AUS Holds its First General Assembly of the Academic Year
With a continuously low turnout, AUS struggles to inspire attendance
21 Nov, 2012 11:38
The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) held its first General Assembly (GA) of the year on Monday, November 19th. As the assembly never reached quorum, it was deemed a consultative body. All decisions made are now to be passed on to the AUS Council as recommendations. Five of the six motions presented to the assembly were passed, with the sixth being tabled indefinitely.
Passing motions include one that would encourage departmental associations to hold their own GAs, as well as several motions requiring the AUS to take an opposing stance on issues such as Quebec’s Plan Nord, fossil fuel usage, tuition hikes, and the potential war with Iran.
A motion to create a ‘Students Helping Students Fund’ for those students affected by a student strike or tuition hike, through the means of reallocating AUS funds, was tabled indefinitely after some considerable debate. AUS VP Internal Justin Fletcher emphasized that the reallocation required by the fund would take away a considerable amount of money (around $5700) from current AUS services. He indicated that it “could affect how the AUS provides services to students,” and thus should go to a referendum instead.
Aside from last semester’s GA, which voted on the strike, attendance has historically been an issue for AUS GAs. The assembly held on Monday had an attendance of 38 students, significantly short of the 150 students required to meet quorum. When questioned about the low attendance rate, AUS VP Communications Yasmeen Gholmieh maintained that the GA was well advertised through posters, classroom announcements, emails, and social media.
Gholmieh noted that “both SSMU and AUS General Assemblies have faced issues with low student turnout in the past and I think it is unfair to blame the low turnout only on the VP Communications. I along with the CRO and the President did our best to advertise the GA.”
A survey is to be launched by the AUS to determine students’ reasons for not attending GAs to help determine different advertising strategies for the future.