LIVE BLOG: Council December 4

Agenda

Executive Reports

Minutes from November 20

 

Housekeeping

10:28:25 PM. Council is about to begin!

10:03:42 AM. Here we go! Jk we’re waiting for someone’s computer stuff, there are edits to the agenda coming up.

Zoe is amending the agenda to add honoraria motions for Simon Gillies, Itai Kuwodza, Margaret Dingwell. Motion passes (agenda amended).

Agenda adopted.

Minutes approved.

 

Councillor Reports

10:07:29 AM. Lianne is reporting. Journo study snacks are happening tomorrow. She went to a Watch BoP meeting as a student.

I don’t have much to report—I was going to talk about the Watch Board of Publishers meeting but Brennan asked that Zoe, as the KSU representative on that Board, be the only one to report about that meeting.

10:08:10 AM. FG reports, she sat on academic committee (so did Lianne and I!) and she’s also on a Dal committee whose name I missed sorry.

10:09:22 AM. Curran! There was a Board of Governors meeting on Dec 1. University is in a transition period right now, deficit budget, new President. Not a lot of decisions made affecting students, but a lot of discussion about the situation of the University right now. Rare books collection at the library recently appraised for insurance purposes (hundreds of thousands of dollars, I’ll get back to you with an exact number). There might be a discussion in the future about selling these. President Bill Lahey has been working on a draft mandate (for his position). He’s been having a lot of external meetings. Lots of discussion about where the University is cutting back, recruitment and retention, revenue, etc.

Preliminary discussion about changing the location of HOST from King’s to Dalhousie. This is just a conversation between administrators right now, and they can’t change anything without Dal’s approval, but it’s something they’re talking about.

10:15:42 AM. Cedric: the DSS bought a tree for the Wardroom. First-year day students’ study snacks with Neil Robertson in the Wilson Room tomorrow, and that’s about it for the DSS for this term!

Gina adds that the bake sale they held on Friday was great.

10:16:46 AM. Lucia: the kitch sitch (kitchen sitchen) went very well, Lucia spoke to about a dozen students and there will be good changes to the AH kitchen next term. Students wanted more kitchen utensils, pots and pans, etc.

10:17:37 AM. Riel: he’s been planning a study snacks type of event, Cue Cards and Cocoa.

10:18:01 AM. Drew also attended academic committee and a DASSS meeting. DASSS’s and academic committee’s goals align, Drew is hoping to get DASSS in contact with SNARC. She’s also been doing email newsletters, and will be sending these out every other Monday from now on.

 

Executive Reports

10:19:29 AM. Aidan is recapping what we’ve done so far this year. So far we have allocated $6,762.90 in society funding and ratified 36 societies. JS has written 20 TWAKs!

There will (probably?) be a referendum to increase Union dues in the Winter term.

Aidan encourages everyone to ask questions if there are things happening around the University that they don’t understand. There was a discussion at the BoG meeting about Fall Reading Week and student mental health and the events that the KSU has been running. The College’s financial situation (still) sucks, and increasing enrolment might not cut it to fix this. There’s also been talk about internal restructuring and our relationship with Dalhousie. With decreased government funding, Aidan is worried that King’s will come to rely on external funding and that there will be serious decisions to be made that will affect students.

Vice-Presidential Search Committee is starting to meet, which Aidan is on.

The Executive is putting forward a referendum question next term to increase Union dues. Zoe will report on this more, and Aidan elaborates on it in her written report. It’s important to note that these dues are always set by referendum (every single student votes on this question). They don’t have a number yet. Expect the wording of the question to come to Council, a town hall discussion, and then the referendum would happen at the same time as the Spring Executive Elections.

10:31:57 AM. I asked what the University’s external funding issues and ‘serious decisions’ are. Aidan says a lot of this conversation itself was really vague. External funding might involve an increased focus on fundraising from alumni and other donors. Re: serious decisions, the University just can’t keep operating on a 1.6 million $ deficit and there will need to be serious cuts to our expenses. Right now the 1.6 million $ is being covered through debt financing.

10:34:22 AM. Brennan! Attended Property Grounds & Safety Committee meeting. University if working with Siemens to create a plan for a campus-wide energy retrofit. Also discussion about the physical accessibility of this campus. University is receiving a $30k accessibility grant, which will likely be used to fix small issues like making sure the wheelchair buttons work on the NAB doors! Wardroom updates continue to happen.

Brennan chaired Academic Committee and this meeting was awesome. Most of the meeting was about representative curricula, we also talked about making sure students know their accommodation rights. We will meet twice next semester because we all liked it so much!

JS is beside me looking up words that rhyme with “airline.” Hmm.

10:40:01 AM. Zoe reports! Zoe attended the Canadian Federation of Students National General Meeting two weeks ago and it was great.

There is lots of society funding left. SOCIETY EXECS: submit receipts by Tuesday if you want to get paid this term!

Zoe attended a meeting of the Watch Board of Publishers on Friday. Passed their budget, elected Fred Vallance-Jones and Aidan Lee to the Board. Also passed a motion to hold a public post-mortem on the November 2016 issue in the Wardroom in January.

Wardroom Board of Management met.

Union has been behind on our financial statements but we are about to be up to date!!!!!!!!!!! This is super duper exciting.

Re: referendum on Union dues, lots of thought and work has gone into this. Right now Zoe is preparing financial documents so that everyone can be well-informed in making this decision.

I add that the Watch and Union are independent organizations and this is important to keep in mind.

10:51:19 AM. Gina is reporting! She hosted/attended the Day of Action debriefs and these went well. CFS-NS gave out exam care packages with info and fun things. She hosted the Hunting Ground screening and there was good discussion about sexual assault and sexual assault policy on campus.

Tomorrow we are making posters and then leaving King’s at 2:30 to get downtown for a rally to support teachers. High school students are also organizing their own rally downtown from 9am to pretty much all day long!

There are some solidarity motions coming forward today. This is a way that the Union can use its voice to show support for important issues.

10:54:21 AM. J! S! JS has been working on a panel on racism, music, and accessible spaces. This is going to happen in the second week of January. Speakers will be El Jones, Chike Jeffers, and Cory Bowles.

9 Days of ISIC happening this week. Tell yo friends!!

The King’s Feminist Collective is holding a vigil tonight in remembrance of the Ecole Polytechnique shootings. There will be more vigils on Tuesday as well.

 

Action Items

10:57:16 AM. BIRT The King’s Wordsmiths receive $34.72 in contingent funding to purchase snacks and hot chocolate for their final meeting of the year on December 7th.

Wordsmiths want to hold a meeting about ‘fluff’ and other non-professional writing. Motion passes.

10:58:22 AM. Whereas Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet recently approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and Line 3 tar sands pipelines; and
Whereas the Kinder Morgan pipeline project received opposition from 81 of 120 Indigenous
communities consulted; and
Whereas the pipeline will be built on unceded land of the Tslei-Waututh Nation who actively oppose the project; and
Whereas the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline has had 82 spills since 1961 and spills pose as a threat to ecologically sensitive areas and the economy; and
Whereas the creation of these pipelines and continued investment into fossil fuels will make it impossible for Canada to reach its global climate change commitments as outline in the Paris agreement; and
Whereas Indigenous issues and climate change issues are student issues; therefore

BIRT that the King’s Students’ Union opposes the Kinder Morgan pipeline and joins the efforts of coalition partners to oppose the pipeline; and
BIFRT that members of the King’s Students’ Union write a letter to Member of Parliament Andy Filmore condemning the government’s decision; and
BIFRT the KSU organize opportunities for members to write similar letters.

Gina: this motion is comprehensive. There are lots of other people doing this work too on campus, we’d be joining with them.

Cedric: is King’s directly invested in the tar sands? Gina: when this comes up in King’s meetings they make the excuse that they are tied to Dal. Aidan: there is no student representative on the King’s Investment Committee. A lot of our investments have been transferred to Dalhousie. There hasn’t been a lot of divestment organizing at King’s—yet.

Aidan speaks in favour of this motion! Passing this motion mandates the Union to continue working on this and advocating for it.

Several people are talking about the various ecological and economic impacts of pipelines and why they suck so much. Also basically everyone in BC is opposed to these projects. Motion passes.

11:08:19 AM.  Whereas Nova Scotia teachers have reported that working conditions in Nova Scotia schools have deteriorated, negatively impacting students’ learning conditions; and
Whereas the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) has rejected two tentative agreements from
the Government; and
Whereas the NSTU is seeking fair working conditions including class caps for all grade levels, compensation for planning time and prep time, fair wages, and other measures to improve learning conditions; and
Whereas the NSTU announced on November 28 2016 that teachers and all other educational
support people would strike in the form of work-to-rule; and
Whereas Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey announced on December 3 2016 that on December 5 2016, schools would be closed province-wide and that an emergency sitting of the legislature would begin in order to impose a contract on the teachers; therefore

BIRT the King’s Students’ Union support the efforts of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to fight for and reach a fair collective agreement; and
BIFRT the King’s Students’ Union write a letter to the Nova Scotia Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Karen Casey in support of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union; and
BIFRT the KSU condemns the Nova Scotia government’s lockout, which is a clear attack on collective bargaining and democracy.

Brennan speaks strongly in favour of this motion. He notes that when teachers announced their plan to work to rule, and the province responded by deeming these conditions “unsafe,” this confirms the NSTU’s assertion that their working conditions and contract are unfair.

Brennan and Pilar both speak to the negative effects on students that this government’s actions have, and how pressured and overworked teachers are. Pilar calls the NS government’s actions “deplorable,” they effect everyone—teachers, parents, students, etc.

Pilar is friends with the organizers of the student walkout and they are just as passionate about this.

I’m also super super in support of this motion. I’m proposing an amendment to explicitly add our support for Nova Scotia high school students. Here’s the wording:

“and Whereas the King’s Students’ Union affirms its solidarity with all students, and supports high school students in their actions to support their teachers and express their views. […]
BIFRT the King’s Students’ Union stand with Nova Scotia high school students as they participate in political discussions and direct actions to support their teachers.”

11:23:46 AM. Aidan, Zoe, and Brennan voice their support for this amendment. Brennan also adds that there will be lots of students rallying throughout the day tomorrow. Amendment passes.

Gina moves to amend the motion so that it’s clear that the KSU Executive will write a letter on behalf of the Union. Amendment passes.

Charlotte (our Chair) is re-reading this motion for like the third time and I LOVE IT. This motion bears repeating. Teachers freaking rule. Motion passes.

11:28:34 AM. Now we have some honoraria motions for the CUBE Coordinators Simon and Itai, the amounts are $125 each which is half of their honoraria for the year. Sorry there’s no wording for these in front of me! Motions pass.

And an honorarium motion for our Scribe Maggie, the amount is $250 which is half of her honorarium for the year. Motion passes.

11:32:15 AM. Recessing for 10 minutes! Brennan says the teacher motion is “the best motion we’ve ever passed.” I agree.

~

11:42:06 AM. We’re back, and moving on to Mystery Moose. JS gave me a bite of her pasta (she momentarily thought I was vegetarian and I’m offended???????) and it was deLICIOUS!

Brennan is handing out Mystery Moose gifts (it’s like secret santa but called something else idk why).

We haven’t even opened them yet and FG is already laughing so hard she’s crying.

We’re going to open them and then reveal gift givers all at the end.

Charlotte’s going first. She was given Love in the time of Cholera, a Dalhousie-approved stress ball, a wallet, spicy fava beans, and Kleenex. There’s also a card but she’s not reading it bcs it was accidentally signed.

Aidan’s going next. She was given a Body Shop Vanilla Chai gift package thing with cream I think idk.

Lianne received a cryptic card and a beautiful succulent plant.

I was given a beautiful handmade notebook with a crow on the front! Thanks Mystery Moose!

JS was given an orange-flavoured bar of dark chocolate.

Brennan received a card that says “for when you need to hit the sauce,” and a jar of cranberry sauce!

FG got a card that is “the funniest thing” she’s ever seen. She was crying earlier no joke. It’s basically a little zine. FG says “hashtag I Love My Moose #ILoveMyMoose”. Also a tupperware full of homemade cookies, and a syringe… She’s crying again I think.

Curran got something wrapped in a photocopy of Marx. It’s a book called Education in the New Age. There’s a note too!

Cedric’s is wrapped in the Coast. They remembered the accent in his name! (Sorry Cedric it slows me down :/ ). He got minty tea!

Pilar received a Deadpool hat, paper cranes, tea, and a card! And a stress ball! The paper cranes are made out of pages of the KSU handbook—classic.

Lucia was given a sunflower in a cube, and also the farmer’s almanac—which Gina called the “best piece of literature of all time.”

Riel’s is from a “secret admirer.” It’s Kafka’s Metamorphosis!

Drew got an incredibly flattering card, and also a lavender arugula plant, and also a photo of her and her Mystery Moose skydiving together, and also Oreos, and other candy!!

Gina got Pete’s Gluten Free granola but it says Pete’s Gluten Free EVP on it!

Zoe was given a bunch of lace, and a jar of candy canes, and miniature bottles of [REDACTED].

Maggie got a nice card and a mug and mug-cake ingredients.

That’s everyone!

 

12:15:35 PM. New Business? Nope! P.S. this is the last week of Councillor and Executive office hours. Our next Council meeting will be on January 15th.

12:16:39 PM. Adjourned! Have a good break!