The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) is a council composed of a body of students elected by their peers, who are tasked with running the Acadia Students’ Union (ASU). The SRC meets every Friday at 1:00 PM on Teams, however, they would usually meet in the Beveridge Forum located off the Michener Lounge in the Students’ Union Building (SUB). Each meeting is open to the public and students are welcome to attend meetings to learn more about the decisions being made on their behalf.
After a quick roll call, Chairperson Molly Anderson put forward the meeting’s agenda and VP Academic, Lydia Houck, asked to add a motion under new business.
As per usual, Molly asked if there were any conflicts of interest, and unusually, the council had to decide whether some of its members should abstain from the conversation in this meeting, as it regarded the ASU election, which some council members were running in. Sadie McAlear, Kevin George, and Menat Tahoun, who are all running for re-election, declared conflicts of interest and agreed to refrain from speaking in that conversation.
Zach Goldsmith inquired as to the logistics of council members meeting virtually or in-person for council meetings once they were able to do so, bringing up the point that many Theology students are not on campus and it may be more accessible for members to have the option of attending virtually. Robbie Holmes replied that he believed the general consensus was that for the foreseeable future, their hope is that those who can attend in-person will, but those who cannot, will be able to attend their meetings virtually. Molly concurred that the option for members to attend meetings virtually is something that is in the works in terms of being protected by SRC policies.
The only issues left on the agenda after this was new business, where Lydia had asked to discuss the option for a vote abstention on the election ballots. She explained that historically there has been an abstention option on the ballot (meaning for any given question, you had the option to select abstain, and not vote either way) and that students are wanting that option back. Danish, who runs the elections, agreed that the option to abstain would be beneficial and even get a better voter turnout, according to the feedback he received after the last election.
After this discussion, Lydia moved to include an abstention option on the ballot for all positions in all ASU elections moving forward, including the ASU 2021 election.
Danish clarified that in regards to needing a two-thirds majority to win a vote, an abstention vote would not count as an “against” vote, it would simply not be accounted in the vote at all. Robbie suggested that they instead motion to add the abstention option for only candidate positions, not referendums. This is because they do not want students to choose to abstain from voting in referendums by cause of laziness and think that removing the option to abstain in referendums will help promote more student engagement in their government. This motion was passed unanimously (save the members who declared a conflict of interest).
Alex Surette made a quick announcement that he is working to create a video to show how to use the new waste sorting resources that are coming onto campus. Molly quickly reminded members that they were expected and encouraged to attend the general debate and to ask provoking questions. Finally, Brendan MacNeil issued a formal apology to the council about the motions that were debated in the previous meeting, as he felt he had not given the council enough time to prepare and enough context to enable them to effectively and informatively discuss the matters.
The meeting ended shortly thereafter, and the council spend the rest of their time in an informal work period.