SU approves new accountability agreement

By Noah Miller

The 67th Students’ Union has approved a new and “exciting” — a word consistently, and perhaps ironically, used at all SU meetings — Executive Accountability Agreement.

In compliance with various SU bylaws, the document contains rules governing official office hours. It states the executive must “post and maintain regular office hours and ensure that they are available, or accounted for, during the posted office hours.”

Building on past drafts, the SU executive produced a 17-point document that outlines mutual respect, flexibility and fairness.

In some ways this is business as usual for the SU.

“It’s not very different from accountability agreements of the past,” said SU vice-president academic Meg Martin. “We are required to publish our hours on the front doors [of the SU office] and it’s something we do every year that’s meant to be guidance.”

However, this Accountability Agreement has grown into more than mere promises of accountability.

“In the last couple of years it has evolved into a code of conduct,” said Martin. “It outlines how we are treated and how we treat other people.”

The new agreement includes more time to deal with an overwhelming influx of phone calls and emails.

Previously a response was required only one day after a message was received, a promise impossible to keep with a sea of students sending letters late on Sundays, she said.

“Three days is more reasonable and more pragmatic,” said Martin in Monday’s meeting.

The SU also has something new in the works. All elected officials — both commissioners and faculty representatives — will agree on a code of conduct in the form of a charter.

“It will give us more of a framework for bringing up problems with people and this sets expectations so everyone knows how everyone else is to behave,” said Martin. “There have been bare bones [frameworks] in the past.”

The “full body” of this charter can be expected in the fall.

The motion, initiated by SU president Charlotte Kingston, was passed last week by the two main bodies of the SU, the Student’s Academic Assembly and the Students’ Legislative Council.


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