[MathSoc Council] Referendum Administration

Elana Hashman ehashman at uwaterloo.ca
Thu Feb 2 19:57:11 EST 2012

Some of my constituents have asked for clarification regarding concerns
that were raised in this email. Most disconcerting was that the sentiment
that people feel too uninformed to take any stance on this matter. I am
hoping that this response will provide enough objective information such
that my constituents will feel informed enough to vote.

On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM, Elizabeth McFaul <elmcfaul at uwaterloo.ca>

> The other thing that isn't explained through this referendum is what
constitutes an "agreement" with Feds.
> Is this only signed documents, or does this also include promises or
verbal agreements by Mathsoc executives? [...]
> Are there any time-sensitive agreements where having to go to a General
Meeting would be a bad thing?

An "agreement" refers to documents signed by MathSoc and FEDS. For MathSoc
to sign an agreement, it must be approved by Council. It may not be
entirely clear in the text of the referendum, but the question of the
referendum is on the power of Council to approve agreements. Those in
support of the question would believe that this power should be limited,
granted only to the assembly at a general meeting, and those against the
question would support the status quo, where Council has the authority to
approve such agreements on its own. But no, this does not affect anything
between the executives and FEDS; that is a different power.

I don't think that time sensitivity would be an issue for agreements of
this type, since documents of this nature are rarely signed, and take a lot
of time to write properly. The Societies Agreement (the primary agreement
between MathSoc and FEDS) on the table likely will not be signed until May,
due to constraints of other societies.

A concern I've heard raised is "does booking the Bomber constitute an
agreement between FEDS and MathSoc, and would it be affected by the
question of the referendum?" The answers are no and no.

> How can we expect students to make an educated vote if we do not provide
positions or arguments for the two choices?
> We are supposed to be informing and engaging students, and we are doing
neither in the way this is being run.

No one joined the "yes" and "no" committees, which would be responsible for
campaigning for either side of the referendum. It is unfortunate, but it is
clear that campaigning for either side is not a priority for anyone
involved with the issue.

I'll do my best to distribute this beyond the Council mailing list, in
regard to engaging students.

> In the future, providing students with the information they need to make
an informed decision should be Mathsoc's priority;
> not only having those students with a personal interest in the issue
vote. That's really the purpose of a referendum
> anyway: to have the entire population vote and declare their opinion.

I agree entirely. Though I felt no need to campaign for either side of the
referendum, concerns raised by my constituents demand immediate answers.
Perhaps this email is too little or too late, but it is better than nothing
at all.

Elana Hashman
Computer Science Representative, Winter 2012
MathSoc Council
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