CSU AGM relatively well attended, relatively delicious

The Capilano Students Union (CSU) AGM gained popularity amongst the student body this year. More than 55 students from different faculties came out to vote on the important issues of the new semester at the CSU Annual General Meeting on October 29. This was a substantial turnout of students, as the CSU has had difficulty meeting their quorum of 40 people at previous AGMs, sometimes losing quorum partway through.

Although the meeting was brief, a lot of material was covered. “It ran smoothly, which is a nice change,” says Richard McCrae, a Student Union Executive.

The Financial Committee reported that office expenses had dropped to $21,000 from $26,000 in 2008, “because we were more careful in spending our money thanks to a tighter budget,” says Ghazal Tohidi, Financial Affairs Officer.

The Committee also stated that postage sales of the CSU were more than double, but that textbook sales dropped by $2000. “You save more money if you use CSU services,” says Tohidi, of things like phone cards and photocopies.

Tohidi added that the Excess Revenue Over Expenditures deficit of $3,601 was “a very good deficit” for their budget of almost half a million, compared to 2008 when the deficit was about $60,000.

Four special resolutions were also voted on and passed.

The election bylaws were amended, making the language of the document more specific. Proposed changes to membership bylaws were also passed, making the bylaws inclusive of all students. The proposed changes to the Remuneration Policy were also approved, specifying how money is remunerated to the Executive in relation to specific positions and what duties are to be performed.

Students also passed a motion to authorize the Building Committee to spend $10,000 on preliminary professional services to secure new student union space on south campus. The CSU has this money from the building levy, which adds up to more than a million dollars. This levy is collected as part of the Student Fees, up to a maximum of $10 a student per semester.

“We would like to start making use of this [the building levy money] because constructing our own separate building on campus would not meet our interests,” says Trevor Page, Executive Committee Meeting Chair for the CSU.

While a completely new building would cost $7 million dollars, the CSU instead intends to work within the already existing Library Building. “[The Library Building is] a major hub for traffic in the university,” says Page, “The idea is to make a multi-use space.”

During the question and answer period, one student expressed concern about the availability of the CSU financial statements well before the meeting date, so that students would have time to take a more detailed look at where the money was being spent prior to voting.

“Any student can come to any financial affairs meeting to discuss general financial statements,” says Page, “however these statements are the official audited statements prepared by a third party and we did not receive them until yesterday so it was not possible to print them in advance.”

Details of what each CSU committee had done in the past year were presented in the AGM Report.

The meeting lasted less than an hour, as there were very few questions posed to the executives, and every motion put forward at the meeting was passed with unchallenged efficiency.

Upon the arrival of food, a sudden parade of students to the cuisine table suggested that the reason for such an abundance of people was perhaps not for democratic reasons but instead because the CSU was providing a free lunch.

//Samantha Thompson

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com