Contentious motions presented to board set the stage for next week’s AGM

<strong>Motion on Re-opening Board of Directors Meeting</strong>

Andrew Reeves, a UW mathematical physics student, put forward the motion that Feds&rsquo; board of directors should re-open their meetings to students immediately.

Reeves declined <em>Imprint&rsquo;s</em> interview request saying, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a bit sad this motion is necessary at all.&rdquo;

If the motion passes at next week&rsquo;s Feds&rsquo; annual general meeting (AGM), Feds president Danielle Burt said that the board of directors meetings will once again be open. Procedurally, the board would have to update to reflect board procedures to match an open board of directors meeting.

Despite running on a platform of transparency, Burt herself has openly said she believes board of directors meetings should be closed.

&ldquo;My stance is a little bit for having them closed not for the sake of taking away transparency but just based on the nature of how students are connected,&rdquo; Burt said. &ldquo;We also expect non-experts to talk on very expert issues; that was my main concern, trying to keep the privacy and safety of students in mind kind of thing.&rdquo;

Another concern board has with the motion is the issue of council making a policy.

&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s say we had a crazy council, which we don&rsquo;t because we have a fantastic one; but if we had a crazy council that decided to write policy that said, &lsquo;everything has to be open;&rsquo; we&rsquo;re still allowed to do confidential sessions, where certain things are required to be confidential legally by the corporations act,&rdquo; Burt said.

<strong>Motion on banning all for-profit financial services and companies from the SLC market place</strong>

Shifa Abbas, a 4A student in honours biology, has put forward a motion that, if successful at next week&rsquo;s AGM, will ban all for-profit financial services/companies from vendors alley.

The one company that would be affected is BMO. If the motion passes, Feds&rsquo; would stand to lose $15,000 of revenue a year; which Stephane Hamade, Feds VPED, admits would possibly mean &ldquo;a loss in service.&rdquo;

Abbas said that these financial banking companies &ldquo;harass&rdquo; students, who are already &ldquo;vulnerable&rdquo; dealing with high student debt and living expenses.

She also brought up her belief that Feds has a role, within their mental health portfolio, to help students gain financial management skills.

Burt agreed it&rsquo;s important students are taught about financial literacy, but questions whether it really is the role of Feds to provide that knowledge.

&ldquo;We talked about financial literacy in our election platform. We said that a lot of it should be put [under the portfolio] of the Student Success Office, so we&rsquo;ve been trying to incorporate that into their success coaching,&rdquo; Burt said. &ldquo;As far as awareness, we can always work towards that if that is a big concern.&rdquo;

BMO is the only for-profit financial service who promotes credit cards at Vendors&rsquo; Alley, and it&rsquo;s specific to their partnership with alumni in the Advancement Office.

Burt is not sure whether or not the ban would also affect the Advancement&rsquo;s revenue or bottom line.

Back in March of this year, a similar motion was brought up at that general meeting and failed to make the agenda, but Burt admits this is an issue that keeps on coming up.

&ldquo;If it&rsquo;s consistently an issue, then we have to listen to students,&rdquo; Burt said.

Feds expects and hopes to reach a record turnout next week with these contentious issues on the agenda.

Students can vote on these two motions at next Wednesday&rsquo;s Oct. 22 AGM at SLC Great Hall.


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