STUSU Briefs: Feb. 22, 2018

Young Greens funding 

St. Thomas University’s Students’ Union voted to amend the financial policy to make funding for clubs non-partisan.

The Fredericton Young Greens applied for $50 in funding at a Feb. 8 STUSU meeting for a talk given by environmental activist Tina Oh.

The talk, “Another Feminist Killjoy on Climate Justice,” was held on Feb. 20 at STU.

Other sponsors for the talk included the Young Communist League, St. Thomas University’s Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Program, St. Thomas University’s Environment and Society Program and No One Is Illegal Fredericton.

The finance committee had approved the funding. However, concerns were raised at the Feb. 8 STUSU meeting, freezing the funding motion.

The current policy does not prohibit STUSU from funding politically affiliated organizations and politically affiliated groups have received funding in the past, according to vice-president administration Matt LeBlanc.

When clubs and societies apply for funding, they must fill out a form. The form makes no distinction between recognized and ratified clubs, meaning any club that’s recognized can receive funding.

“All clubs currently believe that they are eligible for funding,” LeBlanc said.

At-large representative Nicholas Decarie doesn’t believe STUSU should give money to politically affiliated groups because the leftover money could be used to fund other initiatives, like campaign materials.

“It’s really easy for me to perceive that as a recruiting event,” Decarie said. “That is something that, as the chair of the N.B. [Young] New Democrats, I would do to organize and attract people to my political party.”

Social inclusion representative Rebecca Kingston also believed STUSU shouldn’t fund politically affiliated groups, as it is a member of the New Brunswick Student Alliance and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, both of which are non-partisan organizations.

Vice-president education Brianna Workman agreed.

“By being members of CASA and the NBSA, we are already held to their principles,” Workman said.

According to LeBlanc, the Young Greens sent a three-point defense email explaining why they should receive funding. The first point read, “the Fredericton Young Greens, though naturally aligned with the Green Party of Canada and of New Brunswick, are entirely independent.”

“That’s not true,” LeBlanc responded, adding the Fredericton Young Greens constitution states they “will work in collaboration” with the Green Party of Canada and the Green Party of New Brunswick.

“If a clubs constitution says they’re going to collaborate with political parties, I don’t think that makes them apolitical.”

The poster for the event also showed a picture of Oh holding a sign that read, “Trudeau: reject Kinder-Morgan”

“I think that’s clearly a political message,” LeBlanc said.

Ten of the 11 members at the meeting voted to not give money to the Young Greens. LeBlanc abstained.

A motion was put forth by Workman to mandate the governance committee to amend the finance policy to make funding non-partisan. The motion passed unanimously.

Another motion was put forth by Kingston to task governance committee with distinguishing between ratified and unratified clubs.

New SafeRide contract

STUSU president Philippe Ferland and vice-president student life Jimy Beltran have discussed the new SafeRide contract with the University of New Brunswick’s Students’ Union.

The contract will be signed this week.

Welcome week

Due to the new fall reading week from Nov. 5 to 9, classes will start a day earlier and interrupt the regular welcome week schedule.

STUSU president Philippe Ferland met with associate vice-president of enrolment management Scott Duguay and director of student services and residence life Brock Richardson to discuss how to adjust welcome week in accordance with the earlier start.

“We were just having small discussion around how early it will start and kind of a rough idea of what will happen on each day,” Ferland said. “We weren’t planning welcome week, but just taking a look at how it has to change now, given the fact that school’s starting a day earlier.”

Environmental Advisory Committee

The Environmental Advisory Committee is looking for two first or second-year students to sit on the committee. The committee has been inactive for several years, but has recently resurfaced.

Academic assistance

Eight students received $1,200 in funding to attend an Enactus conference in Ottawa from March 23 to 24.  The conference is a “student-led entrepreneurial event … to inspire students to pursue their business ideas.” The overall cost of attending is $3,700.

 

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