CUTV Comes Out of GA With Board, Bylaws

Station Still Shaky, But Assembly Gives Some Hope

Participants in Saturday’s CUTV GA vote on proposed bylaw changes. Photos Leslie Schachter

Roughly 40 people gathered on the seventh floor of the Hall Building last Saturday in an attempt to “legalize the shit out of CUTV.”

The general assembly for the future of Concordia University Television was called after weeks of controversy, inter-personal conflicts, structural collapses and questionable finances threatened to collectively run the station into the ground.

In order for the station to continue to function, chair Alex Matak made it clear that, at the very least, the meeting had to end with an election of a provisional Board of Directors, a consensus as to the definition of a general assembly and an approved set of temporary bylaws.

Nine hours later, with the flip of a coin—the meeting had managed to accomplish just that. Well, almost.

The day left CUTV with a more sound structure than it began with—albeit still a relatively shaky one—consisting of a newly elected provisional Board, mandated to work under a provisional set of semi-modified bylaws and deal with conducting their own forensic audit of the station and its former parent corporation, the Concordia Student Broadcasting Corporation.

Until the next GA is called, at least, Matak said the station and its board can operate under the newly agreed upon “provisional thing.”

Dealing With the Document

Considering the size and scope of the eleven-page, nineteen-point document up for discussion, the assembly was unable to go through and modify every section of CUTV’s bylaws within the allotted time frame.

Few specific changes were made to the document, in favour of prioritizing the fundamental decisions required to meet the bare-bone needs that would permit the station to function.

The modification of bylaw 4.1, put forth by former Concordia Student Union president Lex Gill, removed the requirement of signing a membership agreement and performing volunteer hours as criteria for being considered a “student member.”

The document now permits any fee-levy paying student to be granted “student member” status at the station.

As per the recommendation of CSU President Schubert Laforest, bylaws 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 were modified to include a clause that everything previously set to be determined “upon recommendation of the coordinating committee,” also be subject to ratification by the Board of Directors.

This stipulates the BoD must look over every membership application CUTV receives.

The assembly also modified the procedure of calling a special general meeting—requiring that it be called by the lesser of either 10 per cent or 1,000 member votes.

Getting a Board on Board

After various proposed structures were suggested and debated, the assembly settled on approving the structure of nine-member provisional Board. It would include four student volunteers, four community-at-large members and one staff member.

It was deemed that members would vote for those in the category for which they themselves were eligible to run. Negative votes would be tallied as well, and would count against votes in favour.

At the meeting, only the student and community spots were voted on, as the staff position was tabled to a later time.

Executive Director Laith Marouf proposed that there were only two staff members, including himself and Nawar Al-Rufaie, who were eligible to run for the board position, and that he did not intend to run.

Staff member Francisco Peres responded to this by saying that there were in fact three eligible staff members, including himself.

After a short but tense back-and-forth, former provisional Board member Sabine Friesinger interjected and proposed a motion that, due to a staff conflict, the question of staff representation on the board should be suspended until the issue could be resolved.

Finally, the secret ballot vote elected Emily Campbell, Julian Ward, Kian Ettehadieh and Michelle Moore as student directors.

The community member spots, however, hit a snag when a tie was declared between Anthony Côte and William Ray.

According to the newly passed bylaws, as chair of the meeting, Matak was responsible for breaking the tie by casting the deciding ballot.

However, saying that she felt uncomfortable doing so in such a public forum, Matak opted to flip a coin to decide the outcome.

That’s how Anthony Côte was voted in as community member, alongside Catherine Poitras Anger, Mikelaï Cervera and David Widgington.

The provisional Board will have to arrange to meet in the near future, and appoint a chair, secretary and treasurer. Since they have yet to formally meet as a group, no one from the provisional board was able to comment speak to The Link prior to press time.