On October 8, BUSU held its first of AGM of the academic year. Despite the lack of students in attendance, the meeting served as a chance for the BUSU executive team to discuss their plans and accomplishments moving forward.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held once every semester and has the potential to greatly impact the student body and the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU), as attending students have the power to change, remove or add by-laws if quorum is met. The consistent low turnout and failure to meet quorum has changed the AGMs into an informational session and this fall was no different as BUSU executives spent the hour outlining what they have accomplished so far historically, in the year. Even so, with a only 15 undergraduate students in attendance overall, the information was not widely heard among the roughly 17,000 students that attend Brock University.
“There’s no excuse, and we’re not pretending there is [one],” said Kyle Rose, BUSU President, referring to the low turnout. “We didn’t prioritize, but we will most definitely moving forward.”
Beyond serving as informational sessions, the AGM is a great opportunity for students to follow up with their executives whom they elected last year and to inform themselves of what their representative students’ union is doing on their behalf.
Brian Horvath, Vice President of Student Services, talked about how he has implemented the use of ten new microwaves across campus and that Burrito Boyz has signed a ten year contract for a space in Union Station.
Soon, three new bus shelters, heated and outfitted with USB ports will be constructed in front of the Tower – an initiative led by Rose. He is also a part of the hiring committee for the new president of Brock University and acting as Interim General Manager of BUSU.
Antonio Surgi, Vice President of External Affairs has been busy meeting all of the local representation at each level of government in the Niagara Region to work on the Decew Road project and he has also managed the “Get out the Vote” campaign for the Canadian federal election.
The Vice President of Finance and Administration, Spencer Dawson, is working on improving the health and dental plan and the transit service, for which he has already helped add the new 31 Winterberry bus route. One of his highlights this year has been picking up incoming international students at the airport and driving them to St. Catharines.
“It was great to see how grateful the students were and the smiles that lit up their faces,” he commented. He’s also looking forward to being a part of the TIES committee which looks at improving the international experience for students.
Moving forward, one of the key challenges mentioned by the executives is prioritizing properly.
“It’s not so much about what can I do, but what should I do,” said Rose.
“Timing is a big thing,” Dawson commented. “It’s a transition piece, being new to this position.”
In regards to future AGMs, effective communication is one of the biggest priorities. Informing students of the AGM is a shared task between BUSU executives and BUSAC councillors and both need to do their part.
“It’s our job to be out there, whether it works or not. That’s our focus,” emphasized Rose.
In the end, student participation comes down to the willingness of the students themselves. With the federal election just around the corner, and its emphasis on student engagement in voting, students should also think of their responsibilities in the governance of their student union and their potential impact by actively engaging in attending future AGMs.
Internal News Editor