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Encyclopedia > Simon Fraser Student Society
 This article documents a current event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) is the students' union of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. It was founded after the opening of Simon Fraser University in 1967 and affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Students since 1981. Image File history File links Current_event_marker. ... The largest Students Union building at Oklahoma State University, which doubles as a student activity center (student union in the USA) A students union, student government, student leadership,or student council is a student organization present in many elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities. ... Simon Fraser University (SFU) is located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, part of the metropolitan area of Vancouver, British Columbia. ... Motto: Building a sustainable region Area: 2,878. ... The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) is the largest student organization in Canada. ...


The SFSS consists of over 28,000 students, with an annual budget of over one million dollars.[1][2] Membership is mandatory, and all SFU students as members are charged fees collected by the university on behalf of the SFSS. The organization employs permanent and student staff, and is located on one floor of the Maggie Benston Center at SFU's Burnaby campus. The society also has an office and provides services at the satellite campus of SFU Surrey. Unlike other students' unions, the SFSS does not own a student union building.


The SFSS operates a bookstore and printshop, a soup bar, a coffee shop, a pub, a women's center, and an LGBT center on campus. It employs an Ombudsman, distributes dayplanners, and provides legal clinics and funding for campus clubs, campus events, academic conferences, and political special interest groups. Coffeehouse in Damascus // A coffeehouse, coffee shop, or cafe (also spelled as café from the French, Spanish, and Portuguese or caffè from the Italian) shares some of the characteristics of a bar, and some of the characteristics of a restaurant. ... A thatched pub (The Williams Arms) at Wrafton, near Braunton, North Devon, England The Kings Arms Pub in Sandford-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. ... LGBT (or GLBT) is an abbreviation used as a collective term to refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people. ... An ombudsman is an official, usually (but not always) appointed by the government or by parliament, who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints reported by individual citizens. ...

Contents

Structure

The Simon Fraser Student Society has two major decision-making bodies (Forum and the Board of Directors) and a variety of committees.


Forum is comprised of the Board of Directors and elected representatives from Departmental Students' Unions and Graduate Caucuses. This body is responsible for the general direction of the Society, as well as advising the Board on a variety of issues relevant to students.


The Board of Directors is comprised entirely of representatives elected directly by students. The Board is responsible for, and exercises full control over the affairs of the Society. In addition, it is the only recognized medium of communication between its members, the University and the general public. The Board meets bi-weekly year-round.


Since the creation of the SFSS in 1967, it has represented graduate and undergraduate students with one Society. Graduate students are able to participate in a Graduate Issues Committee that is comprised of graduate representatives elected from the Departmental Caucus. Two seats for graduate students are guaranteed on the Board of Directors with the Graduate Issues Officer and the Graduate At-Large Representative. However, graduate students may run for any position on the Board. There are seats on the committees of the Society specifically for representatives from the Graduate Issues Committee.


Mission Statement

The SFSS represents and advocates for the interests of students in the University. It coordinates and promotes student activities as well as advocating for universally accessible, high quality post secondary education and meaningful student participation in all forms of University governance.


Board of Directors

Annually the membership of the SFSS has the opportunity to elect 16 students to the Board of Directors.


A by-election was called in December 2006 to fill the positions of seven impeached board members (see "Impeachment" below). A by-election or bye-election is a special election held to fill a political office when the incumbent has died or resigned. ...


Unofficially, the election results are as follows[3] with the slates they ran under:

  • President: Derrick Harder (Pink)
  • External Relations Officer: Graham "Sasha" Fox (Orange)
  • Internal Relations Officer: Sean Magee (Pink)
  • Member Services Officer: Chris Sandve (Student Leadership Action Party, or SLAP)
  • Treasurer: Adam Lein (Pink)
  • At-Large Representative: Jackie Hiew (SLAP; Ratified at the board meeting on 21 December, 2006)
  • At-Large Representative: Joseph Paling (SLAP; leading; waiting for mail-in ballot count, has a 15 point lead

with 17 mail-in ballots still unaccounted for.)


Eight SFSS members were not targeted for impeachment and will serve until the next scheduled SFSS election in March. They are:

  • Graduate Issues Officer: Joel Blok
  • University Relations Officer: Andrea Sandau
  • Graduate At-Large Representative: Ben Milne
  • Applied Sciences Representative: Heather Ball
  • Arts and Social Sciences Representative: Caitlin Hawkes-Frost
  • Business Administration Representative: Ivy So
  • Education Representative: Melody Li
  • Sciences Representative: Agustin Cerani
  • Health Science Representative:

History

Since its founding in 1967, the organization has been highly politicized, generally been led by left wing leaders. Main campaigns have centered around fighting tuition fee increases and increasing student financial assistance. In addition, the Society has also campaigned for student-dominated university decision-making, academic freedom, improved student services, social democracy, the women's rights, gay rights, First Nations, people with disabilities, and international students. The SFSS' membership in the Canadian Federation of Students has been an enormously controversial matter, and has been debated in almost every SFSS election to date. In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms that refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially but not exclusively in the American sense of the word... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ... The gay rights movement is a collection of loosely aligned civil rights groups, human rights groups, support groups and political activists seeking acceptance, tolerance and equality for non-heterosexual, (homosexual, bisexual), and transgender people - despite the fact that it is typically referred to as the gay rights movement, members also... First Nations is a common title used in Canada to describe the various societies of indigenous peoples of North America located in what is now Canada, who are not of Inuit or Métis descent. ... The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) is the largest student organization in Canada. ...


In 2005, members voted in favour of a graduate health and dental plan. The Student Society began providing health and dental plan services to graduate students in September 2005, and an undergraduate health and dental plan is currently being organised for referendum. Originally, directors on the Undergraduate Health Plan Working Group had slated the referendum to be at the end of October 2006, but that date has been pushed back to March 2007.


Controversies

Student health plan

In 1996, the organization imposed a mandatory health plan to the student population after passing a referendum question during an earlier election. The health plan sparked much controversy on campus. A group of students started a campaign to dissolve the student society, drastically reduce the student society membership fees, withdraw from the Canadian Federation of Students, and to eliminate the health plan. A student petition resulted in having three referendum questions decided in the 1997 general election. Of the three referendum questions, only the referendum question on axing the health plan passed.[4] The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) is the largest student organization in Canada. ...


Quorum

Currently, a quorum of 500 members is required to make any changes to the Student Society's bylaws and constitution at the Society's annual general meeting. As the university has approximately 28,000 students, it means that only 2% of student population is needed to make wide reaching changes with regards to the SFSS. Despite this, quorum has only been attained once in the past 4 years. [5] In 2005, the Society proposed to change the bylaw for quorum from 500 to 100. Look up quorum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A bylaw (sometimes also seen as by-law or Byelaw) was originally the Viking town law in the Danelaw. ... An Annual General Meeting, commonly abbreviated as AGM, also known as the annual meeting, is a meeting that official bodies and associations involving the public are often required by law (In what country?) to hold. ...


In the fall 2003 semester, the Society spent $15,000 hosting a free dinner for students to encourage turnout at the annual general meeting to achieve quorum. Although the quorum of 500 was met, students left part-way through the meeting, causing the meeting to lose quorum. As a result no voting was done, and an outcry ensued from students for allegedly wasting student fees.[6] The recent special general meeting marks the first time quorum has been reached in 10 years.


Impeachment

In July 2006, the Board of Directors directed seven full time staff members to go on leave with pay and benefits to complete an investigation into internal issues. The investigation lasted 5 working days. Society keys and email passwords were confiscated, and computers were searched. Staff were directed not to enter SFSS property until directed otherwise. [7] In August, a staff member was fired as a result of the investigation. Directors, in Board meetings on July 26, August 9, and 23, have outlined that they are bound by confidentiality in their collective agreement with CUPE 5396, and can not disclose the justifications for terminating the employee. However, they have iterated that they had just cause and that they are prepared to go to arbitration.[8] The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canadian trade union serving the public sector though it has, in recent years, organized workplaces in the non-profit and para-public sector as well. ... Movie: Just Cause is a 1995 movie starring Blair Underwood, Ed Harris, and Sean Connery, among others. ... Arbitration is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the arbitrators or arbitral tribunal), by whose decision (the award) they agree to be bound. ...


An organisation called Students for a Democratic University instigated a petition for a special general meeting under the SFSS's bylaws and the Society Act of British Columbia that called for the impeachment of seven directors and two bylaw changes that would alter funding and decision making authority within the SFSS. The petition had signatures from 9.8% of all students, exceeding the 5% required to call a meeting, according to a SFSS bylaw. Despite this, the directors up for impeachment insisted the petition was insufficient, quoting the Society Act,[9] which says a meeting must be called if 10% sign a petition.


A special general meeting (called by Forum) of the SFSS was held on October 25, 2006 in the school's Convocation Mall. 1028 students attended overall (up to 760 at the same time) the Special General Meeting, and voted in favor of motions to impeach the seven directors (Hunsdale, Li, Dunnett, Kelly, Halpern, Pollock, Lewis) and to two amendments to the bylaws of the society. October 25 is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In response, the seven directors claimed that the special general meeting was invalid because the Forum meeting used to call the special general meeting was invalid, and issued guidelines to the staff of the society.[10] They asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to declare the impeachments invalid.[11] The bank account of the SFSS was frozen due to the controversy over who were the legitimate directors of the SFSS.[12] This issue was resolved on November 22, 2006 with a court order following an agreement between the impeached directors and the undisputed directors. Supreme Court of British Columbia is the superior court for the Canadian province of British Columbia. ...


While President Shawn Hunsdale has resigned after his impeachment, he maintained his claim that the special general meeting that impeached him is invalid.[13] The President of the University (not SFSS), Michael Stevenson, stated that until the Supreme Court of BC made a decision, students, as well as the G7, should respect the SGM.[14]


In December 2006, the BC Supreme Court[15] ruled that the special general meeting and impeachment were legitimate because there was no problem with Forum. The court also stated that even if there was a problem with Forum, the petition was sufficient and should have been followed. The court also ruled the court costs will be assigned to the individual impeached directors.


References

  1. ^ Fact Book. Simon Fraser Office of Analytical Studies. Retrieved on 2006-04-18.
  2. ^ Annual General Meeting. Simon Fraser Student Society (September 28, 2005). Retrieved on 2006-04-18.
  3. ^ Simon Fraser Student Society General By-Election 2006: Unofficial Results. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
  4. ^ "Students axe health plan", The Peak, April 1, 1997. Retrieved on 2006-04-14.
  5. ^ "SFSS releases AGM plans, agenda", The Peak, July 25, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-04-25.
  6. ^ "Lack of students stalls democracy", The Peak, October 27, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-04-14.
  7. ^ "Campus Fiasco: Seven SFSS staff sent home", The Peak, July 31, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-08-01.
  8. ^ "Campus: Contentious August Board meeting fires students up", The Peak, September 5, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-09-05.
  9. ^ BC Society Act. Retrieved on 2006-12-27.
  10. ^ SFSS memo (2006-10-26). Retrieved on 2006-10-27.
  11. ^ Court notice (2006-10-26). Retrieved on 2006-10-27.
  12. ^ Email attachment (2006-10-26). Retrieved on 2006-10-27.
  13. ^ Shawn Hunsdale Open letter of Resignation (2006-10-31). Retrieved on 2006-10-31.
  14. ^ Letter from SFU President (2006-10-31). Retrieved on 2006-10-31.
  15. ^ 2006 BCSC 1873 Simon Fraser Student Society v. Gregory. Retrieved on 2006-12-27.

2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 18 is the 108th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (109th in leap years). ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 18 is the 108th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (109th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 23 is the 357th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (358th in leap years). ... April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 274 days remaining. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 14 is the 104th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (105th in leap years). ... July 25 is the 206th day (207th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 159 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 25 is the 115th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (116th in leap years). ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 14 is the 104th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (105th in leap years). ... July 31 is the 212th day (213th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 153 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 1 is the 213th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (214th in leap years), with 152 days remaining. ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (362nd in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 26 is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 66 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 26 is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 66 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 26 is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 66 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (362nd in leap years). ...

External links

  • SFSS Website
  • Students for a Democratic University - organisation formed in opposition to the recent actions of the Board of Directors
  • SFSS Democracy Now
  • StudentUnion.ca

  Results from FactBites:
 
Simon Fraser Student Society Computing Science Student Society (2451 words)
The Forum Representative shall be elected in accordance with the constitution and by-laws of the Simon Fraser Student Society.
Officers of the society may be recalled by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present and voting at a general meeting.
In the event that this Society becomes inactive, all assets of the Society become the property of the Simon Fraser Student Society to be held in trust for a minimum of two years.
Welcome to the Burnaby Now - News (821 words)
Hundreds of Simon Fraser University students voted Wednesday to impeach the executive of their student union, but the importance of the vote appears to be in the eye of the beholder.
The student group, which was started in August as a protest against the student society firing a staff member, released the results of the vote on Thursday.
The student society had called an annual general meeting for the same time that the student group was calling its special general meeting and drew about 100 people, according to Hunsdale, who noted a quorum is rarely reached.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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