General meeting talks big money


Sheridan’s Student Union passed five bylaws and it’s $9 million budget at its annual general meeting last week.

A total of 40 students showed up to the meeting’s three locations, HMC, Davis and Trafalgar, which was conducted by video conference. The college has approximately 18,000 full-time students.

The SSUI distributed several posters for the meeting across the school, including advertisements in the Sheridan Sun and on the union’s website. Free pizza was offered to attendees.

Jenna Pulver, president of the SSUI, was happy with the turnout.

“General meetings, both inside and outside of Sheridan, typically get extremely low turnout. Twenty people is quorum (minimum) amount for the meeting to be official. We had double that,” she said in an e-mail interview.

“To have 40 people who were also engaged and asking questions was considered a great success.”

The general meeting approved bylaws for the union, audits, a welcoming of the incoming SSUI president, Sylvia Ibrahim- a former SU executive vice-president, and an approval of the budget for the 2015-2016 school year.

Students were given copies of the union’s financial statements from 2013-2014 for reference, which they could read to better understand where their money was spent.

Students could ask questions about what was being done with approximately $9 million, the majority of which of was generated by student fees.

Jamie King, SSUI general manager, informed students that for the first time in five to seven years, that there would be a balanced budget with neither a deficit nor a surplus of money.

“We are comfortable with the savings we have and are investing on day-to-day improvements of services and communications to students,” said Pulver.

The most common questions, however, were centred around changes at student events and pubs.

Students including Taylor Sinstadt wanted to know what changes were going to be made to The Den at Davis Campus.

As an employee at both pubs, Sinstadt wanted to know what would be done to make the two more similar.

“At The Marquee, there are always people around. At The Den, the security person at the front is also serving food,” said Sinstadt.

King assured students that things would be changing with a $100,000 investment in The Den.

Students at the meeting also wanted to know whether the SSUI would be creating more inclusive events for a larger variety of students, based on ages, cultures and personal interests.

Pulver explained that events are usually created based on student interest, but agreed that things needed to be different.

“We’re working on changing things. We want to become more inclusive to all,” she said.

Duncan Foy, a photography student, wanted to know what would be done to allow for a more arts-related branding of the SSUI, asking about the shirts the union wears, specifically.

Pulver agreed, admitting that she “noticed that [the SSUI] becoming very corporate. We want to get back to talking to students as students.”

The SSUI admitted they do not plan on changing the logos of the union over the next few years, but will instead focus on the relationship that the union has with students.

With a better relationship, the union hopes students become more interested in events like general meetings.

“It is important for students to know, they can come to all Board meetings if there is an interest in the budget itself, or simply come and ask,” said Pulver.