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Motions deal with executive pay, course documents

At around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) posted a schedule for its General Assembly (GA) to its Facebook page, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 14.

On the schedule are two motions: one motion to discuss executive salaries, and one motion to discuss course curriculum. Originally, the SFUO stated that it had received no motions for the GA.

The SFUO has not yet responded to the Fulcrum’s request for comment.

However, Norman Ðanik, a second-year education student at the U of O, posted a link to the motions, which he submitted on behalf of the Revolutionary Students’ Movement, in the GA page’s comment section,

The first reads: “Be it resolved that the salary for members of the SFUO executive be set at an hourly rate of 15$/h for a total of 20 hours per week.

Be it further resolved that all subsequent salary increase are required to be approved by the General Assembly.”

Ðanik said that the first motion stems from the executives’ pay raise last year, decided on at a BOA meeting on April 26, 2017 after their previous salary increase had been reversed at the GA.

“The (executive pay) increase was voted down at the GA but they simply proposed another motion and raised it anyway,” he said. “Our motion is to limit their salary to one comparable to staff and based on a living wage.”

What will happen if these motions pass at the GA is not entirely clear. At a Board of Administration (BOA) meeting on Nov. 6, 2016, the board voted to curtail the powers of the GA, passing a motion that stated that any amendment to the SFUO’s bylaws or policies passed at the GA would have to be ratified by two thirds of the BOA. The goal of the motions presented at that meeting was to make it so the GA was no longer the highest decision-making body of the SFUO to avoid legal issues, according to the executive.

However, at the last General Assembly on March 14, a motion to repeal a recent increase of SFUO executives’ salaries carried without the need to be ratified by the BOA, when the chair of the meeting ruled that because executive salaries is not specifically a policy or bylaw issue, it was not bound by the previous motion to have such matters be ratified by the BOA.

The second motion would have the SFUO: “Promote more participation of students in the elaboration of the syllabus, which would be taken into account by professors,” and “The implementation of a mandatory course on the theme of colonization.”

Ðanik said the second motion is partly to respond to the lack of input students have on course content. “We want students to have more of a say in it like they do in other universities (namely UQAM),” he said. “We also took inspiration from other universities that are implementing mandatory classes for all programs that would address the colonial situation in Canada and how it relates to various fields.”

The GA will also feature a budget presentation, and a question period for students. It begins at 6:30 p.m. in Alumni Auditorium on the U of O campus.