This week’s BUSAC meeting was an informative and highly intense session, with the discussion between councillors and executives becoming more heated as the night progressed. The Nov. 5 meeting saw funding request presentations from two Brock clubs: Roots and UNICEF. There was supposed to be a third presentation by All The King’s Men Theatre Company, but they cancelled last minute. The meeting also addressed the BrockTV mishap from the previous BUSAC session as well as the Halloween costume contest debacle at Isaac’s Bar and Grill on Oct. 30.
Last meeting, BrockTV did not cut the live camera feed during a closed session that barred media. To prevent this from happening in the future, BUSAC implemented additional stipulations to the camera-use section of their handbook, stating that “when council makes a motion to move in-camera and it is approved, all recording equipment, including but not limited to cell phones and microphones etc. must be removed from the council chamber until council comes out of camera, at which point they can return during open session.”
The exception is to be made for members of council themselves, though their devices must remain turned off for the duration of the in-camera session.
Pertaining to the Cool Runnings inspired Jamaican bobsled team costume during Halloween pub night at Issac’s, BUSAC was asked if the individual(s) responsible for the judging and organizing the event would be punished due to the outcome.
BUSU President Roland Erman responded that the students have not been punished and it is instead a procedural error on part of the organizers. He added that, since the incident, he has been contacted by numerous media outlets and has been working to ensure that the issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.
The first funding request presentation was by Brock Roots club President Shelina Burt. She discussed that as a club, they seek to unite African and Caribbean cultures on campus, emphasizing how important it was to her club to advertise and get the word out. They requested $2,489.23 for items such as executive member t-shirts, crewnecks and tote bags to be given away at events. These items would be printed with executive members’ names as well as their positions within Roots. Issues arose when expenses for certain future events could not be explained in detail, with no definitive breakdown of finances. The absence of a financial justification lead to a highly contested discussion between members of council and Burt, with both parties struggling to articulate their respective points. After much deliberation by council, Brock Roots was given an $1,800 loan.
UNICEF was the next club to present a funding request, asking for $1,789.94. Their purpose is to raise awareness and money on campus for children who live in impoverished parts of the world. They have had steady increase in both participation and money raised for the charity each year, and are confident that this will be the best year to date. There was opposition from members of council who discussed the annual earnings of the company’s CEO, which is over $400,000, and wondered that with that kind of money, why the club needed support from Brock. Ultimately (and heatedly), it was decided that the income of the CEO had absolutely no bearing on the funding matters of a university club, and UNICEF was given the full amount of their request.
Near the end of the evening, council brought up the problem of clubs requesting funding too close to the dates of their events, forcing BUSAC to act quickly due to time constraints. There was much discussion on a mandatory date of process before a funding request can be made so that council can take the time to analyze fully the scope of the clubs projected spending. The issue was tabled until the next meeting.