44th Ordinary Student Council Meeting

The Student Council (SC) Committee conducted its 44th Ordinary Meeting on the 25th of February 2020 in F1A15.

Amendment to Chapter 10: Defining the resignation process for SA Executives

This motion was brought forth by the SA President and seconded by the SA Home Officer.

Sara Siddiqi explains that there is currently no particular procedure of resignation for SA executives. She proceeds to express her concern for the lack of accountability and responsibility that is upheld by the status quo.

The Amendment to Chapter 10 ensures that people don’t just come into SA thinking that ‘oh it’s an easy job and when it gets too hard I can just quit.

Sara Siddiqi

The amendment is to allow the student council to democratically vote for/against the resignation of any SA executive upon prior discretion of the Steering Committee Chair. A simple majority of the Student Council is required to determine the validity of the resignation.Therefore, it is at the hands of the student council to decide if a resignation by any SA executive is warranted.

Should a resignation by any SA executive be deemed invalid by the Student Council, the aforementioned SA executive will still resign but a fine will be imposed. The fine will amount to 50% of the salary earned up to the point of resignation.

The SA President clarifies further that funds collected from the fine will be channeled back into the SA grant.

The motion passes with 32 councillors voting for, 2 against, and 1 abstaining.

Q&A with Councillors

SA President’s Absence from Campus Last Semester

The first questions submitted was addressed to the SA President Sara Siddiqi on her absence from campus last semester. Sara explained that she was deported back to Oman for two weeks due to her inability to meet attendance requirements as an international student.

Sara assured the students that the team SA executives and herself worked around the clock around the matter. Despite her absence, she stated that she was still very much in a working capacity via email and phone whilst away and that she worked to her full but limited abilities.

On top of that the SA executives also had democratically elected the SA International Students Officer Utkarsh Gupta as Sara’s on campus representative for meetings and dealings in the time that Sara was absent.

It was on Sara’s own request that the Steering Committee not inform the students of her absence from campus as to avoid speculation but she has conceded that proved an ineffective strategy.

However, she did inform of her absence to parties whom she deemed. She initially believed this was sufficient but she apologizes nevertheless if this had upset the students.

Stray Animals on Campus

The concern of stray cats and dogs were discussed in the meeting with the SA Home Officer providing updates that only all stray dogs have been removed from campus with the only one yet to be extracted. Mustafa Zoher added that the stray cat problems were a bit more difficult to deal with due to the sheer numbers on campus but he assured students that efforts are actively being made to fully rectify this issue.

New Lights on Campus

There was also discussion on the addition of lights around campus. Mustafa clarified that the management had already agreed to the this notion. However, Mustafa also reiterated that this is a costly investment with a lot of work paving the foundation and laying the electrical wiring. Therefore, an expected timeline of 3 months before any new lights are installed around the roundabout, Dapurmas staircase, and the sport complex.

Open Parking

The Home Officer updated the students of the leveling work already done on the open parking area. He provided further explanation on the ongoing plans to level the entire open parking area which will result in space for 400 more cars in the open parking area.

Vehicle Registration, Guardhouse

The council shifted to the topic of more efficient vehicle registration at the guardhouse. Mustafa explained that there were plans laid out for the development of an app to ease this process which is similar to that of other residential areas. He does concede the high cost of outlay required in app development, but Mustafa also assured students that works are in progress with upper management.

Covered Walkway, Cafeteria to Sports Complex

The council rebuffed any suggestion of a covered walkway from the cafeteria to the sports complex with the SA President assuring that the university’s focus on enhancing current facilities and not on laying down new infrastructure

Microwaves at the Cafeteria

There had been a suggestion in the previous meeting for the addition of microwaves at the cafeteria for students’ use. The Home Officer stated that the Food and Beverage manager had already agreed to this proposal. While talks are still ongoing, Mustafa invited the students to use the microwave facilities in front of the Careers office. The microwaves are expected to be installed at the cafeteria by end of March with student use be strictly for halal food.

Conclusion

Students came away with most of their concerns quenched by the work of the Student Council. The meeting was productive and efficient; a testament to the work of everyone involved.

Written by Ameer Daniel
Photos by Mohammed AlAmmari

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