Students have chance to participate in governance of students’ union
By Jake Wray, News Editor
The DSU is set to hold its 2018 annual general meeting, which is open to all students, on January 25.
Virtually all students are members of the DSU and the annual general meeting provides students with an opportunity to review the DSU’s finances, pose questions to DSU board members, vote on proposed changes to DSU bylaws and policies, and, of course, devour free pizza. A total of 75 members must be present in order for the meeting to proceed.
Aran Armutlu, director of finance for the DSU, said there are a number of exciting proposals to be voted on at the annual general meeting. Perhaps the most important, he said, is a proposal to add another member at large to the DSU board of directors.
“The rationale behind that is we have a board of 12, and as the population of Douglas is growing a lot over these past few years, we just—we need more,” he said in a phone interview with the Other Press. “Instead of having our 12 representatives doing more work, we’re just going to add another representative.”
Directors at large are “jack-of-all-trades” board members who support the work of executive board members, according to Armutlu.
Armutlu said there will also be a number of motions to update the language of various DSU policies, including changing the titles of some roles within the DSU.
“We have one where it currently says ‘aboriginal students’ representative,’ and we’re going to change it so it says ‘Indigenous students’ representative,’ and then the other one: It’s currently ‘disabled students representative’ and we’re going to change it so it says ‘students with disabilities representative,’” he said.
Members will vote on a number of other motions, Armutlu said, including motions to keep DSU policies in line with the new BC Societies Act, which compels organizations like the DSU to be transparent with their membership.
There will also be an annual report on the DSU’s finances.
Armutlu said his favourite part of annual general meetings is the portion where members can pose questions to the board of directors.
“Question period is my favourite part because it’s the time when you get to see the average student come up for themselves and put an inquiry to the board,” he said. “I enjoy that part quite a bit because we [on the board] really get to see what the average student cares about.”
Armutlu said he encourages all members to attend the annual general meeting.
“They get to engage with the student union, they get to learn about the work that the reps have been doing for [the membership], they get to have their voice heard, and they get to vote on decisions that are being made, so it’s an interesting and a good way to have an active role in the students’ union,” he said.
The annual general meeting will be held in the Aboriginal Gathering Place at the New Westminster campus and it is set to begin at 2:30 p.m.