By the Editorial Collective
Tomorrow will be the Fall term Federation of Students General Meeting. This meeting is where any and all ordinary undergraduate students may vote on important goings-on within Feds, and in fact the meeting carries a higher authority than the Feds Student Council. The meeting will begin at 3:00 pm tomorrow in the Great Hall of the Student Life Centre (SLC).
In the past year, Feds GMs, which were once largely ignored by the student body, have begun to draw attention due to the unprecedented number of students in attendance and the affairs being discussed, such as the creation of a Clubs Library in the SLC and a motion to initiate a referendum that would consult the student body on the idea of a Fall Reading Break (a referendum which is slated to happen this November). This meeting seems likely to command a similar level of attention and controversy, surrounding three member-added motions.
The first is a motion to make the SLC more physically accessible (in particular, the entrance facing the PAC parking lot), added by Amy Yang (3N Environmental Engineering). This would make it easier for persons with physical disabilities to use the SLC.
The second is a motion to ban for-profit banks and other financial service companies from soliciting students to sign up for credit cards in the SLC (excluding the current CIBC branch in the SLC basement), put forward by Shifa Abbas (4A Biology). This would block these companies from using both physical space (such as tables in Vendors Alley) and advertising space for this purpose, though they could still use those spaces to advertise for other purposes. The main vendor affected would be the Bank of Montreal (BMO), which currently uses Vendors Alley to advertise these services and solicit students to use them.
The final motion was submitted by Andrew Reeves (3A Mathematical Physics) to reopen Feds Board of Directors meetings, which despite Feds President Danielle Burt’s stated commitment to transparency, remain closed to the Federation’s own members, UW undergraduates. An enigma, Reeves has not participated in any interviews with the press and has so far only made one public comment (in response to the Imprint): “It’s a bit sad this motion is necessary at all.”. The Chevron agrees with this statement. We believe that for the Feds Board of Directors to be accountable to students, its meetings will need to be open so that students can ensure that Board members are acting in their best interest.
We encourage all interested students to go to the meeting. Feds is responsible, through levy fees, for managing millions of dollars in our money and it is our responsibility to hold Feds accountable and to make sure it is being managed according to the interests and desires of students, because nobody else will hold Feds accountable.