Nelson/ The Phoenix News

A Recap of the Wednesday UBCSUO Board Meeting

The UBCSUO held a board meeting Wednesday at 5p.m. to discuss several important topics relating to the recent possible restructuring of the Student Union Productions, as well as unrelated SUO business. The VP Internal, Patience Spinoza, discussed his recent Student Leadership event that took place in November 2017, and in a separate presentation proposed a relocation of student resource centers into the UNC boardroom (UNC 105) to the Board of Directors. Also discussed was the proposed restructuring of Student Union Productions and the meeting concluded with the tabling of the discussion relating to the appointment of the new General Manager of the Student Union, whose identity was not disclosed.

Spinoza was asked by the board to explain the selection process by which he chose students to attend the Student Recognition Awards. He did not have a formal presentation prepared, nor a written financial breakdown of his event. Meeting chair Kristen Morgan proposed a motion requiring that Spinoza present at a future meeting with a specific financial breakdown of the event, as it is said to have cost approximately $8000 in total. This motion was passed.

Spinoza's second presentation proposed the possible relocation of the Resource Center to the current SUO Boardroom (UNC 105). The Board of Directors allowed Jay Gatza to speak to the issues that the current resource center face. The current resource center is difficult to locate, has low square footage and as a shared space it restricts the hours of operation of each individual resource group. The resource centers appear to have the student demand, the funds to relocate, and the support from UBC for their relocation. This decision will be voted on in a future meeting as it is against Student Union bylaws to vote on a presentation in the same meeting.

Spinoza and SUP co-founders, Beau Loomer and Seena Vajed, each gave presentations regarding their view on SUP's financial and structural stability. Spinoza argued that due to the lack of a finance manager position within SUP, they were not financially viable and posed a risk for the SUO. Loomer and Vajed presented their financial breakdowns from previous years, which revealed that they had only ever run a single deficit of $179.05 in 2015/2016, their first year of operation. SUP claimed that they are willing to restructure, however, they insisted that it must be done during the summer as to not disrupt the companies and campus clubs that hired them for their events.

VP External, Amal Alhuwayshil, then cited bylaw 17, section 2(C) which states "Under no circumstances may the Student Union dictate to, restrict, censor, or impose any conditions not directly relating to financial management on a media outlet funded by the Student Union." Reorganizing the structure of SUP is not within the Student Union's jurisdiction until the end of the fiscal year, which will not be until the end of the semester. The board moved to have the previous decision to restructure SUP, that was decided on Monday, January 8, as out of order. SUP is allowed to resume operation effective immediately.

The discussion concerning the new General Manager was tabled until a future meeting due to lack of time.

The Phoenix reached out to Loomer and Vajed for a post-meeting comment. They stated that SUP will resume operation for the remainder of the semester. As a result of the recent events, SUP will follow a temporary structure that will ensure that the clubs and course unions who require their services will not be affected. SUP is intending to begin the proposed restructure during the summer following negotiations with the Student Union to ensure a sustainable, structure. The wages have yet to be determined, yet SUP's founders made it clear that they will take steps to ensure they break even at the end of the semester and run sustainably throughout.