UMSU notes

The University of Manitoba Student’s Union (UMSU) met on Jan. 27, 2010.  

Representatives from Housing and Student Life, Paul Babiak and Vadim Levin, gave a presentation to promote the upcoming Inter-Residence Challenge Weekend starting on March 17. They announced that this year, groups formed outside of residence were welcomed to participate in the weekend-long competition of academic and sports activities.

Jason van Rooy, Chief Returning Officer (CRO) for this year’s UMSU elections, presented his monthly report to council. He announced that two deputy officers had been hired as staff for the upcoming elections. Van Rooy announced they have begun to advertise for nominations for elections. One referendum petition has been received, by the Manitoban.

There is no Internet available in Pembina Hall, which means there will be no polling stations there, as students’ votes cannot be registered. There will be two stations in University Centre.

Nominations for the elections are being accepted from Feb. 7- 18. Voting will be taking place on March 9, 10 and 11. Advanced polling will be available on March 4.

Van Rooy noted that major changes have not been made to supplementary rules for the election, except for a possible $100 reduction in campaign expense limits.

Last year’s rules forbade candidates from using Facebook during their campaign. “This year’s candidates may choose to utilize Facebook, but I’m leaving that up to them,” said van Rooy.

This question will be decided upon at an all candidates’ meeting before the election begins.
Following van Rooy’s presentation, Cam Morrill, president of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association, made a presentation entitled “Reading University Financial Statements.”

According to Morrill’s presentation, the university has about $80 million provisioned away and about $18 million in excess cash per year. Morrill’s presentation questioned why the university was considering raising tuition and cutting costs, when it could make use of this excess money.

UMSU president Heather Laube announced an upcoming meeting with university administration on Feb. 8, to discuss pub lease options.

Vice-president (internal) Aisyah Abdkahar discussed her meeting with International Centre for Students on Jan. 18. Abdkahar explained that inconsistencies with Manitoba Health regulations and policies meant international students were given health coverage on a case-by-case basis.

Vice-president (student services) Matt Hepner reported on a meeting he had attended to discuss parking on campus and event days at the new Blue Bomber stadium. No final decision was made yet about how event day parking on campus would work. “The Bombers Football Club wants more parking than all the parking available on campus,” said Hepner.

Vice-president (advocacy) Murat Ates confirmed that amendments had been made to exam regulations, which ensured that students would to be able to view their exam prior to the deadline for appeals.

Ates also reported on potential plans to combat theft in larger exam rooms. One solution was the utilization of portable lockers.

Motion 0074, titled “2011 Election Supplementary Rules,” which would approve the 2011 Election Supplementary Rules and Appendices, was passed.

Motion 0076, titled “U of M Campus Alcohol Policy Regarding Buses,” sparked discussion when it was introduced for voting.

The motion, which was passed, called for UMSU to investigate and combat the university’s proposed policy that would ban buses from chauffeuring students to and from events centred around the consumption of alcohol. The policy could effectively end pub crawls at the university if passed, and had already affected some council members and the events they had organized.

Motion 0077, titled “New RATIONAL SelfCooking Centre for Degrees,” was passed, approving the purchase of a new RATIONAL SelfCooking Centre for Degrees, with a spending limit of $22,500 to be depreciated over the next five years.

Abdkahar discussed the machine, saying that it would further expand the capabilities of Degrees and that Degrees had initially been designed with this machine in mind.

According to Abdkahar, the machine would be able to roast and bake food and prepare large volume orders. This would allow Degrees to begin offering baked goods and expand its menu to include many new items from roasts to pizza.