An Inaccessible Special General Meeting

Image Source: Sheridan Student Union

If your city or town council was changing the way you paid taxes, you might want to pay attention. So when the SSU moves around the way your ancillary fees are managed, why is the meeting inaccessible to two-thirds of the Sheridan campuses?

The Sheridan Student Union (SSU) organized a Special General Meeting (SGM) at the HMC campus on Feb. 20. The meeting is a chance for students from all campuses to vote on a set of proposed changes in the SSU’s corporate bylaws.

The students were informed about the meeting through emails. However, amongst the pool of promotional emails that the students receive, the email about the meeting is bound to get lost.

While talking to some students at the Trafalgar campus, the Sheridan Sun found out that a lot of students were unaware of the meeting. Others who knew and were interested in attending said that it is difficult for them to commute to another campus while they have classes scheduled at the same time.

Jeremy Frith, the Customer Service Representative of SSU said that the meeting would not be broadcast outside of Davis Campus. Even though all Sheridan students are affected by the bylaws and should have a say in it, the meeting is not accessible to them.

Andrea Barlow, a student of the Visual and Creative Arts program said that she would have attended the meeting if it was on the Trafalgar campus. However, it wasn’t practical for her to miss lectures and go to the HMC campus to attend the meeting.

Frith was also uncertain if and when the minutes of the meeting would be made public for the students. 

The SSU website mentions that if a student is unable to attend a meeting, they can vote by means of “an authorized proxy”. This means that a trustworthy friend or classmate who is attending the meeting can vote on another student’s behalf after filling a proxy form.

A Special General Meeting as mentioned by the SSU on their website is a chance for students to participate in a “democratic process that helps shape the structures and processes the organization follows.” However, the inaccessibility might hinder the process and defeat the purpose of having a Special General Meeting.