Courier AGM passes much-needed amendments

In one of their longest Annual General Meetings in recent memory, the Capilano Courier Publishing Society passed a myriad of bylaw changes, and updated its members on recent events.

The Courier supplied pizza, drinks, and a casual environment for the attendees, but business and efficiency were still top priority at the November 12 meeting, with an audit and proposed budget to go over, as well as elections for the Board of Directors, and the bylaw changes to pass.

The Society was founded in the 1970s, and over the years has changed, developed, and therefore drifted from the original operational procedures. The Board of Directors felt it was necessary to amend the bylaws in order to keep them in line with how the Society currently operates. For example, the bylaws were written using all-female pronouns, which may have been revolutionary at the time, but is a source of confusion today.

Language wasn't the only area the old bylaws had become out-of-date, however. Christine McLaren, previous editor-in-chief and major contributor to reworking the bylaws, explains, “the quorum requirements for our AGM were previously 10% of the registered members, or 15 people, whichever was greater.” 40 years ago Capilano was  a hodgepodge of portables, and much smaller. Today 15% of the members would be roughly 680 people, an absurdly unobtainable requirement for quorum. The bylaw was changed to 15 registered members, which has proven to be achievable with the right amount of advertising and food bribery.

The annual audit showed that the Society was in good financial standing, and the external auditor commended the Courier for operating so admirably in the last publishing year. There was a $45,000 surplus, which, as a non-for-profit organization, they were encouraged to spend by investing in new equipment or increasing their contingency fund. The auditor did remark on the University’s poor payment methods, suggesting monthly payments to the paper rather than intermittent cheques.

The Courier acted on the suggestion by sending a letter to the University, who are currently reviewing the situation in order to hopefully change their procedures.

The only other suggestion the auditor made was that the Society implement a standardized employment record to automatically deduct CPP and EI, rather than relying on their writers and editors to declare their own stipends.

The Courier decided against acting on this requirement, feeling that it was an unnecessary measure to take for such a small organization.

The Board of Directors, which oversees the Courier’s finances and administrative matters, changes yearly and was re-filled with newly elected members.

Seven members are needed, not including the editor-in-chief or the business manager. Eight students volunteered, although in his election speech Mike Kennedy asked everyone to refrain from voting for him. His wishes were granted and Aaron Bolus, Nicole Mucci, Jordan Potter, Samantha Thompson, Natalie Corbo, Giles Roy and Christine McLaren were elected onto the Board. A treasurer, secretary and chair will be appointed at the first meeting.

Board meetings are held every month and include a free dinner, though members do not receive any other compensation for their time.

Although many members attended the two hour AGM simply to help the Society reach quorum, some found it quite informative. "It was a good learning experience," explains Marco Ferreira, a young writer, "It's so fascinating to see how the paper runs behind the scenes!"

//Sarah Vitet

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