The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) is a council composed of a body of students elected by their peers, who are in charge of running the Acadia Students’ Union. The Council meets weekly on Wednesdays at 5:00 PM in the Beveridge Forum which is located off of the Michener Lounge in the old Students’ Union Building (SUB). Every meeting is open to the public and students are encouraged to attend the meetings to learn more about the decisions being made on their behalf.
On October 23rd the SRC met primarily to receive an update on both the Indigenous Society Incident and the UPass Moratorium proposed by President Kyle Vandertoorn, as a notice of motion, during the previous meeting. There were a couple of announcements that closed out the meeting.
Moratorium on Upass Referendums Update
During the previous SRC meeting Kyle Vandertoorn, ASU President, proposed the idea of an immediate moratorium on Upass referendums unless there is an outstanding amount of evidence that if the UPass goes to referendum it will for sure be passed. She suggested the moratorium will be in place for a period of about ten years unless it is repealed by a future council. The council agreed to send this proposal to the Governance Committee in order to discuss specifics.
Governance reportedly proposed a four-year UPass moratorium with a two-year review point contrary to the original ten-year period previously offered by Vandertoorn. The Governance Committee will have another meeting on the proposed moratorium before it goes to council for a vote.
Sustainability Representative Max Abu-Laban asked why this moratorium is necessary when under recent changes to Bylaw 3 it already makes it harder for students to move things to a referendum anyway. In response to this question, Jonah van Driesum said that the moratorium does not stop anybody from talking about the UPass or bringing it up but the ASU has used a lot of resources towards the UPass and largely rejected it and so the moratorium is more of a statement that it is time to move on. Additionally, van Driesum states that this moratorium creates time for new students to come in and see this Upass idea with different opinions but for now the students here have rejected it.
Vandertoorn wanted to clarify that she is speaking to the fact that there was no opt-out for students when proposing this UPass moratorium and perhaps if a UPass was suggested in the future with this option and the appropriate number of signatures on the petition, it may be considered.
Responding with another question, Abu-Laban asked if there were records of the money and time spent on the UPass by the ASU and Vandertoorn promptly replied saying yes there was an extensive list of all expenditures, work and efforts of the ASU and she could provide it for the next meeting.
Indigenous Society Incident
Last meeting Soyini Edwards, Diversity & Inclusion Representative, had spoken to the council about the Indigenous Students’ Society of Acadia’s (ISSA) tipi which was unusable due to vandalism and had been brought to her attention. Vandertoorn had promised to discuss with the Executive Director of Student Services, James Sanford, to inquire about what the University is doing in regard to the situation and what the ASU can do.
After discussing the incident with Sanford, Vandertoorn shared with council that Sanford said the tipi had been vandalized in 2017 and not properly put away in storage. When the tipi came out of storage it had already been vandalized in the past and due to the bad storage, the tipi was further destroyed.
Vandertoorn received confirmation from three other individuals on campus that the tipi had not been recently vandalized, however, she emphasized that it does not make the 2017 vandalization okay. Sanford advised Vandertoorn against sending out a letter to update the student body as the incident was far in the past.
The University is looking into better storage and preventative measures for the future. Vandertoorn said she would check back with Sanford in two weeks in order to see what is happening with the tipi (will it be replaced?).
There were plenty of announcements following the two major updates:
Councillor van Driesum is hosting a panel discussion on the aftermath of the federal election on November 12th at 7:30pm. This discussion will talk about why Canadians voted the way they did, how this will affect students and the community they live in and how is the government going to move forward. The heads of the Sociology and Women and Gender Studies departments, as well as Politics professors, will all be participating and additionally will talk about western alienation. Van Driesum hopes to bring in someone from the energy sector to help explain how the west is feeling after the election.
The Get Out The Vote Campaign concluded with the federal election. Acadia managed to come in 8th place out of 15 and had an impressive amount of pledges.
Science Senator, Nicole Kirkpatrick briefly mentioned her plans for an event. This event will feature research presentations from science faculty and students and present it for students who are considering doing honours in their upper years. Kirkpatrick is in contact with the Science Departments and will have more details later.