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Briefs of the week

Week of Nov. 5, 2018

DSU Annual General Meeting

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the Dalhousie Student Union held its annual general meeting. The AGM failed to meet quorum – the minimum number of people required to pass new business. Ten per cent of Dal’s student population needed to be in attendance in order to meet quorum, which adds up to about 185 people.

Only 125 showed up.

Executives discussed their plans for the year and Chantal Khoury presented the DSU’s audited financial statements. There was a discussion of proposed bylaw amendments and conducted the DSU straw polls, but nothing could be passed without quorum. DSU President Aaron Prosper said the union will likely meet with the union lawyer to discuss next steps.

Strike one, strike two

Both Saint Mary’s University and Mount Saint Vincent University faculty unions have voted to strike.

On Nov. 6, 94 per cent of the MSVU Faculty Association’s 144 members voted in favour on a strike. As reported by the Chronicle Herald, issues such as “wages, workload and support for caregivers and victims of domestic violence” are on the table. The university told the Herald: “With conciliation scheduled to start this week, we remain optimistic that we can reach an agreement that meets the interests of both parties.”

SMUFU greenlighted a strike the following day. Negotiations on a new contract between the union and the university began in June, but bargaining stopped when SMU came to the Union “with a final offer that was well below the cost of inflation,” said a press release. According to the release, SMUFU has never been on strike since it was certified as a Union in 1974.

King’s smoking zone

The King’s Students’ Union is calling on the University of King’s College to create a designated smoking area on campus. After a municipal bylaw went into effect in October, smokers are only permitted to smoke or vape in areas designated by HRM. The KSU issued a statement last week, stating, “an on-campus smoking area is a necessity to everyone employed and living on this university. Faculty, staff and students deserve a safe place to smoke on campus.”

Eagle affirmations

On Nov. 8, Nova Scotia’s courts officially introduced the sacred eagle feather – a symbol of spirituality for many Indigenous peoples – into the province’s courthouses and courtrooms. The feathers may be used instead for legal affirmations instead of the bible, for example. This change comes a little more than a year after eagle feathers became an option for legal oaths in Nova Scotia’s RCMP detachments.

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