THE BOARD OF Administration (BOA) met March 18 at Roger Guindon Hall with a long list of constitutional amendments to address changes to the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) executive starting in the 2013–14 term. The board received reports from the executive updating the situation for each position and confirmed the election results for 2012–13. Frequent recesses and popsicles saved members from an increasingly warm boardroom.
The board was presented with the 2012 elections report compiled by the chief electoral officer and chief returning officer. The results were officially received and ratified by the board unanimously.
The report included information on the execution of the election and recommendations on how to improve future elections. It specifically highlighted the implementation of a polling booth at Lees Campus and continuing the recently implemented polling booth at Pembroke Campus.
Nine federated bodies require audits
In an executive update, Sarah Jayne King, vp finance for the SFUO, informed the BOA of nine federated bodies who are unable to receive funds from the SFUO because they have not completed required audits. The federated bodies are financed by the SFUO, and it is a constitutional requirement that they complete three audits annually to receive funds.
“Once they successfully pass an audit, they get a proportion of the funds that the SFUO has allocated to them,” said King. “One of the issues that federated bodies have is they don’t have enough money and that is one thing we’ve fixed this year by … increasing the amount of money they [receive] starting next year. [Without the audit], this is money that they don’t get.”
The nine federated bodies have been denied access to a total of $55,918. According to King, the bulk of funds being denied belong to the Political, International, and Development Studies Student Association (PIDSSA), which has not completed an audit since 2009.
“Students are giving money to student associations and [aren’t] seeing where it is going,” said King. “There is actually no accountability. The only way those funds are accountable is through doing audits.”
SFUO executive to be restructured in 2013–14
The BOA approved the first reading of a motion presented by the ad-hoc equitability committee. It aimed to restructure the SFUO executive to ensure a focus on equity would be evident in all future executives.
The proposal removes the vp student affairs position and splits the responsibilities between the newly created vp equity and the renamed vp services and communications, formerly vp communications. The changes will not take place until 2013. The equitability committee came up with the proposal through a consultation process.
“We started off by doing consultation with all 12 of the services, and came up with a list of guiding questions,” said Kyla Harkins, representative for the Faculty of Health Sciences. “Several services … did say there needs to be a person who is in charge … someone great to specifically look at [equitability] on campus.”
The proposal not only emphasizes equitability, but also takes pressure off of the vp student affairs whose current mandate is large compared to those of the other positions. According to Harkins, other schools such as Ryerson University have successfully implemented the position.
“[Other universities] have institutionalized [a] vp equity in their executive structure,” said Harkins. ”Since they have made those changes, they’ve had a lot of other initiatives come through with their executives as a whole.”