The Tomato

The SFUO will lower quorum to one student in the hope of having a GA succeed. Photo: Erin Husband.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Student union says there is now a chance the events will get off the ground

In a desperate bid to organize at least one successful student-run event this year, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) passed a motion to lower the quorum for General Assemblies (GAs) from one per cent of the student body to a single student.

The SFUO made the announcement on their Twitter feed earlier today.

When asked about specifics of this new stipulation, SFUO president Romeo Ahimakin said “This new quorum requirement was our only option left, and it will come into effect for the winter 2017 GA.”

However, Ahimakin was quick to add that “there is no guarantee that even with this new requirement we will meet quorum.”

Jean Mark, a third-year criminology student, commented that “It’s about time that the SFUO proposed a real solution to the ongoing failure of the GA.” When asked if he had ever attended a GA he replied, “No, but I always thought that those students with plenty of free time would be attending in large numbers.”

Emily Smith, a third-year economics student, thinks it’s a good thing that the SFUO is finally taking steps to turn things around.

But she also added that “This might not be enough. The SFUO should seriously consider handing out free puppies and lattes to get students involved at GAs.”

“There was some push back on this motion,” admits SFUO vice-president communications Crancesco Faruso. “I was not convinced at first that this motion would achieve anything. Given that GAs are long, protracted affairs that can last hours on end, finding even one student to attend among 32,000+ undergrads is a Herculean feat.”

The idea for the new quorum requirements came to vice-president social Wadi Hess during the last GA.

“It seemed that there was only one, maybe two students, that ever contributed to the discussion, so why did everybody else’s presence have to count towards the quorum?”

When asked if the new quorum requirements would encourage him to attend GAs, Mark was undecided. 

“If the assembly conflicts with my aimless web browsing, then probably not.”

Inevitably, some overly politically correct left-leaning students raised concerns regarding the transparency and democratic nature of the motion.

But an optimistic David Smith, a first-year political science student, stated that the new quorum requirement is good news for students.

“After years of wanting to monopolize the debate and get my petty concerns on the agenda, I will finally have my chance.”