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 Wednesday at 5:30 PM 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.
This week’s meeting consisted of a discussion revolving around the ASU Code of Conduct and Recall System, the finalization of the ASU Investment Policy and the release of the Wet’suwet’en solidarity statement on behalf of the ASU.
Code of Conduct and Recall System
Councilor Jonah van Driesum brought forward the ASU’s Code of Conduct to discuss with the council. The Code of Conduct has not been changed. It has been recommended that the specificity of misconduct be improved and implemented right away. Councilor Driesum proposed that an independent position within the Code of Conduct be created to enhance the investigation in such matters. This position would allow for a thorough and proper investigation of situations involving misconduct to incur, and as a result, ensure that the SRC could merit punishment based on the report from the hired outside investigator.
Councilor Jonah van Driesum explained that the SRC Recall System is held in high regard, however, more details have been added into section 10. The new addition states:
“Recall election initiation and campaigns could not occur during the Winter Break or Summer Break, and any relevant materials for potential ongoing or future recall elections would have to handed over to the CRO for the course of the break.”
The addition should help restrict the period of time between when the recall period begins and ends. In turn, the restriction will ensure that people are not forced to campaign during study breaks and/or holidays.
VP Finance and Operations Brendan MacNeil announced that the final amendment made to the Investment Policy is that the ASU will also be divesting from metals and mining companies alongside oils and gas because of the environmental and social risk affiliated with them. Metals and mining are just as harmful and as the ASU only holds one share in metal and mining companies, it is better to boycott them now as well.
The council questioned whether any technological companies that associate with metal companies will be included in the divestment of metal and mining companies. MacNeil assured the council that the new policy is extremely specific in stating that technology was not included in the divestment.
The council then celebrated a successful close to the long and well-thought out process of updating of the ASU Investment Policy and the new finalized version.
ASU Statement Release
President Kyle Vandertoorn shared with council the final draft of a statement that will be released on behalf of the ASU concerning support for Acadia University’s indigenous students. Vandertoorn acknowledged all the people that have helped put this statement together and reiterated the amount of thought and research that went into it. After having heard the letter read out loud by Vandertoorn, council agreed that it will hopefully do some good in showing support from the student union perspective.
It was also acknowledged from multiple members that the neutral and supportive tone of this statement is very appropriate to the timing of its release, in contrast to other student unions that released well-pointed letters when the situation was at its peak.
On the other hand, concern was raised by Councilor Jonah van Driesum that the statement failed to address the opinions of students who may be opposed to the situation. He says that while he is not in opposition to the statement, he acknowledges that some people who have different views on the matter on campus and in the community want to feel like they are being included in the conversation. While he understands that as much as we want to show our support for Acadia’s indigenous students, it is important that all people feel comfortable coming to the SRC and are included. President Vandertoorn says that the letter focuses on addressing the people who are affected and that there was no need previously expressed about addressing any opposition.
Lastly, Diversity and Inclusion Representative Soyini Edwards states that the letter appears to be perfect because all that needs to be said to show support is that the ASU stands with the students and violence is never necessary.