Council Connection—August 25, 2022 Meeting

The AUSU student council meeting was called into order on Thursday, August 25th at 6:30 pm.

AUSU President Karen Fletcher announced the appointment of Jodi Campbell as the Accessibility Officer and ran through the land acknowledgements, took attendance, and asked for member input.

Amending the Agenda

Karen proceeded to move to adopt the agenda.  Vice President and Indigenous Circle Representative Trishtina Godoy-Contois proposed amending that we table items for a late date due to limited time in the meeting.  Governance and Advocacy Coordinator Duncan Wojtaszek was asked to weigh in regarding the procedure within Robert’s rules of order.  It was interesting learning how these procedures worked; Duncan even pointed out that if the agenda is not passed, then the meeting immediately comes to an end.

Trishtina motioned to table the discussion of the budget along with policies until the September 15th meeting, with a special amendment for Duncan to explain what items of importance should be discussed during this meeting.  Duncan states the only motion that must be discussed is email ratification, as students deserve to know what business is conducted.  Duncan did warn that tabling the budget until September 15th would leave little time for feedback and changes to be enacted – for example, if notice is required—since the fiscal year ends September 30th, 2022.

The discussion of the reasoning whether to discuss or table the budget during the meeting started venturing into the talk of the actual budget, so President Karen Fletcher called for votes on these Agenda motions.  The policy changes were tabled and the motion to table the budget was put to a vote, which passed six to five.

The agenda and minutes were then both passed unanimously.

The Parking Lot List

At first glance, I assumed this was to discuss something related to parking.  Karen clarified the Parking Lot List is a list of various issues that need to be dealt with that were brought up during an informal meeting.  Council discussed the best way to organize these issues, including managing them into categories and transferring them into a report.  While Councillor Allie Wojtaszek initially volunteered to undertake this, it was decided to be put to Vice-President Finance and Administration, Dur-E-Najaf Syed, as an action item.   This will be an ongoing document that can be used to address issues that arise.

Complaint Review

Council moved in-camera for a confidential motion discussion that the voice was not privy to.  Anyone who is not on the council was moved into a waiting room.  Unfortunately, since we were moved to a waiting room and not a breakaway room, we could not converse.  The in-camera session was lengthy, approximately an hour and 45 minutes, which speaks to the depth of discussion that likely occurred.

The motion in question was listed on the agenda as a proposed motion and read “BIRT that the AUSU Council has determined that Trishtina Godoy-Contois has breached Policy 2.13 Code of Ethics by failing to conduct herself in a respectful, professional manner during an AU stakeholder meeting.”

However, after the in-camera session, council returned with the decision that the motion did not need to be moved, having eventually decided that it was not worth discussion.

When the council returned, Karen gave some insight into the issue that had lead to the situation causing the complaint, which was that a student was seeking assistance with enrollment and financial aid, however, they did not get the assistance they needed from the employee.  AUSU has met with the employee’s supervisor who has committed to providing “very specific mentoring,” and the student is continuing to receive assistance for the remaining unresolved issues.  The details of this were kept vague due to the confidential nature of the issue.

Termination of VMock and Email Ratification

The VMock resume review service has not seen popular uptake; the funds will be reallocated to another form of professional development.  A unanimously passed motion terminated the service.

On June 29th, 2022, an email motion was passed allowing AUSU’s members-at-large to be eligible for the AUSU’s Two-Spirit, Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming Student’s bursary awarded in July 2022.  Council passed unanimously ratified this email vote.

At this point, the meeting had been running for approximately two and a half hours, and many councillors had to leave.  The remainder of the meeting, specifically the reports and the recognitions, were tabled, leaving only the question-and-answer period which, given the lateness and few items publicly discussed, was unsurprisingly not used.

The next meeting will take place on September 15th, 2022.  It is expected to be an intensive meeting as the council will discuss the entire budget.  Contact if you’re interested in attending and seeing what AUSU has decided to with your money.