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 September 25th the council had a short meeting primarily to hear the ASU’s Auditors report. After the report the council then discussed the deferred matters from last week and went over points of new business including the Town of Wolfville Grant and members fall goal documents, amongst a few others.
Auditors Michael Stevens and Jessica Skinner from BDO Canada LLP joined council this evening to present an overview of the 2018/2019 draft financial statements. Stevens noted that this report is a lot longer than past reports and explained to council that they do these audits on a test basis and if they find something missing or wrong, they investigate but if nothing is wrong, they don’t. It was found that there was no material missing regarding the financial statements for the last fiscal year.
Skinner then briefly went over the report and explained to the council that the report was a picture of the ASU’s finances until March 31st, 2019. She discussed a good increase in the ASU’s long-term investments which she credited to the market being particularly good at the moment. Capital assets were slightly down from last year, but Skinner explained that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing as some assets were made up in other areas. Liabilities, net assets and deferred revenue were a couple of additional things discussed during the meeting, with none of them raising major concern from what was expected. Skinner also noted that the revenue the ASU is bringing was consistent throughout the whole year however retail outlets were not making as much as was budgeted for them to make.
Both Stevens and Skinner noted to council that the ASU seems to be running very smoothly and out of all their clients the ASU is very tight on controls around finances which was highly impressive and allows them as auditors to do their job as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Last week a few committees that required members of council were deferred due to the number of empty positions within the council at this time. This week the council voted to defer the filling of the Occupational Health Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee until after the by-election, at which point they will have more members to help serve.
Executive members of the SRC are required to only take four classes a semester due to the strenuous workload of their position. Mackenzie Jarvin, VP Academic and External, explained to the council that she is just one course shy of graduating this spring and expressed that it seems silly of her to return next year for one class. She then explained she will try to take an online class over Christmas break in order to solve this problem, however, if that option is unavailable, she requested that council allow her to take a fifth-class next semester. The council took the matter to a vote which was unanimous.
Max Abu-Laban, Sustainability Officer, informed the council that the town of Wolfville was applying for a low carbon community grant with the provincial government. He went on to explain that applications featuring partnerships look a lot better and the town would like to partner with the University. If the grant were to be given to Wolfville, Abu-Laban stated that the partnership would work towards hosting an event during Orientation Week to educate incoming students about climate change and what they can do to help the climate crisis.
Additionally, Abu-Laban also proposed to the council a ‘Sustainability Newsletter’ which would be sent around campus bi-monthly or even monthly to alert the students of climate opportunities to get involved as well as keeping students up to date with Acadia’s efforts regarding the climate crisis. VP Events and Promotions, Gabrielle Bailey, told him that he could reach out to James Sanford or herself in order to discuss the distribution of this newsletter. Council agreed that this newsletter seemed like an excellent idea.
Before beginning the closed session, the council individually went around and read out their fall goal documents to be adopted. Each member had different goals, but all the goals brought up were very ambitious and forward goals that will increase support and opportunity for the students on campus that each member represents.