Uneventful Board Meeting before Election Week

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Written by Gonzalo Moreno

Unlike previous academic years, the last CSA Board of Directors meeting before Election Week was almost absolutely uneventful. Whereas this time last year the Board was drowning in complaints and calls for disqualification of this and that candidate, this time around the subject of elections was hardly broached.

A very large portion of the meeting was used to discuss the operating budget of the CSA, which is slightly over $1 million (the administration of the Bus Pass and the Health and Dental Plans, which are not part of the CSA’s operating budget, bring the total of funds administered to around $8 million).

LeeAnne Clarke, the union’s Business Office Manager, expressed satisfaction with the state of the CSA accounts, specially now that the Bullring has ceased to be a financial drag and is expected to break even. “This is one of the first budgets where people that said that they needed money, we actually had some to give,” said Clarke.

The only issue that lit up the board came towards the end, when discussion shifted to the CSA’s General Members’ Meeting (GMM) that had to be cancelled during the recent UoG snow days. Under the Ontario Corporations Act, the CSA is obliged to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) every year. The failure to meet quorum for the AGM last Fall means that the organization was hoping this GMM would get enough attendants to become this year’s AGM.

The discussion heated up when it came to discussing whether to have a new GMM before the semester’s end. Some Board members felt that the union had made every effort to hold the required annual meeting, and was not at fault here. Rob Larmer, an OAC representative, also argued that “[we are] too close to the end of the semester, there are too many things going on, there is no point in having one.” Last, Communications Commissioner Jonathan Odumeru, under whose portfolio it falls to call AGMs and GMMs, said that, so close to the end of the semester and to the end of his term, “he did not feel comfortable” organizing a crucial meeting like this one on such shot notice.

Other Executive members, such as Local Affairs Commissioner Bre Walt and Academic Commissioner Becky Wallace, argued that it would be more responsible to further try to hold a meeting that the CSA is obliged to hold by law anyway. Wallace also added that the Aboriginal Students’ Association (ASA) would lose its seat on the Board if a meeting is not held before April, as per the terms of the ASA’s incorporation onto the CSA’s Board of Directors.

In the end, a motion was passed for Odumeru to defer his duty to call the GMM to Walt and Wallace. Walt enthusiastically promised to meet quorum or she would give away among attendants the equivalent of her over-the-limit photocopying and poster tab at the CSA. The GMM has been called for March 27 at 7pm in the UC courtyard.

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