Students voted to amend Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA)’s bylaws, tasked WUSA to look into the value of athletics fee and the feasibility of a recording studio on campus, ratified the election results of the incoming board of directors, and more at WUSA’s first in-person general meeting since 2019. Additionally, president Stephanie Ye-Mowe gave students updates on the work WUSA has been doing.
Three amendments to WUSA’s bylaws were approved by the general assembly. A provision was added that will allow undergraduates holding officer positions to complete their term of office after graduating. This provision existed in the bylaws before the governance restructure was approved last year and allows final year and graduating students to run for officer roles, which are full-time positions.
Another amendment will prevent WUSA from joining any external organization whose bylaws override WUSA’s. The board can now also remove a director, including the president or vice-president, with a three-fourths majority vote. All three amendments were approved by large majorities.
First year student Quinn Myers submitted a motion recommending that WUSA remove the use of archaic and formal language from student government wherever possible, to improve accessibility and increase student engagement with WUSA. In response, WUSA director Matthew Schwarze proposed an amendment to this motion which asked WUSA to develop resources to help members understand the terminologies and procedures needed to engage in student government. Schwarze’s amendment was approved by the assembly, and the amended motion passed.
Myers also submitted a motion to make the athletics fee optional. The athletics fee is charged by the university and not WUSA; therefore, WUSA does not have the ability to make the fee optional. It can however take on an advocacy stance and ask the university to do so. Schwarze proposed an amendment to the motion which tasked WUSA with creating a report detailing the fee’s value and what the service provides to the undergraduate student body — this will help inform an analysis of whether the fee should remain compulsory. The report is expected to recommend an advocacy stance for WUSA to take on the issue, if any. The amendment and the amended motion were approved.
Additionally, Myers submitted two more motions — asking WUSA to study the effects of video lecturing on students and advocate for fewer morning classes. Both of these motions were rejected by the assembly.
Charlie Dickson, president of WUSA club JamNetwork, submitted a motion asking WUSA to invest capital and space for an audio recording studio in the SLC. JamNetwork members presented their proposal to the attendees which showed significant support for the project. They said the studio could be used for several purposes, including as a place to record music or podcasts. WUSA director Catherine Dong proposed to amend the motion to ask WUSA to investigate the feasibility of creating such a studio on campus so that it is available to students at no or nominal cost. This amendment was approved by the assembly.
Ye-Mowe also provided an update on a proposed goose statue on campus which was approved at last year’s general meeting, and said a potential artist had been found. The location of the statue is yet to be determined. The statue is expected to cost $33,000, and WUSA is looking to alumni and the university as sources to fund the statue.
The meeting was attended by 111 students, and 31 students voted using proxies.