MAISHA ISLAM/THE VARSITY

The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union’s (SCSU) Winter General Meeting (WGM) was cancelled on March 28 due to a failure to meet quorum.

A student from UTSC’s Ontario Progressive Conservative Campus Association (OPCCA) pointed out that less than a dozen students attended the WGM, which was held in a classroom-tier lecture hall.

None of the 17 SCSU directors were present at the WGM. 

Many students who attended the WGM were associated with the OPCCA.

OPCCA President Sarkis Kidanian said to The Varsity, “I’ve never seen personally in my five years that quorum doesn’t take place without the attendance of the executives.”

Kidanian noted that none of the executives at the meeting arrived with proxies. He further added that, from his experience as the SCSU’s Director of Political Science in 2015, the union’s executives have always been encouraged to gather 25 proxies for the general meetings to achieve quorum.

The WGM only had four main motions, which were all from Kidanian.

The first motion called for the SCSU to publicly apologize to the OPCCA for presenting “distance and anti-sentiments” toward OPCCA and UTSC conservatives, and to give the OPCCA the “same rights and privileges” as the other groups on campus, as perceived by the OPCCA.

The second motion called on the SCSU to annually recognize the Armenian Genocide and mark April as the Genocide Awareness, Condemnation, and Prevention Month at UTSC.

The third motion was to condemn the University of Toronto Students’ Union’s rejection of the Ontario government’s free speech mandate.

The last motion was to strike a Multi-Partisan Policy Analyzing and Developing Committee to develop “stronger relationships between the Student Union and the external counterparts across partisan lines.”

Kidanian speculated that the failure of the meeting to achieve quorum was a deliberate attempt by the SCSU to block the presentation of his first, third, and fourth motions.

“It would look bad on the student union,” he said. “It’s better [for the SCSU] to state that the WGM didn’t take place because of quorum, rather than have these motions [revealed].”

OPCCA members asked why the WGM was not promoted on social media more to remind students about it, especially during the days leading up to the WGM.

The SCSU’s latest post about the WGM on Facebook was on March 6, roughly three weeks before the meeting.

At the WGM, Vice-President Equity and President-elect Chemi Lhamo agreed that the WGM could have been promoted better.

However, she said that if the SCSU did not want the meeting to happen, there were other ways to cancel it instead of attempting to make it fail to meet quorum. She said that the WGM had a fully-prepared meeting package, all executives attended, and the union also booked a room for this meeting.

Lhamo said that past SCSU meetings that failed to take place were because the union was unable to book a room.

According to the OPCCA’s official statement to the SCSU released on March 29, the association views the cancellation of the meeting due to its failure to meet quorum as a “direct attack to cover up and not allow democratic engagements within the University to commence.”

The statement also called for the “immediate resignation” of the current SCSU executives and directors.

The Varsity has reached out to SCSU President Nicole Brayiannis, Lhamo, and SCSU Internal Coordinator Mel Dashdorj for comment.

Stay up to date. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent straight to your inbox:

* indicates required

Tags: ,