Bureaucracy Now! A look at the agenda for the AGM

The UVSS Annual General Meeting upon us! It will take place on Tomorrow at 3 pm. This is the student body’s chance to have a say in how their society is run. The AGM is a chance for students to be a part of the process that shapes UVSS policy. If you’re at all worried about how your student fees are spent then this is the night you look forward to all year. Also on the agenda this year is the topic of fraternities and sororities on campus. Let’s break down some of the more exciting topics on the agenda and figure out what it means for you.

Motion to amend issues policy

The Questions:

1. Should the UVSS approve the formation of sororities?

2. Should the UVSS re-instate the policy of non-recognition of fraternities and sororities?

This is the hot topic of the meeting this year. Should the UVSS recognize sororities on campus? There is already an established fraternity at UVic, Delta Kappa Epsilon. Fraternities do not need recognition from the university to be recognized by their brothers. DKE is already an accepted chapter according to the DKE website and have been behaving as a fully functioning fraternity since the spring. As of now, recognition by UVic administration would be little more than a formality.

Conversely, sororities are required to be recognized by the university before they can be recognized as an official chapter, which paints the UVSS into a bit of a corner. Since the UVSS strives for equality, especially in gender-related situations, it would be unfair to deny female students the right to join a sorority if there is already a functioning fraternity on campus; at the same time, for the UVSS to write a letter to UVic administration endorsing the sorority but not the fraternity would also be unfair.

So what’s a student to do? There is plenty of opposition to the establishment of a Greek system on campus, but not without the supporters of the Greek system putting in their two cents. David Foster has a great article on the history of the Greek system and UVic. This blogger supports a libertarian policy in that as long as the Greek system avoids scandal and does not expect the same treatment as other more inclusive clubs like student funding and resources, why shouldn’t students who wish to join a fraternity or sorority be allowed. Everyone seems to know that the Greek system is elitist, (and I’m sure when someone isn’t allowed to join for one reason or another there will be a fuss made and motions made by a new, zealous Director at Large) so let students put themselves up to being hazed and possibly excluded from the organization.

Motion to Amend Constitution Article 3 – Dissolution of the Students’ Society

The Question: If the UVSS has to fold, should any remaining funds go to the CFS to be held in trust, or to UVic to be held in trust

Currently, were the UVSS to dissolve (and considering its current financial state, it’s not entirely out of the question) any funds remaining after paying off debts would be given to the CFS to be held in trust until such a time that another student society could be formed. While this looks good on paper, the CFS has a history of making things difficult and getting that money back might not be so easy. If the money were to go to UVic, it could be accessed by students without the formation of a student society and used to help students in the form of grants.

This should be a no-brainer. We are having less and less of a reason to trust the CFS. Keep the money at UVic.

Motion to Amend Bylaw 13.6 – Salary and Honoraria of Executive Directors

Question: Should there be a cap on how much money a director can make?

This motion is fairly straightforward, it wants to set a cap on how much money executive directors and managers in the sub can make. While the intent is good – it’s trying to keep costs down – I feel like it will limit the caliber of potential employees. If a talented managerial type were to come along but knew they could find better pay elsewhere for their abilities, why would they bother with a job that has a limit to how well paid they could be? Anyone that’s ever looked for a summer job, especially when they have a good resume (and before we fell upon These Trying Economic Times) and experience in a certain field, it wouldn’t be out of the question to hold out for a better job. This may work in the UVSS’s favour for a year or two while the economy gets back on its feet, but it will eventually prove an inhibition.

Motion to Adopt the Budget

Due to the fact that this is the third year in a row the UVSS budget will run at a deficit, there may be some people willing to vote the budget down. It’s certainly unfortunate that we’re still not making money, but voting down the budget will only serve to slow things down. It’s easy to say something won’t work, but coming up with solutions is the hard part. Privatizing businesses in the sub is an option, so is raising the price of booze in Felicita’s (not my favourite option) but if the UVSS continues to run at a deficit, its debt will continue to rise and the line of credit will only go so far. The bottom line is that in order for the sub to start making money, there need to be money making ideas put forward. I’m looking at you BComm students.

Regardless of how you vote, make sure you read the agenda, think about the motions, then show up and vote. Democracy only works when people vote. You don’t want to be a subject in a student dictatorship, do you?

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