Poor turnout forces cancellation of DCSI annual general meeting

The Durham College Students Inc. Annual General Meeting didn't start due to poor turnout. Photo credit: Dakota Evans

Durham College Students Inc. (DCSI) held its annual general meeting (AGM) on Nov. 16, but the meeting never actually began because the room was nearly empty.

There were only three DCSI members present for the meeting in the Centre for Collaborative Education – chairperson Charles Wilson, Corrina Collete, director of science and engineering and Parastoo Sadeghein, director of community services and health, so the meeting didn’t meet quorum in order to proceed.

At the AGM, DCSI planned to discuss the proposed general operating bylaws, presented in a 41-page document. DCSI’s financial statements were also be reviewed.

Due to the lack of DCSI members present for the AGM, it was announced the meeting will be rescheduled in the next semester.

In addition to the lack of DCSI members in attendance, DC students also stayed away in droves. Less than 10 students attended the AGM.

Wilson blamed the poor turnout on midterms and exams.

“It’s bad weather and it’s a really bad time for students, too,” says Wilson. “I really think what it speaks to is the fact that this is probably the worst possible time for students.”

Seated in the front row awaiting the meeting was Toosaa Bush, who was elected DCSI’s vice-president, internal, earlier this year. Bush was later fired from his position at the end of June along with two other elected members.

President Jaylan Hayles and vice-president, external, Geoffrey Olara, were the other two senior members who were fired alongside Bush.

DCSI says the reason behind their termination is still considered a “confidential human resources” matter. Their positions have not been filled. This marks the second year without senior elected leadership members for Durham students.

Bush says it was unfortunate there weren’t enough students present for the AGM, but wants students to “fight for their rights.

“We need to know where our money is being allocated towards, where it’s being used,” says Bush. “DCSI needs to be accountable for it because they haven’t communicated with us throughout the whole year.”

As it stands, there is nearly $5 million in the DCSI coffers, the Chronicle’s Liam David reported earlier this semester. More than half of the budget goes to the health plan, $60,000 is allocated to a legal defence fund and $165,000 is budgeted for events, although no events have been announced. Nearly $970,000 will go to DCSI salaries.

Bush hopes DCSI will be able to promote the next AGM better.

Wilson says students will receive a 28-day notice before the next scheduled AGM.