February 2, 2023 - SASSEx Winter Meeting Minutes
February 2, 2023, 7:00-8:16 pm
Present: Phoebe Newton, Gillian Irwin, James Esemu, Flynn O’Dacre, Ally Kortes-Miller, Maya Verma, Priya John, Sydney Wisener, Anthony Cherubini, Ishmeet Johal, Tinson Chen, Oyin Aderibigbe, Alex Harris, Griffin Kinzie
Regrets: Luna Quail, Jessie Chan, Ian McMillan, Sadie MacDonald, Rachel Mery, Caroline Bredin
Absent: Everyone else
Updates on events that happened
Updates on events to come
Conversation about bylaw – bylaw is still in the works but initial motion on allowing more than one person in role passed
If we are allowing pairs nominations for presidency that round of voting will be the first of three total rounds of voting
Maya: Okay we’re going to start with a debrief
Anthony: About 13 people for Euchre. Pretty fun, taught some people how to play including me, was really fun, yeah.
Ishmeet: 18 people came; it was really fun. Is there a place for extra paint?
Maya: Need to figure out storage options for SASS stuff
Tinson: If anyone needs things you can put it in the SASS cabinet.
Maya: Going to have to document and toss what we don’t need but that’s a later problem. Also some updates: Movie night email was sent – still on probably good. Milk and Cookies – do come if you’re looking for summer opportunities its really open to all years. There should be lots of cookies. Kind of drop-in style. Someone from the student success s
Flynn: We never heard back from EOHSS so it’s unofficial. The reason being “student residence.”
Ally: Marquis wanted us to reach out so SASS can be aware if this is a pattern. So, we’ll follow up on that.
Maya: We can come back to Agora. Koffeehaus is up next?
James: Email was sent out today. No qualms about the event, should run smoothly.
Sydney and Alex: We’re doing lantern festival event for end of Lunar New Year this Sunday for Level III!
Tinson: There is an undergraduate student initatives fund that I wanted to bring up. Due tomorrow. Up to 2 proposals per student group. Not looking for off-campus events, equipment, or charitable donations. I’ll send in the SLEF fund proposal but if anyone else has any great ideas I’d be happy to help you put it together.
Maya: Multiple candidates per position is the main issue. First thing we have to address: the president has the right to make an interpretation of the constitution
Tinson: We can put it up to a half and half vote. It requires a 2/3 vote of quorum. The document I sent would be my interpretation. If one half of us don’t agree no need to put it through as bylaw. The gist is that roles should be filled by one person unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Maya: Less than one half majority in favour, then we’ll move to the bylaw. Do you guys approve Tinson’s interpretation passing?
In favour: 5
Not in favour: 9
Maya: Okay, so we’ll move to the bylaw.
Proposed bylaw as Maya sent to SASSEx:
With respect to multiple members generally:
This bylaw states that certain executive positions on SASSex can be filled by a maximum of two members of SASS except for those roles which already have dual membership or which are by design to be held by one individual such as: 1) President, 2) Vice Presidents, 3) SRA roles, 4) Program Advisors, 5) Level representatives. Individuals applying for one role as a pair will have to accept their nomination as a pair, with consent
from both members. Their names will appear on the ballot together. Any advertising or promotion for their campaign shall be done together or not at all (so as to avoid garnering more popularity by virtue of having two members). For the same reasons, only pairs both in the same academic year will be allowed.
Upon election as a pair, they will have to divide the roles of: 1) representative on non SASS councils, 2) signing of legal documents, 3) voting member/presence for quorum and 4) primary point of contact. After submitting this breakdown of roles in the case of being elected together, they must abide by it for the duration of their term in office. This division of responsibilities will be made clear to the rest of SASSex. In the case that these responsibilities need to be changed mid-term, it must be cleared and officialized with the rest of the executive team.
With respect to co-presidency:
This bylaw states that a general election will be run for SASS members to decide between two options:
1) co-presidency or
2) president and VP functions (our current design), prior to the election period.
Should co-presidency be allowed in this coming election, the VP functions role will be dissolved and integrated into the two presidents’ role description unless a solo presidential candidate wins the election (in which case, the VP will be voted along with the level reps).
Upon election as a pair, the two president-elects will have to divide the roles of: 1) representative on non-SASS councils, 2) signing of legal documents, 3) voting member/presence for quorum/tie-breaking vote and 4) primary point of contact. After submitting this breakdown of roles in the case of being elected together, they must abide by it and the rest of for the duration of their term. This division of roles will be made clear to the rest of SASSex. In the case that these responsibilities need to be changed mid term, it must be cleared and officialized with the rest of the executive team.
Phoebe: What about president?
Maya: We will vote on that separately.
Oyin: I’m just questioning the dissolution of the role of VP Functions.
Maya: Given our conversation tonight we’re just going to leave that part of the bylaw out of tonight’s vote.
Tinson: I’m wondering if people are using committees to offset the duties of their role. What the role of the committees is can be better stipulated.
Maya: The only problem with committees is that they’re underutilized, mainly because it’s difficult to get enough participation. I think it depends on how the committees are promoted and framed, like a way to get involved with SASSEx and potentially run for a position the next year, something for the CV.
Sydney: It depends on how the SASSEx member uses their committee.
Maya: And how explicit they make their roles. So, for the bylaw not sure if you had time to read it. I put some caveats in terms of election. I don’t think we should allow two people from more than one academic level to form a pair. Loyalty with peers is going to be a factor and accumulated social power.
Sydney: Having two people from different levels for a role like Athletics and Recreation Officer could help outreach though.
Tinson: I think that that can be filled by level reps though. It becomes complicated with the pairs. What if someone wanted to run individually?
Alex: People would have to accept the nomination as a pair.
Phoebe: I like what Maya said that they can be nominated as a pair and then also be considered as individuals.
Tinson: I don’t think that we should rule based on how unrealistic we think it might be – there are things to consider shouldn’t just rule it out because it’s unlikely. We still need to be prepared.
Sydney: If you and someone else are both nominated individually then you both can run on your own. We’ve seen this year that pairs can work
James: Sadie and I were the only ones, and we were both meh about it, so we decided to run together
Sydney: They did a great job.
James: What was the case with Michaela and Hannah?
Maya: That was also an exceptional case. Hannah and Michaela were the only ones running for a vacant position.
Tinson: There was a vote of confidence as well.
Maya: We also need to consider if a pair wants to break apart.
Oyin: I think there needs to be more officiality in terms of accepting in a pair or solo. Not sure what yet, but there should be something in writing.
Maya: What if I nominated a pair because that’s the only way that I trust them? Sydney: I think that would be accounted for by votes. If we say nominate as a pair, you have to be willing to accept both individuals on their own.
Maya: I think it makes sense to do individual options as well.
James: You shouldn’t be on the ballot twice. That we should make sure of. I think it should be clear from the beginning when the nomination happens who the pairs are. If someone’s name is up as a pair, then that person’s name wouldn’t be counted in another way.
Tinson: Radical idea would be to abolish nominations altogether and do it as an application. We can’t just strike off names that we think aren’t a serious nomination.
Oyin: It’s about whether they accept the nomination or not.
Phoebe: I agree.
Maya: One part of the nomination process should be explicit intent in nomination. That would still allow someone to decide whether to accept.
Sydney: Agreed. The one thing: if there are other pairs of two nominated and you are wanting to run as an individual, then you might have to run with another individual to have a chance. There should be a stipulation for that.
James: The choosing after the fact we should avoid.
Tinson: If Phoebe and Gillian were running and I was running alone, say if [Phoebe] were to abandon the pair then that would take away that partners ability to run.
Phoebe: Yeah, that should be avoided.
Tinson: We want this to be as fair as possible.
Ishmeet: The pair/individual thing I want clarified.
Maya: They would be barred of running as individuals if nominated as a pair.
Phoebe: Can we go back to Oyin’s original point?
Oyin: Everyone must be nominated either as a pair or individual and not go back. Then there also needs to be another layer with a pair. It could be a form? Less informal there but sort of application.
Maya: So there’s three options we’re debating.
[Maya’s beautiful diagram]
Sydney: This is very different from our current nomination process.
Maya: What is your problem with these [Tinson]?
Tinson: The best is to have caps on all options. If everyone runs individually you can campaign as a pair and then be voted individually. Then there is a mechanism because it’s ranked voting.
Phoebe: But that just undoes everything we’ve talked about.
Flynn: If they’re voting for both, I think that’s implicit. Then that could end up with two people that don’t want to work together if you have to work based on ranked.
Sydney: This option would guarantee that you’re going to have two presidents which is a big thing. And if they’re put together after the fact it might not work. They might be independently capable, but they don’t necessarily work together well.
Maya: Given time I think we should take a vote.
Oyin: Might I suggest in addition to a framework I think for the roles that can be double people should have. I think they can only
Sydney: One more benefit deciding if they’re running alone can be a good
Maya: The only fair option is that if they were nominated as a pair and the pair doesn’t work, they both are out of the running.
Oyin: I feel like at that point the onus is on you to think hard about working with someone else
Maya: It would be implied pair individual confidence and then they can only
Tinson: Would they be saying to SASS they are one entity?
Maya: Avoids one individual having a monopoly on pairs. Let’s not
Tinson: I’m lost on the diagrams
Maya: Option 1: You run as a pair or individual. You can be nominated as a pair and as an individual but only accept one. Option 2: Implicit vote of confidence. You can be nominated as a pair but will also be considered as an individual without also being nominated as an individual separately. And then option three is everyone is nominated as an individual but can form pairs after the fact but I think we have established that would be an undemocratic option.
Sydney: Clarification how do we run the nomination?
Maya: Pair and individual nominations at the same time. With the form in advance.
Priya: How does this handle the social power thing?
Maya: It doesn’t really. None of the options do
Oyin: How many people can you confirm with for 2?
Maya: Just one other. Decided option 3 is diabolical.
Vote on the best framework for dual nominations:
Option 1: 4
Option 2: 9
Maya: There is going to be stickiness after the fact that we’ll have to work through.
Flynn: I think that’s fair, but you have to have faith in the people running as pairs.
Oyin: May be a little controversial I don’t think VP Functions should be dissolved with two presidents.
Maya: The point of VP Functions is to be the vice president. VP Functions could become disenfranchised in that case.
Phoebe: What happens if people are nominated VP Functions? Then they would lose out on a chance of being in SASSEx.
Oyin: I think there’s a way to integrate the role of VP Functions still. VP Functions can stay as is and role of presidency is split.
Tinson: Other clubs do presidency elections separately.
Maya: The VP Functions elections would happen after because of the change in legislative power.
Ally: I think that’s a good idea especially since someone who wanted to be president could also run for Functions if they were nominated. That’s how it was done at my high school.
Sydney: We can keep VP Functions role as is.
Maya: We just have to keep in mind then VP Functions is third in command not second.
Griffin: All this is contingent on allowing two presidents. Can we vote on that first?
Oyin: President on its own?
Phoebe: So that’s 3 rounds of elections.
Sydney: I think VP Social could be beneficial for two people as well.
Maya: That should probably be taken care of by utilizing committees effectively
James: Yes, you can use committees, but the administrative work [of VP Socials] can’t be handled by like 4 people.
Griffin: You could expand the committees but that gets confusing too.
Tinson: That confusion is exactly the reason having multiple points of contact for one position is difficult. No way to ensure both coming to SASS meetings, does their presence count if only one is there?
Maya: It is quite clear what the expectation of the role. If you can’t handle the role on your own, maybe you shouldn’t run.
James: That’s fetishizing the hustler attitude. We’re trying to have a socialist democratic republic here!
Maya: What if one or two people in the committee have that slightly more elevated position to handle some of the administrative tasks?
Tinson: Good reason for having a chain of authority.
Maya: Okay let’s vote on bylaw as stipulated for any executive to run as pairs except for those listed and discussed.
Sydney: So different for socials than functions or communications?
James: We did the same as formal convenors for the VP Socials role this year. If that role justified two people then why not.
Tinson: They believed that there should be two for formal. We can internal/external
Motion to allow 2 people to fulfill the role of VP Socials:
In favour: 5 6
Abstain: 4 3
Tinson: I motion this is all too complicated and I won’t be mad at Tinson for interpreting the constitution as he sees fit.
Maya: In case anyone missed that Phoebe changed her vote. Can we vote on this bylaw then?
Ishmeet: This is assuming VP Functions not dissolved?
Maya: Yes. All in favour of bylaw (but allowing double nomination for VP Socials):
In favour: 10