My vote lies with governance reform

Last week&rsquo;s issue of <em>Imprint </em>(Jan 9, 2015) addressed some underlying problems with Feds that clearly need to be reworked &mdash; the governance structures.

Everybody I talk to seems to realize that the governance structures of Feds are broken, but that is about all they will agree on. Everybody has a different precise vision for the balance between Council, the Board, and the Executive.

The article &ldquo;Feds Board Meetings Reopened&rdquo; was about a motion to make board meetings open to students.&nbsp; This debate, in my mind, can be characterized by two big buzzwords &mdash; those who wanted to maintain efficiency, and those who wanted accountability.&nbsp; I don&rsquo;t at all deny that board meetings are more efficient when they are closed &mdash; directors are able to speak their minds and suggest any idea that they possibly have, without fear of being mocked. This allows the Board to reach consensus far quicker; it is a basic principle of a strong interest-based negotiation.

But Feds is a corporation whose members have no choice but to pay the Feds fee. We are not like any regular corporation. I believe this trumps all other arguments made for a closed board meeting.

This leads me into my next point: I don&rsquo;t believe the Board should have nearly the same unilateral degree of power that it currently has. Directors are elected at a general meeting to serve the corporation. Councillors are elected by students to represent students. I believe Council could decide most things. Things that formally require approval by the Board could require attached recommendations by Council.

Circling back to where I started, this is one idea among many governance problems that Feds faces.&nbsp; As it was explained in &ldquo;Feds Board Adds Two New Council Seats,&rdquo; Math and engineering are calculated as having the most students through the archaic formula in our bylaws, even though Arts has the most students overall. I could probably rant for hours about Feds&rsquo; governance problems, but I will stop here.

Governance falls on the president, and with the Feds elections over the next few weeks, I hope that the presidential platforms focus heavily on reform. Feds is inefficient in how it governs itself, and every endeavour undertaken by the organization is hampered in some way by the existing structures.

What I am trying to say is that my vote goes to whomever can present the best governance reforms because everything starts there.


Doug Turner
3B Honours Political Science
Feds director
Speaker of student council