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Council Updates

UNBSU talks hiring VP finance

At Sunday’s council meeting, the UNBSU discussed whether a restructuring of their organization should include changing vice-president finance and operations from an elected to a hired position.

UNBSU president Ben Whitney said that many universities hire a financial director instead of having an elected vice-president in charge of finances.

“It’s essentially because of what the position is responsible for. It’s a multi-million dollar budget. It’s a way for them to mitigate some sort of financial risk and a lot of these schools see fit to hire them,” he said.

Computer Science representative Andrew Martel said that the main focus of the vice-president of finance and operations is more on clubs than the budget and that it should be an elected position.

Nursing representative Laura Carr said that hiring it as a long-term position could create continuity in budgets from year to year but Marc Gauvin, vice-president finance and operations, said that continuity currently comes through the UNBSU general manager Karen Miner.

Martel proposed a motion that the advancement committee of the UNBSU research and review the possibility of hiring the vice-president finance and operations. The motion was passed unanimously.

At the moment Whitney said they have no plans implementing this proposed change. It is just a topic they want to consider when the UNBSU undergoes a review.

Motion passes for gender-neutral washrooms at UNB

LGBTQ representative Lee Thomas put forward the motion at council on Sunday to have the UNBSU support having single-stall, gender-neutral washrooms on campus.

Thomas said that the washrooms at UNB exclude people who do not identify as male or female and that private, single-stall, gender-neutral washrooms are the best option for all members of the university.

However, not all buildings on campus have single-stall washrooms and Thomas said the university has not made any clear move towards changing this.

Accessibility representative Jeremy Murray said that the best way to get single stall washrooms is through the renovations being made to accommodate the need for accessible washrooms.

Nursing representative Laura Carr asked if all washrooms couldn’t be changed to co-ed to simplify the process.

Thomas said that with the difficulties she has faced for simply wanting to change some of the washrooms to gender-neutral, she didn’t see that moving forward. Instead, it’s having organizations such as the UNBSU show support that will push for change.

“If we can move forward to support it, then it will help when we have a more specific thing we’re aiming to do,” Thomas said.

Thomas’s motion for UNBSU support passed unanimously.

UNBSU president Ben Whitney said the UNBSU will use their resources to advocate for gender-neutral washrooms now that the motion was passed.

“We’re going to just be in support of the students who need gender-neutral washrooms. We’ll be advocating through capital budget planning and teaching,” Whitney said. “Accessibility and I think just being comfortable, being able to thrive in your environment is key.”

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