UMSU hosts semi-annual general meeting

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The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) hosted its semi-annual general meeting at the university’s Bannatyne campus last week.

The event took place Nov. 17 over lunch at the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library.

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union is obligated to host two general meetings a year during the regular school session, one of which has to take place on the Bannatyne campus.

Items on the agenda included reports from the executive and standing UMSU committees, a question period, and presentation of motions submitted by UMSU members.

Rebecca Kunzman, UMSU vice-president advocacy, said the event went well but that only one student—Thomas Hall, UMSU councillor for the Manitoba Medical Students’ Association—was in attendance.

“Typically we don’t get a huge turnout for the Bannatyne AGM. It’s to do with a number of reasons. Obviously, with very different schedules for each of the different programs that are operating at Bannatyne, it’s difficult to co-ordinate a time that works for all students’ schedules,” said Kunzman.

“Something we talked about after the meeting is really re-evaluating the way the Bannatyne AGM is done. Certainly, we want to connect with the Bannatyne campus and we feel that it’s really integral and important that we do so. However, [we’re] just making sure the way we do so is actually effective and efficient.”

The one motion included on the agenda, titled “U-Parking Pass,” was submitted by U of M student Matthew Granger.

It read: “Whereas students have complained of the high parking pass prices; be it resolved that UMSU support a U-parking pass, a parking pass for those that are able to purchase a parking pass, where parking pass payment is submitted by all University of Manitoba undergraduate students in the universe, starting with a minimum value of $260 per parking pass per year and to be increased as inflation dictates.”

When asked if the motion was intended to be a joke, Kunzman said that the executive was unsure. Granger was not in attendance to speak on behalf of the motion.

“It wasn’t seconded so it wasn’t put up for debate or discussion,” said Kunzman.

Quorum, the minimum amount of people required for an organization to conduct official business, is set at 200 members for UMSU general meetings. Motions can still be passed if quorum is not met but they will only be considered as advice to council, who have no obligation to heed it.

If quorum is met, passage of a motion at a general meeting becomes UMSU policy the day after the next UMSU Council meeting. The council can rescind or amend any motion passed at a general meeting with a two-thirds majority vote.

Alternatively, if they meet quorum, members at a general meeting can rescind any motion of the council currently in office with a two-thirds majority vote.