A constitutional amendment that would prevent Finance Committee (FC) members from being present for in camera discussions regarding funding decisions about clubs of which they are president or treasurer passed this February at the Trinity College Meeting (TCM). The FC decides the amount of money non-levied Trinity clubs receive.
Constitutional amendments must pass by a two-thirds majority at two consecutive TCMs in order to be adopted. The amendment must therefore pass again at the next meeting in order to be enacted.
A previous amendment that attempted to bar all executive members of clubs from being present for in camera FC discussions regarding their clubs’ funding failed at December’s TCM last year. This original amendment saw 62 per cent of students voting in favour, approximately five per cent short of two thirds.
“I spoke with some of the [student] heads who were very against the [original amendment],” said Jessica Rapson, who put forward both amendments. “I think they made some good points. Unfortunately, they didn’t want to offer any amendments – they thought I should just drop it.”
Rapson was undeterred because over 50 per cent thought the amendment was a good idea, and it was only a few votes short of passing the first time. She initially proposed the amendment after finding that clubs with members on FC received more money on average than those that did not.
After the failure of the first amendment, she changed it to say, “No member of FC shall be present during any in camera discussion of the budgets of non-levied clubs of which they are current or previous presidents or signing officers.”
“Before it was just all executive members, but that’s probably not fair because a lot of clubs have really big executives or people are involved in a lot of clubs,” said Rapson. “So now it’s just presidents and treasurers that are affected. They are the people who are the most involved in clubs and are in the most privileged position to answer questions about the budget.”
The TCM also passed all the proposed projects of the Student Capital Campaign Committee (SCCC), which “funds long-term projects that generate permanent gains for the college community,” according to the Trin Life website.
SCCC proposals that were passed included $150,000 for non-resident space, $30,000 for music practice-room renovations, $10,000 for chapel accessibility, and $10,000 for restoring the Trinity College bell.
The TCM also passed Thomas Robson and Tamsyn Riddle’s SCCC proposal for Trinity to enter a partnership with the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape. Funds would go toward hiring a part-time employee to help Trinity survivors of sexual violence with crisis support and longer-term counseling.
This proposal came after the TCM’s decision in January to ask Trinity administration to look for more outside support for survivors of sexual violence. Last semester, the TCM passed a vote of non-confidence in Trinity College’s Office of the Dean of Students, in part due to how Riddle says they handled her sexual assault case.