The Students’ Representative Council is the body of students who are elected by their peers to run the Acadia Students’ Union. Council meets bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 5:15 PM in the Beveridge Forum which is located off of the Michener Lounge in the Students’ Union Building (SUB). All of their meetings are open to the public and students are encouraged to attend to learn more about their representatives and the decisions that are being made on their behalf.
The SRC met on October 2ndto hear presentations in regard to the Campaign for Acadia and the 2017-2018 Financial Statement. The Chairperson, Molly Anderson, reviewed the Roberts Rules and Meeting Policies and Chief Returning Officer Sacha Russo presented the Fall By-Election report. ASU President George Philp put forward a draft of the Acadia University Sexual Violence Policy, and presented changes to the Acadia University Non-Academic Judicial Process overview. The council unanimously passed the amendment to the Act of Incorporation. The meeting closed by Philip discussing updates to Acadia’s policies on substance use, and with VP Events and Promotions Gabrielle Bailey discussing homecoming.
ASU Financial Statement 2017-2018
Representatives from BMO attended the Council meeting to discuss last year’s audit. The lengthy financial statement shows that as of March 31st, the ASU was valued at $ 6,349,805 in net assets, which is has increased by almost $2 million from the previous year. The document also states that total revenue increased, as did total expenses. Multiple operations of the ASU, such as the information desk, Perkins, Union Market, and Axe Handle all had losses, but the Student Health Plan has a surplus due to high premiums for international students. Philp states that these losses were anticipated, because they are run for student benefit and not for profit. Council adopted by document and the full statement will be made public shortly.
Roberts Rules and Meeting Policy
Chairperson Molly Anderson reviewed the Roberts Rules and Meeting Policy, which this council abides by. Roberts Rules, developed in the late 1800’s, is a list of rules and procedures to ensure that meetings run smoothly, with minimal interruption. They are designed to allow for full participation of members, and to properly move and amend motions.
Fall By-Election Report
Chief Returning Officer Sacha Russo updated Council on the by-election which closed its polls last Friday. There were two positions that needed filling, which were Equity Officer and First Year Officer. There were two candidates for the first, and four for the latter. One candidate for First Year Officer dropped out prior to the debate, which took place on September 24th. The voting period ran from 8:30 am on September 27th, to 4 pm on the 28th. Results were released to candidates within an hour of polls closing.
Acadia University Sexual Violence Policy
ASU President, George Philp, put forward a draft of the new sexual violence policy. The province of Nova Scotia mandates that all schools must have one. The policy is currently in the consultation process, and will remain a draft for the time being.
Updates to the Acadia University Non-Academic Judicial Process
The non-academic judicial process is enacted when a student violates the rules and regulations set out by Acadia University. Philp, along with James Stanford and Stephen Hassapis, have updated the guidelines of this process to extend the time period to appeal, and have set no time limit if it is concerning sexual violence. They have implemented training for judicial advisors, as well as an application process for appointing judicial board members. The have also changed the process to make it more bearable for survivors of sexual assault, as they no longer have to come face to face with the accused.
Amendment of the Act of Incorporation
Pertaining to last week’s meeting, Philp put forward an amendment to the Act of Incorporation, which would ensure that all executive members are voted or appointed, which is more in line with current proceedings. The motion passed unanimously, keeping in mind that only 14 members of Council were present at this point.
Acadia Substance Use Policies
Due to the impending legalization of cannabis on October 17th, Philp announced that Acadia has updated its regulation to include this use of marijuana. It will follow similar guidelines to that of alcohol or tobacco use, in that it may only be smoke at designated smoking locations around town, and no stockpiling is allowed. Students who are 19 years of age or older may keep marijuana in their dorm room, so long as it is a it is in an air tight container. No edibles may be cooked on campus either, and all accessories must be scent free and kept in a reasonable location (i.e. you cannot display them as “trophies”). These policies will come into effect on October 17th.
VP Events and Promotions Gabrielle Bailey informed Council that the Backyard Bash, an on-campus homecoming event, will be taking place again this year, but with some stricter guidelines than last year. It will run from 10am-2:30 pm on Saturday, October 13th. Bailey states that they will be bringing in a food truck, inflatable games, and some extra security.
Ailish Bergin is a second year Politics student and Columnist for The Athenaeum