Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Media Advisory: Would proposed bylaw revisions further restrict democratic debate in U of S Senate?

Proposed U of S Senate bylaw revisions further limit senators’ ability to act as “province’s window on the University” and unnecessarily divide senators.

What: University of Saskatchewan Senate Meeting
When: 8:30AM, April 21, 2012

At the upcoming Senate meeting, an ad hoc committee will present revisions to meeting procedures for approval by senators. These revisions grant the Senate Executive Committee the authority to reject motions based on criteria of “personal claim or redressing a personal grievance against the University, any employee, officer or director of the University, or any body of the University, or primarily for the purpose of promoting general economic, political, racial, religious, social or similar causes unrelated to the activities of the University."

Several University senators and alumni believe that this language is too general, leaving room for the Executive Committee to reject potentially valid motions. These senators believe that it is important to have the ability to debate matters of politics, economics and environment to fulfill their role as the province’s “window onto the university,” as stated in the preamble to the proposed bylaw revisions. Such issues are just as vitally important to the University as they are to everyday Saskatchewan citizens.

“I would like to see senators achieve as close to consensus as possible,” said Jordan Miller,  “At present, the proposed revisions are likely to create great divisions in the Senate body that are entirely unnecessary.”  

In light of these concerns, USSWORD senators will argue that many of the proposed revisions should be returned to the committee for further consideration.

The proposed bylaw revisions can be found in the April 21, 2012 Senate meeting agenda

Since the Senate is the bridge between the U of S and the Saskatchewan community at large, the public is always welcome and encouraged to attend Senate meetings. 

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