NUGSS held their EGM, and many issues came up during it. One of the first things to come up was a controversial agenda amendment, to add a bylaw that would add an Oversight Committee that would be made up of 5 elected students. This item has led to already one board member resigning.
NUGSS is also currently running a deficit with the Thirsty Moose of approximately $23,005. NUGSS will not be able to cover the deficit, and it is unclear how it will be covered fully. Borrowing funds to cover the deficit was not fully answered, so it may not be off the table.
Restructuring the Board
The NUGSS Board was restructured to be reduced from 11 student representatives to 8 plus the chairperson. A new position would be created by merging the Academic Rep and the VP Social into one position. By cutting the positions, it will affect $8,500 in honorarium
Thirsty Moose Pub
To save the Thirsty Moose Pub from closure, a referendum was proposed. The question that would be asked "Are you for an increase to the NUGSS Society Fee by way of $6.50 (bringing the total amount to $42.19) to cover the Thirsty Moose Pub's financial losses projected for the future.
This fee is required to make it financial[ly] viable for the Northern Undergraduate Student Society to continue operating the Thirsty Moose Pub; if this referendum fails, management will investigating leasing options starting Fall 2017, with the possibility of total closure if this is not successful."
Due to declining student enrollment at UNBC, The Thirsty Moose on its own can not financially cover its costs purely by is own sales. The fee increase would be permanent to support the financial viability of the Moose, help for repairs and create a contingency fund. The fee would only apply to the Prince George campus and not to the regional ones.
If the Moose were not kept by NUGSS, then a public tender would be put forward to the Prince George business community. The leasing discussions that NUGSS need to have in order to do this are still going on with the University. According to the General Manager, Duncan Malkinson, of NUGSS the Board would review various applications and then would suggest a specific vendor to the university for final approval.
Proponents of the Oversight Board Chris King and Erik Searle
A purposed motion to adopt an Oversight Board for NUGSS, failed when it was brought forward to a divided student body. A requirement to have 75% of the quorum of the room was needed to pass the bylaw. Even though more students voted for the motion than against there was not enough support on the floor for it.
The motion stated that a student elected board be created to give a level of oversight to the student elect board. The structure is five equal voting members elected by the student body at the same time every year as the regular NUGSS elections. The powers of this board would be: an ability to scrutinize and approve monthly director's reports; to under extreme circumstances, with sufficient grounds, and with the support of at least 4 of the 5 members of the Oversight Board bring a motion of censure, suspension, or impeachment against a member of the NUGSS Board of Directors. The responsibilities would include: to attend monthly meetings and hear monthly reports from the board of directors; to consistently act in the best interest of NUGSS; at least four members of the oversight board must be in attendance to meet quorum. This information is based off "NUGSS Needs an Oversight Board" Facebook page.
Arguments were passionate on both sides of the issue with some students accusing certain members of the board were conducting personal attacks on others. "NUGSS is prone to embezzlement" was used by an NUGSS board member to describe the current state of NUGSS, this is why the Oversight Board is necessary. It should be stated that embezzlement is defined "as theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust or belonging to one's employer". It is unclear if the definition is what is being applied in this case.
According to the proponents of the motion the NUGSS board members, the director reports, need to be reviewed. This is because some members of the NUGSS board member look at the reports as a "tedious bureaucratic mechanism." This would ensure the NUGSS board can ensure that the students who serve on it are spending the 50 hours a week devoted to NUGSS related activities.
A motion which was put forward by Seth Jex was to push this recommendation to next AGM which would be in October 2017. It was defeated after the majority of students wanted to make a decision of the board during the EGM. The motivation for prolonging a decision on this issue was based on accusations made by Jex that the bylaw was containing numerous "errors". The proponents admitted that the errors and amendment could be made to make it a better.
After a 3 hour meeting, the motion did fail however the students who brought forward the motion were happy to see so many students coming out to debate this important issue. It is unclear if this issue will be brought in the upcoming NUGSS election, however, some students who CFUR spoke to seem to believe that it will. It is clear that a majority of the students in the room wanted to see the Oversight Board happen.
Interview with students after EGM