Came for the pizza, stayed for the democracy.

Mark Stewart / The Runner

KPIRG reaches quorum at special general meeting.

Mark Stewart / The Runner
Mark Stewart / The Runner

By Tristan Johnston
[staff writer]

On Oct. 23, the Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group (KPIRG) had its special general meeting. More than one hundred students showed up to participate, which meant that KPIRG reached their quorum—the amount of members they needed in order to pass any motions. Free pizza, beverages and the chance to win an iPad were offered by KPIRG to those that attended.

With Leah Godin as chairperson, the SGM lasted approximately one hour. Also in attendance from KPIRG were Richard Hosein, Inderpal Brar and Tanny Kabir. Parveen Dhillon was absent due to a car accident, but they assured that she was fine.

There were numerous items on the agenda that were up for discussion. One proposed motion was reducing the required members for quorum from 125 down to 30. Hosein explained in the meeting, “As you may have noticed, it was difficult for us to get 125 students here for the required business. We’ve made the reduction from 125 to 30, [as] it’s much more appropriate given the size of our organization, and it’s realistic for us.”

He made a comparison to other PIRGs across Canada, noting that many of them have smaller quorums. “The nature of the organization isn’t as broad as other student organizations,” he said. “Like the [KSA] which provides a larger mandate, and more services to students, [rather] than an organization like ours that’s focused on social and environmental justice.”

After significant discussion, the motion was amended to have quorum be at 50, and the motion passed with the amendment.

Godin further expanded on reasoning for the lowering of quorum, noting student engagement at KPU. “We’ve found that at Kwantlen, it’s very difficult to get students engaged because through the stats of Kwantlen, the majority of students are taking classes, working part-time or full-time, plus they’re single parents, or double parents, just due to their extra-curricular lifestyle. We just want to make sure that we can get business done, and have the attendance that we need.”

KPIRG also decided to reduce their own pay, from $1000 per month to “no more than” $200 per month.

“We feel this is appropriate, as KPIRG is still in its infancy as an organization,” said Hosein. Godin also mentioned that directors weren’t putting in their “40-plus hours,” and that they were “adjusting the pay according to the duties.”

“Because KPIRG is in its early stages, it [has] a lot of development,” she explained, noting that they’ve had to work on getting the status of a non-profit organization, dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency, and space negotiation for permanent space on campus (something that is still ongoing).

“Even though we don’t have space, we’re still operating to the best of our ability,” said Godin.