Live Blog: CUTV General Assembly

  • The CUTV general assembly took place Dec. 1 on the 7th floor of the Hall Building. Photo Andrew Brennan

  • The CUTV general assembly took place Dec. 1 on the 7th floor of the Hall Building. Photo Andrew Brennan

  • The CUTV general assembly took place Dec. 1 on the 7th floor of the Hall Building. Photo Andrew Brennan

This event has ended.

7:00 Three hours late and with the flip of a coin, the GA to refound CUTV came to a close.

Moderator Alex Matak had stressed throughout the assembly that it needed to end with an elected Board of Directors.

There were brief nominations followed by a succinct question period that only saw one question posed–what organizational skills did the candidates possess.

Voting by secret ballot, the GA elected students Emily Campbell, Julian Ward, Kian Ettehadieh and Michelle Moore.

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

Checking the provisionary bylaws passed just hours before, Matak said that rules stated the Chair would cast a vote in all ties at a general assembly.

Matak, however, felt uncomfortable passing the deciding vote, particularly in such a public way. She opted instead to let a coin decide.

“This is disrespectful to democracy,” Marouf stated.

The coin secured a spot for Côte on the provisional eight-member BoD which will also include community members Catherine Poitras Anger, Mikelaï Cervera and David Widgington.

***

5:00 After approving amendments that allow an SGM to be called by either 10 per cent of the member population or by 1,000 votes (whichever is smaller), the GA moved on to defining the far more contentious make-up of the Board of Directors.

Laith Marouf suggested the GA approve a BoD that is composed of three students (two undergraduates and one graduate), two non-student volunteers, one donor member, one community partner member and one full-time employee voted by members, as well as one academic and/or administrative and/or support staff of Concordia and two representatives from the community-at-large, recommended by a nominating committee and by the Board, keeping the dynamic proposed by the working by-laws.

Some former volunteers, including Campbell, spoke against this BoD makeup—which they felt did not offer students the kind of representation they deserved. Marouf’s motion was narrowly voted down with 18 votes for and 21 against.

Former volunteer Julian Ward, who is also a former The Link news editor, proposed a majority student board.

Ward’s proposed structure consisted of four students, two non-student volunteers, one non-student, non-volunteer community member and one non-voting member representing staff.

Several participants, such as the only current CUTV BoD member Sabine Friesinger, argued that such a BoD would ignore the role community plays in CUTV’s content.

The GA moved forward with the understanding that a 9-member provisional board would be made up of four student volunteers, four community-at-large members and one staff member.

However, the question of including a staff member on the provisional BoD became contentious after an apparent staff conflict arose during the meeting.

Following a vote it was decided that staff members would not be included in the provisional board and the issue will be tabled until a following GA.

***

2:30 After the approval of bylaw 4.1, the assembly moved to voting through the rest of the membership definitions omnibus.

Morgan Pudwell, former Concordia Student Union VP Advocacy, raised concerns about granting the right to vote to anyone who donates to CUTV. At previous meetings, participants had raised concern about a system which might allow those outside the community to buy their vote.

CUTV member and former volunteer Emily Campbell acknowledged the ability of a Board of Directors to reject any donations from corporations or individuals whose mandate did not align with CUTV’s.

Campbell, however, added that it is crucial that the power be as widespread as possible. Paid staff, she said, should not hold exclusive power to deny or approve membership.

There was much discussion concerning the wording of how membership should be ratified, specifically regarding the power held by the coordinating committee.

Campbell felt that all applications for membership should go through the Board of Directors as well, in order to make CUTV “more open and collective.”

CSU President Schubert Laforest proposed to amend sections 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 of the bylaws. He suggested that every time “upon recommendation of the coordinating committee” appeared, that it be subject to ratification by the Board of Directors.

With the appropriate changes made, the assembly voted to move forward with wording that would now ensure the BoD looked over every membership application.

Matak, stressing expediency, helped to move the process along to vote on the new membership definitions. It passed overwhelmingly.

She also pointed out that the likelihood of passing through the entire agenda was slim. After some discussion, members agreed to proceed in “good faith,” hoping to pass through as much of the agenda as possible, with the priority in electing a board, and ratifying section five of the bylaws.

***

12:44 Former Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill proposed an amendment to bylaw 4.1:

All students registered at Concordia University, shall in accordance with the terms of their registration, be Student Members, upon payment to CUTV of the membership fee prescribed from time to time by referendum and the signing of a membership agreement and performance of “volunteer” duties as determined by paragraph 1.E. Students who do not wish to be members of CUTV can request a refund of the membership fee according to the membership fee opt-out policy.

Gill proposed that any undergraduate student who has paid their fee levy be considered a student member. This motion proposed removing the requirement requiring students to sign a membership agreement and complete volunteer hours in order to be a voting member.

This motion passed.

CUTV Executive Director Laith Marouf suggested that while any student member could vote in elections and in a GA, only those who had performed a certain amount of volunteer time could run for the Board. His amendment, however, failed.

***

12:10 After about two hours of primarily procedural questions, those at the general assembly voted to move directly through the bylaws to discuss membership.

“Take a deep breath,” GA chair Alex Matak said. “This is going to be a long process.”

Matak added that given the time constraints—the GA must end by 4 p.m.—the assembly should focus on ensuring at least the election of a board of directors, definition of a general assembly and definition of membership. Without that, she said, the GA itself was practically useless.

“What I’m trying to do now is pass the things that we absolutely need to in order to move on,” she said.

***

Following several tumultuous weeks, Concordia University Television is holding its general assembly today to determine the future of the station.

The proposed agenda includes some big items, suh as adopting new bylaws and electing a Board of Directors.

People’s Potato will be serving food, and childcare will be provided to those who gave 48 hours notice.

The meeting is taking place on the 7th floor of the Hall building, and is scheduled to run until 4 pm.

Throughout the GA, The Link will live blog the event here. You can also follow @coreyriver and @brennamen on twitter for updates.

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