UMSU notes, Feb. 25

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On Feb. 25, UMSU held its bi-weekly meeting in the UMSU Chambers located in 176 Helen Glass.

The Chief Returning Officer, Jason van Rooy, gave his monthly report to council at the meeting.

He reported that there is only one slate running this year in the UMSU elections, while there are three referenda campaigning.

Also included in his report was news that the one slate running has already faced challenges to their campaigning, as 13 of their banners went missing, and two were defaced. He is issuing a $200 reward to anyone who reports these illegal acts of vandalism, which have already cost UMSU over $300.

Sid Rashid, UMSU president, reported on the Alternative Spring Break trip attended by 13 students, including four representatives from UMSU Council. They travelled to the community of Santa Caterina Masahuat, El Salvador for two weeks, where they were able to purchase two acres of land in order for a community to begin growing their own food. During their stay there, the group focused on rebuilding a barn and laying the foundation for a greenhouse and a large field of a coffee bean plantation on the purchased land.

Rashid said of his experience, “Students can become global citizens and contribute to our society.”

David Safruk, an Arts Student Body Council UMSU Representative, who also went on the trip said, “It’s a very humbling experience. It’s great.”

Alanna Makinson, UMSU vice-president external, reported that she met with the Senior Stick of Engineering to discuss the expansion of UMSU Vision into the Engineering complex. UMSU has also been holding auditions for host and anchor positions for UMSU Vision.

Jonty Chandrasena, UMSU vice-president internal, co-chaired an International Student Caucus meeting where they discussed issues of concern for international students.

He also reported that there will be an UMSU Tax office located in 112 University Centre opened from February 22 to April 30 to help students file their taxes. Makinson said the service could also be accessed online.

UMSU passed three motions during the meeting. The first, that UMSU executives will investigate moving Rainbow Pride Mosaic into a larger space on the Fort Garry Campus.

Second, they passed a motion to “send a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada and our local MP on behalf of UMSU Council expressing students’ disappointment with the lack of action the federal government has taken in regards to climate change.”

And finally, they passed a motion to approve the replacement of two policies, as recommended by the Policy and Bylaws Committee, which dealt with poster approval guidelines and their scent-free policy within all UMSU businesses, services and offices.

UMSU will have its next meeting on March 4 in the UMSU Council Chambers, 176 Helen Glass. Meetings are open to all students.