LGBTOUT Winter General Meeting: February 15, 2013
Cathie, Corey, Danielle, Doug (via phone), Dylan, Hardeep, Patrick, Ryan, and Ricky participated in the meeting.
We began by going around the room, asking everyone to introduce themselves and acknowledge what brought them to the meeting.
Most of the executives didn’t have much to say, but Ryan mentioned that the SGDO is thinking of doing a summer retreat for LGBTQ student leaders; this may be an opportunity to combine previous plans for events like a queer roundtable and student leadership social. Ryan also made a note that there are more referral resources in the white binder under the pillow in the office. Cathie briefly mentioned that the Drop-In Centre (DIC) is getting prettier and prettier.
Corey acknowledged that he was interested in finding out “where these amendments are coming from.”
Hardeep, an engineering student, expressed an interest in sharing some ideas for the new constitution and structure.
Where are these amendments coming from?
To answer Corey’s question, Ricky and several other executives highlighted that the constitution, structure, and focus of LGBTOUT were changing because some of the existing roles are too cumbersome and too confining and they encourage people to work independently (rather than as a collective).
Hardeep asked about the role of executive director/president role and how we will deal with conflict without such a role. Cathie and several other participants emphasized the notion of shared/collective responsibility in dealing with conflict and in maintaining group cohesion through, for example, community-building workshops.
Corey questioned whether the new mission was not as “broad”/comprehensive as it used to be, and whether it would lead to the formation of an apolitical group that functions just as a centre. It was acknowledged, however, that “peer support” could be broadly defined to include political action, that taking up space on campus is inherently political, that having “queer” in the name is political, and that the new executives have an assumed responsibility to tackle queerphobia.
Dylan mentioned how the new mandate did not acknowledge inclusivity. To address this concern and the aforementioned concern, the mandate was modified to include advocacy and inclusivity.
Concerns were mentioned with regard to the explicitness of the Administrative Coordinator and Space Coordinator roles. These roles were re-written to be less broad. However, it was mentioned that extra efforts need to be made to make new executives aware about the possible responsibilities that these (and other) roles might entail (e.g., working with Ulife and UTSU for recognition renewal and funding applications).
Patrick asked why the DIC couldn’t be a more social space. Cathie mentioned the recent history of the DIC and the need to return the DIC to its original role as a peer support service. Patrick mentioned that it would be great to have a rotating “positive space” that travelled across campus.
After discussing the new constitution, structure, and focus of LGBTOUT, a vote was taken and the constitutional amendments were passed. All but one person voted in favour of the changes.
The new constitution will be sent out shortly. Matthew, the current Chief Returning Officer will release information about elections in the next week or so.