TRUSU’s annual general meeting took place on Thursday, Jan. 28, giving students the opportunity to hear a summary of the union’s activities for the year.
Approximately 40 students attended the meeting.
Two special resolutions were on the agenda for the meeting but were not discussed or voted on because the meeting did not meet the quorum standards set out in TRUSU’s bylaws. The bylaws demand that 50 members or five per cent of TRUSU’s membership (whichever is smaller) be present for special resolutions to be voted on.
The first special resolution proposed that the union’s VP Finance position be renamed the VP Equity and have its responsibilities completely changed.
The second resolution proposed the removal of the Services Committee, which facilitates the UPASS and student health and dental plan, amongst other services, from TRUSU’s standing committees.
“There will have to be a conversation at the board level about whether we want to reintroduce those at a future general meeting. Moving forward, until the next general meeting, the plan will be to operate under the authority we have from the membership, which is with a Services Committee and a VP Finance,” said TRUSU Executive Director Nathan Lane when asked if the resolutions would be reintroduced at a later date.
The bulk of the meeting was the board of directors fielding questions from members on the union’s annual report and budget.
The annual report detailed TRUSU’s campaigns undertaken over the year, including the re-tooled menu at Common Grounds and the TRUSU EDU program which VP Finance Ryan Makar said has been suspended due to a lack of interest from students.
The report also said that TRUSU’s online services, which include buying and selling textbooks, organizing carpools and housing and putting students in touch with tutors, are being underutilized due to competition and a lack of awareness.
For example, the TRUSU book exchange has 601 users compared to 3,816 members on the most popular Facebook page for buying and selling textbooks at TRU.
The Kamloops Blazers, who previously offered discounted tickets through TRUSU have withdrawn the partnership to offer discounted tickets directly to students. TRUSU has since formed a partnership with local Junior B hockey team the Kamloops Storm to replace the Blazers.
Some interesting trends presented in the budget included the rising cost of the speakers TRUSU brings to campus for their Common Voices Lecture Series and a total restructuring of the fund that TRUSU uses to grant funds to clubs and individual members.
TRUSU budgeted $40,000 for the lecture series this year, compared to $30,000 last year.
Some topics raised by student members attending the meeting were TRU’s policy on refunds for international student tuition and the new structure of the TRUSU grants system.