State of the Union – Moving forward

State of the UnionThursday’s SRC meeting, clocking in at just over four hours, is certainly the longest meeting since I’ve been on council. It also demonstrates the importance of what’s being discussed. I don’t think anyone would say our governing documents are perfect, and I’m certain we’re all in agreement that there are definitely things that should be changed. Right now, the discussion we’re having is essentially what we’re going to talk about. I put forward a list of things I thought merited discussion, we discussed it at our meeting, we discussed it with students, and then everyone had the opportunity to put forward things they wanted to be added to the list of topics or removed. Then we discussed it all again. Next week, once we’ve finished discussing what to discuss, we’ll put it forward for a vote. Alex Carleton probably put it best when he described the entire process as very “meta.”

Overall, this two-month process is probably the most open, public and democratic discussion that’s been had at the STUSU in a long time. With our discussions on CASA last year, the vote was pretty much settled in a secret meeting in the president’s office on a weekend morning. Certainly I agree that there were valid points made there, but they should have been made at an open meeting. This year everything we’ve discussed has been public, civil and productive. We have a team of people who genuinely care about their constituents, and the future of the students’ union. A more open union is something I’ve strived for this year, compromising only to protect individual privacy or legal requirements. Certainly there is still more that can be done to engage students and bring more discussion to these issues, and that’s something for the STUSU to work on moving forward.

The place we end up next week is going to be a different place than where we started these discussions at, but that’s the point. It’s been long. It’s been exhausting. But it has been free and fair. Everything I put forward were ways to make sure our council was strong and had the information they need in making decisions, and that’s the way the process has been operated. We’ve engaged students and made it a topic of major discussion on campus. Nobody has won or lost, we’ve worked together for the betterment of the students’ union and the STU community. Now, all that’s left is a handful of ideas that were tabled, and then to put the completed version to a vote.


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