By Justin Schellenberg, January 26 2018 —
The Jan. 23 meeting of the Students’ Legislative Council began with a discussion about the purpose of the weekly SLC meetings themselves.
The discussion, led by vice-president operations and finance Ryan Wallace, saw elected officials as well as gallery members provide input on what they expect from SLC meetings.
In response to Wallace’s question about the purpose of these weekly meetings, arts representative Frank Finley said the meetings are the best opportunity for the public to see what the Students’ Union does.
“I think these meetings serve a very public purpose for students who want to come and watch,” Finley said. “I’d say it’s our most open viewpoint of the SU.”
Vice-president academic Tina Miller said that she believes the meetings serve as a check and balance for the institution, as well as a way to keep elected officials accountable.
“I think it would become very quickly obvious to this platform if any one of us wasn’t doing our jobs,” Miller said. “It’s a really good way for us to keep each other accountable.”
Wallace went on to ask how SLC could improve and if any agenda items served little purpose in the meetings.
Faculty of Science representative Kayla Huggard brought up an issue with the format of the meetings, saying it could be impeding representatives’ willingness to speak up.
“I’m starting to wonder if perhaps the formality of these meetings hinders people from feeling as though their opinions are important, what they have to say is relevant and whether they should actually make the effort to share their opinion,” Huggard said.
Kinesiology representative Sagar Grewal posed an issue with elected officials wanting to bring forward discussions to the meetings but feeling inhibited by the level of coordination with SU staff needed to add items to the agenda.
“There’s a lot of pre-planning and so it would be interesting to explore the ideas of having an open-discussion section of our agenda where [elected officials] can raise things at the meeting as they please,” Grewal said.
In addition to the discussion on the purpose of the SLC meetings, executives and representatives outlined their work for the SU over the previous week.
Vice-president student life Hilary Jahelka said she met with the clubs committee and approved four funding requests totalling $1,051. Haskayne representative Nik Golob met with the student experience committee, which approved $15,000 of funding for Haskayne students and Huggard said she continued her work on a D2L survey for science students regarding what they would like to see from their collaborative space.
Wallace is bringing the findings of the discussion about SLC’s purpose to the next meeting of the Policy Development and Review Committee for further consideration.
SLC will meet next on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the MacHall Executive Council Chambers.