Students' Council: March 31, 2011
The Social Justice Centre was added to the March 31 students’ council agenda at the request of St Thomas More councillor Galen Richardson. Richardson also motioned to have the item fast-tracked, so that debate and voting on the proposed centre could happen at that meeting, rather than the next week.
Vice president external Blair Shumlich, who has been vocal in his opposition to the creation of the centre, urged council to allow the motion to follow the normal process, especially given that many councillors who had been active in the debate were absent. The motion required a two-thirds majority vote, and was defeated.
In preparation for the debate next week, Schumlich offered to send councillors his ideas for better ways to address the social justice issue and encouraged them to send him anything they came up with.
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” said Shumlich, who, upon noting the horrified looks of a couple more sensitive coucillors, corrected himself. “I mean, there’s more than one way to peel an apple. If we vote no on this, it just means we look at other options.”
Council subsequently spent about 40 minutes discussing a matter in camera. The results were not discussed publicly.
In less mysterious news, SEPW architecture, the firm behind the Place Riel renovations, donated $10,000 for council to commission an art work for the Roy Romanow chambers.
Shumlich has been uncharacteristically busy of late, as the U of S students’ union is working to create a whole slate of federal election related events. In efforts to be as nonpartisan as possible, he has sent out an open invitation to candidates in the area to host events on campus.
The first of these will be Beer with Bob, a chance to sit at Louis’ to drink and talk with Liberal MP Bob Rae as well as the Saskatoon-Humboldt Liberal candidate Darren Hill. The (free) beer and conversation will be at Louis’ from 3 to 5 p.m.
Also keeping Shumlich busy was the provincial budget. He highlighted what he deems the most significant successes of the budget for students: an increase to the university’s operating grant, funding for childcare spaces, commitment to Metis and First Nations learners, and the creation of a Saskatchewan advantage scholarship fund.