Special general meeting sees bylaw changes, controversy

17 bylaw changes at student association’s special general meeting, but not without disagreement

The recent BCIT Student Association (BCITSA) special general meeting (SGM) passed 17 bylaw amendments, leaving only one unapproved.

The SGM, is held annually to make changes to existing bylaws in the constitution of the BCITSA through requests called motions. All students are invited to attend this annual meeting, which includes a free meal.

Quorum (the minimum number of members required to make decisions) was met just moments before the beginning of the SGM, with 33 voting members in attendance at the meeting that has a quorum of 31 students.

Some of the changes that were voted on include the creation of a student spaces committee and a executive representative for Downtown Campus.

The student spaces committee will be chaired by the BCITSA’s vice president of student affairs, a position currently held by Marwan Marwan. The committee will meet monthly to discuss any issues related to BCITSA space development and will make design development decisions about any association spaces, according to the bylaw.

The establishment of a representative for Downtown Campus comes at a fitting time with BCITSA elections campaigning and voting just getting underway.

The only bylaw change that was not passed at the SGM was a proposal made by Marwan to create a human rights committee. When the motion was brought up at the meeting, the formal speakers list was not being followed accurately, which prompted Marwan to walk out.

[pullquote]“The reason I walked out of the meeting is that I really disagreed with the way that the process was carried out.” — Marwan Marwan, vice president of student affairs, BCIT Student Association[/pullquote]

“The reason I walked out of the meeting is that I really disagreed with the way that the process was carried out,” Marwan told The Link.

According to BCITSA President Daniel Huh, motions for new standing committees are generally discussed at regular council meetings.

“No issue has come up in council regarding the [human rights] committee, whereas all other committees have been discussed in council and everything has been discussed with the group,” Huh told The Link, explaining why there was hesitation in approving the committee.

Marwan told The Link he knows the human rights committee that he put a motion forward for will not strike this year because the motion was not passed at the meeting.

“It was one of those ‘We agreed to disagree’ things,” Huh explained. “I feel there’s really no way to look at it right or wrong so I really just left it where it is.”

According to Marwan, the human rights committee would not have cost the BCITSA financially and proposed members included students and counsellors who would report to the vice president of student affairs. The committee would have provided students with resources for a variety of issues, but President Huh said similar resources are already available. .

Marwan told The Link he remains strong in his stance that a procedural review of the BCITSA is needed.

“The process in which things are carried out is no good. It needs to be re-visited,” said Marwan.

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Neetu was born and raised in the Okanagan Valley (minus the few toddler years she spent living in Punjab, India where her line of heritage is from). She moved to the lower mainland to attend BCIT and is now in her graduating year of the Broadcast and Online Journalism Program. Her writing and editing for Link magazine often happens late at night because when she's not at school she works as a reporter and anchor for CKNW Newstalk 980 and is also involved in the start up of a charity called the Beautiful World Foundation. She loves to travel and feels fortunate to be in a field where she can share the stories of interesting and inspiring people from around the world.

neetu@linknewspaper.ca

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