BOA removes SAC, introduces funding changes
THE BOARD OF Administration (BOA) met on Oct. 16 in the senate room of Tabaret Hall to determine the fate of motions brought forward by the ad hoc Constitutional Committee. These motions included large constitutional changes and modifications in policy. The meeting focused on the second reading of a motion to remove the Student Arbitration Committee (SAC) and changes in funding for the federated bodies from the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO).
SAC gone for good
The second reading of the motion to abolish the SAC, put forward by the ad hoc Constitutional Committee last month, was presented to the BOA for final discussion.
“The SAC is appointed by the president [who]—yes, is somebody who is elected—but that is [only] one person who is elected,” said Tasha Peters, BOA representative for the Faculty Social Sciences, in an interview with the Fulcrum.
“[They can], in a sense, manipulate who will be on the SAC. The people who are chosen can’t be recalled by the BOA. People need to be held accountable, and it is important to have a representative idea of the student body to be looking at [issues].”
Edward Roué, BOA representative for the Faculty of Arts, spoke against the motion during the meeting, arguing for the reform of the committee.
“I think there are some problems with the SAC as far as the question of fiduciary responsibility, which a lot of the proponents of the motion did raise,” said Roué. “I think it is important to have an independent body that can adjudicate these questions, especially questions that involve the BOA.”
The vote on the second reading of the motion was not the same as the initial vote, which passed 29-1. The final vote also passed, but with two members voting against it and three abstentions.
Brendon Andrews, the representative for the Faculty of Social Sciences who spoke in opposition of the motion and voted against the removal of SAC after both readings, had mixed feelings about the vote.
“I am disappointed in the result. I am strongly in support of there being a SAC and a judicial branch of the SFUO,” said Andrews. “In my view, it’s a slight gain that we added another ‘no’ and three abstentions. That’s at least a small gain in the amount of support we had from the last BOA meeting.”
Andrews also mentioned there is still a petition coming forward, opposing the motion.
“Hopefully by the end of next week … we’ll be able to have 1,500 [signatures on the petition] and present that to the board. The board is not required to approve it, but I believe, for accountability purposes, if 1,500 students … want a referendum, it should be accepted.”
Funding changes for federated bodies
Sarah Jayne King, vp finance of the SFUO, brought forward a motion to the BOA on funding for federated bodies. The first reading of the proposal suggested the implementation of measures to ensure federated bodies are more accountable for financial actions, and in return the federated bodies will be given additional funding. The first reading of the motion was carried unanimously by the board.
“The federated body funding motion that we brought to the table today is a result of a lot of work … between myself and many members of the federated bodies to ensure that not only do federated bodies receive more funding to better serve their members, but [that they] also be held accountable to their members as well,” said King. “Right now there is not a lot in place to ensure that student money is getting spent responsibly within the federated bodies.”
Audits will take place three times throughout the year to ensure proper spending of finances and penalties will be given to federated bodies who don’t follow the procedure.
The proposal also created an additional fund, which federated bodies in good standing can apply for to assist with different events, initiatives, or 101 weeks programs.
“For the past couple years, there have been a lot of discussions between the SFUO and the federated bodies about this funding issue,” said King. “It has taken this time to come up with a motion that really responds to the needs of the federated bodies.”