What was the scariest event of the Halloween season this year? MUNSU’s October 30 Board of Director’s meeting!
Several executive directors discussed their work promoting increased pedestrian safety around the university. After two pedestrian-vehicle accidents near campus earlier in the semester, MUNSU has been vying for better student safety, particularly on Westerland Road. Although the university has agreed to pay for the implementation of some safety measures, including new signage and a pedestrian cross signal, board members say MUN will not be taking action until the end of this semester or the beginning of next semester.
Several members participated in a demonstration on Westerland Road on October 30, calling for the university to implement these safety measures immediately.
Director of Campaigns Ashley Holloway said the demonstration received a great deal of positive support from staff, faculty, students, and onlookers.
“We are planning on continuing demonstrations until action is taken,” said Holloway. She says demonstrations will be planned for times of peak traffic until changes are made.
Director of Finance and Services Travis Perry announced that the 2013/2014 MUNSU Operating Budget will be released at the next Board of Director’s Meeting. Perry also discussed his work regarding the auditing process for the Resource Centres. He says he has received audit information from four of the centres and announcement of intention from two others.
“The discussions that we’ve had with most of the Resource Centres have been overwhelmingly positive,” said Perry. “They recognize the importance of having these checks and balances in place to ensure that student dollars are being spent on student initiatives.”
Perry says concerns have been brought forward by one particular Resource Centre, however says they have been “working through it.”
Perry also says that MUNSU has had difficulty recruiting volunteers for the Safe Drive and Walk Safe programs. He urges anyone who might be interested to pick up a volunteer application form at the MUNSU office.
Three new acclaimed board members were introduced during the meeting: Faculty of Education Reps Chanelle Cluett and Scott Tobin, and Centre for Nursing Studies Rep Reuben Bonnell.
Science Rep Sean Kennedy brought up what he called a “concerning” proposal from the Earth Science Department to “radically revise” the GPA system at Memorial. The university has tabled the discussion until next semester.
Perry also made comments regarding the Health and Dental Opt Out plan. He reminded students that they must opt out during their first academic term of the year, thus students currently on work term must opt out when they come back to school in January.
Holloway also discussed the first Women’s Committee meeting of the year, in which the goal of installing baby change tables on campus was discussed. The question was raised as to whether such tables would be in both female and male washrooms.
“That’s a perfect example of why we need gender inclusive washrooms, because then you wouldn’t have to worry about these things,” said Director of Student Life Dan Campbell.
The upcoming efficiency review being conducted by the university was also discussed. Board members stressed the importance of keeping affordable tuition fees a priority now that the university will be looking for up to 30 million dollars in efficiencies.
Near the end of the meeting, a notice was given that a motion to amend the MUNSU bylaws will be served at the next Board of Directors meeting. Director of External Affairs Candace Simms advised board members to come to the meeting well researched and prepared to stay late.
“The last time bylaw reviews came through the meeting lasted until after 11,” said Simms. “I do anticipate that it will go longer than seven o’clock.”
A final draft of the bylaws has been completed and no further modifications will be made. However, amendments and sections may be made and added at the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, all non-ratified Board of Director members were forced to leave the room for an in-camera session. The session was not broadcast over the radio. Board members were voting on a motion to ratify the new contract between MUNSU and their staff in the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). An in-camera session was described as a “discussion of a serious nature” that cannot be available to the public nor discussed outside of the meeting thereafter. Minutes were not taken during the in-camera discussion and no information will be released until both parties sign the contract.