Copyright © 2020 Federation of Students, University of Waterloo operating as Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
General Meeting & Town Hall
Why it matters?
Because you should have a say in your University experience. Did you know WUSA is the voice of Waterloo undergrads and here to advocate for you? In order to affectively advocate for a better University experience for our Members, we have to know what your needs and concerns are. Raise issues by joining us on Crowdcast on March 9th. We’ll be sharing association updates and this is a great chance for you to get to know your WUSA Execs and Students’ Council representatives.
How will it work?
The WUSA Town Hall happens Thursday, March 4th 2021. The agenda will be shared by March 2nd. We encourage you to join and listen in as WUSA Executives and Students’ Council share WUSA updates, discuss the General Meeting agenda and other issues that affect WUSA Members. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions, provide comments, and have your concerns heard.
Why it matters?
Want to see a significant change with your student experience? WUSA General Meetings are where that happens. Have you ever asked yourself what your student union does for you, or what it can do for you? If so, here’s your chance to participate and have your say.
The day-to-day operations of our student association are looked after by the Exec and supported by staff, so that the rest of us can focus on our academics, social life, well-being, etc. Once a year, WUSA holds General Meetings where all 30,000+ members can attend and provide direction to those who do the day-to-day on what we want them to do and how we want them to operate, while we focus on our own stuff.
How will it work?
WUSA will be once again holding a meeting of delegates for our General Meeting. All members of WUSA Students’ Council must attend. If a rep is unable to attend, they must be formally excused by the Speaker (WUSA President).
The meeting will take place on Teams on Saturday, March 27th, 2021. WUSA Members (Waterloo undergrads) are invited to attend and listen in by emailing email@example.com. If a Member does wish to speak, Councillors must yield speaking time for them (similar to a regular Council meeting). If a member of the gallery wishes to speak to an item, they can email the speaker in advance to request 4-minutes of speaking time on a particular item (Again, just like a regular Council meeting). The moderators will then know to change their settings to allow them to speak. This must be done before noon on March 26th.
To avoid any disruptions to the meeting, there will be additional settings applied to this meeting. Our moderators will be managing the speaking order and the expectations set by Council must be followed. For this event to run smoothly, we encourage Members to reach out to their Councillor in advance of the meeting.
How is the agenda approved?
The General Meeting Agenda will be approved by the Board of Directors. The Board will determine items for the General Meeting and may refer items through different channels (exec committee, regular council discussion item, town hall discussion, etc), if necessary. The agenda will be approved and ready for release by March 2nd, 2021 after a special meeting of the Board of Directors.
How can Members connect with Councillors?
- Learn more about your WUSA Students’ Councillors here.
- Email your Councillor directly (find their email address on the page above).
- Attend the WUSA Town Hall on March 25th and raise questions during the event.
General Meeting Rules
The Board sets the agenda for the General Meeting. WUSA's constitution prohibits new items that were not released with the agenda from being voted on; so, any amendments proposed at the meeting must be within the scope of the original motion. The Board will include any member submitted proposals to the Agenda, provided they do not contradict the law, bylaws, or policies.
The General Meeting does not have the power to make decisions that are conferred as a responsibility of another body (i.e. the Board of Directors or Students' Council) under WUSA's constitution. So, a General Meeting can neither act on nor revoke/limit the exercise of any power of the Board of Directors or Students' Council, without first amending the bylaws. In this way, the Constitution (and amendments made to it by the General Meeting) effectively limits the power of the General Meeting, ensuring that elections and referenda remain the key democratic decision-making tool in WUSA.
When adopting the Agenda, the Board traditionally includes a provision that the General Meeting accepts the course of business, and that any items that are not addressed, unless otherwise dispensed with or referred elsewhere, including due to loss of quorum, are to be referred to the Students’ Council for rendering of a decision.
But that doesn't mean that the General Meeting is powerless! It's a highly influential opportunity to shape the direction of the organization, hold the Board of Directors, Executive, and your elected student Councillors directly accountable, and to act as a town hall forum for discussing what's important to you.
All WUSA meetings are governed by Robert's Rules to ensure meetings are held in an orderly fashion. Robert's Rules is essentially a guide of the rules, ethics, and customs that are followed during the meeting. We understand the rules aren't always easy to follow along with so we've created a guide to help!
View the General Meeting Rules guide