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Residence Strategy, BSD financials, Sustainability Policy the focus of July 3 SLC

By Jason Herring, July 4 2018 —

(With files from Derek Baker)

Amendments to Students’ Union policy were the main point of business at the July 3 Students’ Legislative Council meeting.

First though, Board of Governors (BOG) student-at-large Frank Finley reported on the June 22 University of Calgary BOG meeting. Highlights from the BOG meeting included the confirmation of multi-million-dollar renovations to the Engineering E Block as well as student space in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Finley also emphasized the U of C’s Residence Strategy, which potentially includes converting parts of Hotel Alma into residence space, demolishing the Glacier and Olympic residence buildings and tearing down the Varsity Courts family housing units.

“Varsity Courts, which is family housing and has been for the past 50 years or so, which is just on the far end of campus [are] being removed as University District expands,” Finley said. “Vacancy rates are higher and higher through the years, as there’s been less and less demand.”

The next BOG meeting is on Sept. 15.

During executive reports, SU president Sagar Grewal discussed internal SU discussions to examine where students live and how long it takes for students to get to campus via transit. Vice-president operations and finance Kevin Dang said that the SU’s 2018–19 budget, which was approved at the June 19 SLC meeting, is now available online. SLC passed the budget unanimously, though medicine representative Jarin Thundathil raised concerns that not all members of SLC were able to view the budget before voting to approve it.

In their reports, multiple SU executives also mentioned having an internal SU meeting to discuss finances from the 2018 SU Bermuda Shorts Day event. During question period, business representative Ananya Ayachit asked Dang about how much money the event lost, to which Dang responded that the event ran a deficit of over $98,000.

After this, SLC moved to internal business. Dang first presented the second reading of amendments to the SU Elections Policy. One major change was made to the policy since its first reading on June 19, which removed policy additions that would have allowed elected officials to campaign for other candidates during the election. The policy was approved unanimously.

Dang then presented the first reading of amendments to the SU Sustainability Policy. The policy revisions overhaul the definition of sustainability, which Dang said is an effort to align with the United Nations definition. During discussion, Thundathil asked Dang about resources for reporting sustainability efforts or procedures regarding sustainability-related data collection. Dang responded that the policy doesn’t contain specifics in these areas and that it is intended to be a high-level overview of the SU’s position on sustainability. The first reading was approved unanimously.

To close out the meeting, SLC voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Natalie Baher and Nicole Schmidt to the SU Review Board, which is the body that reviews SLC and SU committee meetings upon appeal.

The next meeting of SLC will be on July 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the MacHall Executive Council Chambers. Access executive reports, minutes and all other SLC documents here.

Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously said that Grewal was involved in a Calgary Transit study. In fact, the transit study Grewal is involved with is an internal SU study. The Gauntlet apologizes to its readers for this mistake.

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