On the 18th and 19th of November, the SRC held a forum in the Student Union Building to encourage students to ask questions, make comments, and bring forward concerns about their Bishop's experience. In an effort to keep students informed about important issues, our Director of Finance and Operations, our Director of Communications and Marketing, and our VP Academic have responded to some of their most frequently asked questions. In the coming month we will be releasing a follow-up article responding to more of your post-it notes. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us or drop by our offices in the SUB!
Comment: "SRC members do not deserve their salaries"
Our response: Members of the General Assembly are given honorariums to thank them for their commitment to the SRC and for the work that they do on a daily basis. GA members receive $500 honorariums for the year to complete a minimum of 2 office hours of work per week, attend every meeting of the General assembly (6-7 times per semester) which last 1-3 hours, as well as volunteer for the Safe-Walk program and at various SRC-run events. Assuming each member of the GA works 60 office hours, 30 GA meeting hours, and 10 hours of other volunteer work, their honorarium is equivalent to $5 per hour.
Executive members of the SRC hold salary positions. As members of the GA, they are expected to complete all the same obligations as mentioned for GA members, as well as complete the day-to-day operations of the SRC. Their tasks include 20-40 hours per week, depending on the time of the semester and the issues facing the SRC and University. The Vice-Presidents and DCM are paid $10,000 per year, and the President and DFO are compensated $12,500 per year. The Vice-Presidents are required to work 44 weeks out of the year, and earn less than minimum wage ($9.09/hour) based on a 25 hour work week. The President and DFO are required to work the same 44 weeks per year, and earn slightly above minimum wage ($11.36/hour), based on a 25 hour work week.
The SRC also employs two General Managers who hold full-time positions with the SRC. Each manager is compensated a professional worker's wage ($40,000-$55,000 per year), and are permanent staff who manage the SRC's administration and operational activities.
Other members on the SRC's payroll include a Publications Coordinator who is granted a $2500 honorarium, a photographer who is granted a $1000 honorarium, a Recording Secretary who is granted a $500 honorarium, and Environmental Officer who is granted a $1000 honorarium, the Chief and Deputy Chief Returning Officers who receive a $500 honorarium each, a Peer Advisor who receives a $1500 honorarium, a Hiring Coordinator who receives a $1000 honorarium, and the Mitre Editor who receives a $500 honorarium.
Other employees of the SRC who work hourly wages include the Clean Community Team members, and the Graphic Designer.
Wages for Doolittle's Manager and staff, and The Gait's Managers and staff are deducted from Doolittle's and The Gait's profits, and are not included as a line in the annual budget found on the SRC's website. For more information regarding SRC member's salaries, please contact the Director of Finance & Operations, Emily MacGowan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comment: "More diverse activities at The Gait for those who do not enjoy the 'club' atmosphere"
Our response: The Gait currently offers diverse programming other than the Saturday Night "club" atmosphere. On Thursdays The Gait hosts a Happy Hour with a more casual setting and live music. On Tuesdays this past semester, The Gait has hosted Trivia Nights. Other events that took place at The Gait this past semester include Wine & Cheeses, Dance Shows, the BUPA Drag Show, Federal Election debates, amongst others.
Looking forward to next semester, The Gait will be looking into different programming besides Trivia, as the following - although loyal - was not popular. If you have suggestions regarding programming at The Gait, please contact The Gait Events & Entertainment Manager, Jared Murray at email@example.com.
Comment: “Don’t spam us with emails! We’re less likely to read them! <3”
Our response: To clear up a common misconception, the SRC does not manage the university’s email system. We do however publish The Dish as a way to assemble multiple messages into a single, easy to read format.
As students ourselves, we recognize that the current university communication method is broken. Not only that, but as a campus organization that works to inform students of events and opportunities on campus, we are sometimes part of the problem. There are currently no guidelines in place to dictate how and when students may be contacted by email. This is not sustainable and is questionable from the standpoint of student privacy.
For all of these reasons, the SRC has begun working to propose regulations for the use of student email accounts. This is a massive project and is unlikely to be completed in the immediate future, but the issue is being dealt with through a collaboration between the Bishop’s and SRC communications officers. The first step is to look at the emails currently being sent out to students and determine how these can be categorized. Following this, we will be reaching out to other universities to learn about how they inform students of important campus opportunities. Once we have drafted our proposal for revamping the current system, we will be creating a petition to add weight to our proposal. Hopefully this will encourage the university’s communications committee to reconsider the current system through stricter regulation.
Comment: “Public Notice of each GA and live video feed”
Our response: We’re working on it! In previous years, the SRC has not clearly informed students of General Assembly dates. This year, we have posted the agenda on our website before each GA and we have posted messages on all our communications channels to invite students to these meetings.
But we’re not satisfied yet! We will now be sharing the GA agenda in the Thursday edition of The Dish before each GA. We are also continuing to post minutes in a timely fashion and will be writing frequent blog posts to keep you updated on departmental projects.
As far as providing a live video stream of our General Assembly, the costs associated with this are too high to be a feasible project. That being said, we are considering streaming our meetings through Toast Radio for those who are unable to attend. Unfortunately, the built-in microphones in McGreer 100 are broken. When the university fixes these microphones, we will look into implementing live streaming. Until then, feel free to come to our meetings in person! All GA guests are welcome to ask questions and bring forward their concerns and ideas to the SRC.
Comment: “Plz post the porter’s office hours on the SRC app or somewhere”
Our response: Done! You can now find the Porter’s Office hours of operations on the SRC app under the “Campus Services” tab.
Comment: "Include pre-requisites for classes next to class in timetable margins"
Our response: This semester, student senators brought a similar concern to the University’s Senate – we explained how the Academic Calendar is unclear and would benefit from some updates, re-organization and clarity. A major part of this for Academic Advising and for the benefit of the Peer Academic Mentoring Program the SRC is creating for next year. The Principal and Vice-Principal agreed with that sentiment; as a result the student senators will be bringing forth a formal motion to Senate to create an Academic Calendar Evaluation committee – the committee will look at the reorganization of the Calendar, timetable and university regulations (particularly pertaining to course syllabi).
Comment: "Making academic advising easier for students not in business and education"
Our response: Advising is a priority for the SRC Academic Department this year. In order to improve advising we decided to create an Academic Peer Advising program that will be established and created for next year. Students will be able to schedule a meeting with a student Peer Mentor on the SRC website. While these students will not be able to specifically advise students (for legality issues), they will be able to mentor them to better interpret the calendar, understand which classes need pre-requisites, how to change majors/minors and guidance on policies, regulations and processes. These Peer Mentors will also collaborate with their Departmental Chair to create program guides to distribute to students to help guide them increasingly more. Ultimately, the purpose of this program will help guide students and improve the effectiveness of academic advising at Bishop’s university.
Comment: "Early library hours during exam time"
Our response: After receiving similar feedback last year following the winter semester, we have decided to collaborate with the library and Student Safety to introduce morning Study Hall for the first time this year. Click here for details about our Fall 2015 Study Hall.
Comment: "Math Centre open during exam time"
Our response: This is an excellent idea and something that the SRC was not aware of until now. We’ll be sure to do some digging and look into the feasibility!