The Students’ Representative Council and Student Association of Quest University Canada would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh peoples (Squamish). Quest University Canada sits on Squamish traditional territory, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in this blessed territory.
Students’ Representative Council Constitution
The Students’ Representative Council (hereafter referred to as “the SRC”) is a council of elected Student Association members, called Representatives, that work together with members of the Student Association to improve the quality of student life at Quest University Canada (hereafter referred to as “Quest”). The Student Association includes all students at Quest who pay mandatory Student Association fees.
The SRC acts as a political voice to positively shape the greater community of Quest. It does so according to the values, interests, and concerns of the Student Association, and of all groups of students, especially those marginalized by structures of power. As such, the SRC is committed to political, social, and environmental justice. The SRC liaises between the Student Association, Quest administration, Quest staff and Quest faculty to achieve these goals.
The SRC improves the quality of student life on campus through funding services, initiatives, events, and student development using the funds collected through Student Association fees. The SRC only finances funding proposals that have been approved according to the procedures codified in the Bylaws. The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that SRC funds are spent appropriately and according to the Constitution and Bylaws. One Representative must always fulfill the position of Treasurer on the SRC.
Employees and Representatives of the SRC invest their time and energy to improve the quality of life at Quest. As such, employees and Representatives are both monetarily compensated for their work. Representative compensation is specified in a Tier 3 Bylaw.
Students have the right to call for a referendum, call for a review group, file a complaint, and call for the removal of Representatives, as specified in the Tier 3 Bylaws. The bylaws describe the manner in which the SRC achieves the goals laid out in this Constitution. The Constitution and Bylaws of the SRC may be amended or introduced according to a tiered system. Tier 3 Bylaws supercede Tier 2 Bylaws, which in turn supercede Tier 1 Bylaws. Tier 1 Bylaws concern administrative aspects, and are amended or introduced with a simple majority Council vote. Tier 2 Bylaws concern the framework of SRC operations, and are amended or introduced according to a consensus Council vote. Council votes must be open to all Representatives. Quorum for consensus votes is one less than the total number of Representatives, and quorum for all other Council votes is two-thirds of the Representatives. Tier 3 Bylaws concern the broad structure of the SRC as well as limits on SRC power, and are amended or introduced with a Student Association referendum.
The Students’ Representative Council improves the quality of student life by representing student voices, advocating for student interests, and supporting student initiatives. The SRC empowers students to invest in the Quest community. To affirm the principles and values laid out in this Constitution, all Representatives of the Students’ Representative Council must sign the Constitution.
Tier 3 Bylaws
Division of Decision-Making Powers
3.1A General Rules for All Referenda
Referenda must be held to change, remove, add to, or replace any portion of the Constitution or Tier 3 Bylaws, to decide whether to fund a single initiative which will require more than a 25% of the SRC’s annual funds, and when there is a petition as described in Bylaw 3.1B. Referenda will follow the process specified in the relevant 3.1 Bylaw before coming to a vote. A referendum will not be brought to a vote if it is legally unenforceable, if it discriminates against marginalized groups of people, or if it conflicts with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Additionally, a referendum must adhere to the Constitution and Tier 3 Bylaws unless it is a Constitutional Referendum, as specified in Bylaw 3.1B. The Chairperson will coordinate the referendum vote, or delegate the coordination to another SRC employee or a Representative. A referendum vote must be open to all Student Association members and must be communicated to the Student Association with at least one all-student email. For the outcome of the referendum to take effect, at least 30% of all Student Association members must cast a ‘yes’ vote and 65% of the total votes cast must be ‘yes’ votes (1). No SRC actions can override the outcome of a referendum.
3.1B Constitutional Referenda
Referenda that add to, change, remove, or replace any portion of the Constitution or Tier 3 Bylaws occur in the following way. At least ten Student Association members must bring forward a document articulating the addition, change, removal, or replacement and the referendum question to the Chairperson. The ten Student Association members’ names, student numbers, and Quest email addresses must be included in the submission to the Chairperson for it to be considered. A referendum that proposes more Student Association members to cast a ‘yes’ vote than the existing standard, as specified in Bylaw 3.1A, must pass with both the existing standard and the new standard.
3.1C Funding Referenda
Referenda that decides whether to fund a single initiative which will require more than a quarter of the SRC’s annual funds occurs when the SRC submits such a proposal to the Chairperson.
3.1D Petition Referenda
Referenda must also be held when a petition regarding an issue related to the operations, policies, or actions of the SRC is signed by 8% of the student population, and is presented to the Chairperson. For a signature on a petition to be considered legitimate it must include the name, student number, and Quest email address of a Student Association member. The Chairperson will arrange and facilitate a meeting between the SRC and interested students in order to resolve the issue. If either party is not satisfied by the end of the meeting, a referendum will be held. (1) This quorum system is different than the previous system wherein there was 1) a percentage of the student body that needs to vote and 2) a percentage of the votes that have to be in favour. The previous quorum may have incentivized people who did not want the referendum to pass to abstain from voting so that quorum was not reached. In this new system, there is 1) a percentage of the student body that must vote yes, and 2) a percentage of the cast votes that must be yes. Here, a ‘no’ vote serves the single purpose of countering a referendum since it does not contribute to either percentage. Under this new system, people who do not want the referendum to pass are incentivized to vote ‘no’.
3.2 SRC Decision Making
The SRC collectively makes decisions according to procedures that must be specified in a Tier 2 Bylaw. All references to actions or decisions made by the SRC in the Constitution and Tier 3 Bylaws must be made according to these procedures. Such decisions cannot supercede specific decision-making procedures described in the Constitution and Tier 3 Bylaws.
The Chairperson is hired by the SRC as codified in a Tier 2 Bylaw on hiring policy (Bylaw 2.5A). A former Chairperson may apply for the position and be rehired but the Chairperson position must be rehired each year. A student cannot be the Chairperson and a Representative at the same time. The Chairperson has the power to decide if actions by the SRC are in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws. This power is removed in cases where a Review Group is formed, as specified in Bylaw 3.4. The Chairperson retains impunity for their interpretation of the Constitution and Bylaws, the calling of Review Groups, and the decisions they make regarding a Complaint Process. If the SRC wishes to
terminate the employment contract with the Chairperson, the SRC is obligated to provide a written statement to the Chairperson specifying the reasons for their decision. The Chairperson may choose to make this statement available to the Student Association. The Chairperson is paid at an hourly rate established at the beginning of the academic year that cannot be changed over that specific academic year, except in the case that legal minimum wage is changed during the year and the hourly rate is changed to be in accordance with legal minimum wage. Further specifications of the Chairperson position can be found in a Tier 1 Bylaw (Bylaw 1.4B). The SRC may decide to hire two Chairpersons if the responsibilities of the Chairperson as specified in the Constitution and Bylaws are clearly divided between the two Chairpersons.
3.4 Review Groups
3.4A General Rules for All Review Groups
The creation of a Review Group may be called by any Representative, by the Chairperson, or by at least 2% of the Student Association. A Review Group comprises of five randomly selected members of the Student Association, who are not Representatives or SRC employees. The Review Group is contacted and formed by a Point Person, who is mutually decided upon by the parties involved in the Review Group within three week days. The Point Person acts as an intermediary between involved parties and the Review Group to maintain the Review Group’s anonymity. The Review Group should make their decisions by consensus; however, if a consensus cannot be reached, a decision may be made by four out of the five students. An SRC employee who is not one of the involved parties will join the meetings of the Review Group to take minutes, to be made available to those who receive the decision, as specified in the following 3.4 Bylaws. Review Groups may take up to eight hours of meeting to complete this process. They will report their hours through the Point Person, and be compensated the standard campus Work-Study hourly wage for their work by the SRC. The SRC, the Chairperson, or 2% of the Student Association may assert that a Review Group is being called for an issue that has been previously decided upon by a Review Group. If this occurs, the former Review Group will be called to reconvene and determine if the new issue and the previous issue are the same. If so, the decision of the former Review Group applies again. If not, a new Review Group is formed. If more than one member of the former Review Group cannot take part, the issue will automatically be considered a new issue, and as such a new Review Group will be called to decide the issue.
A Review Group can be formed in order to decide if actions taken by the SRC are in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws. The SRC may not take or continue the action in question from when the Review Group is called to when a decision is released. The Review Group will provide a thorough written decision with a clear justification that is distributed to the Student Association. The written decision must consider and reference relevant past decisions and demonstrate an understanding of the Constitution and Bylaws. Written decisions pertaining to the Constitution and Bylaws must always be available to the Student Association.
3.4C Appealing a Complaint
A Representative may call for a Review Group if they feel they have been unfairly placed on probation. The Review Group will decide whether to maintain, change, or revoke the probation. They will provide their decision to the SRC and the Representative in question. Only the Representative in question may decide to release the decision to the Student Association.
3.5 Agreements with Other Bodies
3.5A University Administration
The SRC has the authority to create, negotiate, change, and dissolve agreements on behalf of the Student Association with Quest University Canada and bodies contained therein. Decisions regarding these agreements must occur in a setting open and transparent to the Student Association.
3.5B Other Student Organizations
The SRC has the authority to create, negotiate, change, and dissolve agreements on its own behalf with other student organizations. Decisions regarding these agreements must occur in a setting open and transparent to the Student Association.
The Representatives that comprise the SRC must be Student Association members elected by the Student Association. A Student Association member may only hold one Representative position at a time. The SRC must consist of between seven and fifteen Representatives. Representatives for every position are elected each year during the Spring semester. Those elected will enter office on May 1st, and leave office on April 31st of the following year. Representatives elected during by-elections will also leave office the April 31st after their election. Representatives may rerun for election as many times as they wish. If there are no nominees for a position, the Elections Committee, as described in Bylaw 3.6C, will actively recruit candidates for 48 hours after the nomination period has closed, or in the case of the Treasurer position, until (a) candidate(s) comes forward. If no candidates can be found for positions other than the Treasurer, a special election will be held in the beginning of the following Fall semester. If no candidates come forward for this special election, the position will remain vacant until the next elections.
3.6B Voting Procedures
Votes for electing Representatives must be open to all Student Association members. Representatives are elected using instant-runoff voting. On each ballot, there will be a non-confidence option. If the non-confidence option wins the election, another election for that position will be held as soon as possible. The results of the election, including the vote tallies, must be promptly released to the Student Association after the close of the voting period. The exact timing of elections, the Representative positions, and campaigning rules must be all specified in (a) Tier 2 Bylaw(s). Changes to the Representative positions come into effect for the next full SRC election. As such, a change does not affect Representatives in office at the time the Bylaw is changed. For clarity, this also means the position that is fulfilling the role of the Treasurer must be designated before the election. Campaigning rules may not be altered during an election.
3.6C Elections Committee
SRC elections will be run by an Elections Committee. The Chairperson will convene the Elections Committee by sending an all-student email welcoming submissions of statements of interest. The Chairperson will select between three and five students to form the committee, none of whom may be currently-elected Representatives or candidates for elected positions. If the Chairperson is a candidate, another SRC employee will replace them in this process, who may be specifically hired for this purpose. The students on the Elections Committee report their hours and are paid as SRC employees. Further information on the role and responsibilities are included in a Tier 2 Bylaw to further guide the Elections Committee (Bylaw 2.1C).
A Representative may resign from their position by giving four weeks’ notice to the SRC. In case of an emergency, the SRC may waive the four weeks’ notice that a Representative is obliged to give. After a Representative resigns, replacement will occur as specified in Bylaw 3.9.
3.8 Complaints and Removal
3.8A Grounds for Complaints and Removal
A Representative will undergo the process that follows in the event that any Student Association member, including another Representative, files a written complaint about them through the Chairperson. Complaints may be filed in the cases of misconduct, including but not limited to
disrespectful and oppressive language and actions, and threats and acts of violence, not limited to when the Representative is acting in an official SRC capacity; not fulfilling the duties of their position as outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws; and breaking the Constitution and Bylaws. Complaints will follow the process as specified in Bylaw 3.8 unless the complaint is about multiple Representatives or is filed by at least 3% of the Student Association. In these cases, those filing the complaint may choose to proceed directly to the student removal vote, as specified in Bylaw 3.8C.
3.8B SRC Process
The Chairperson will review the complaint by speaking with the relevant parties. Their review will include consideration for the effect of social power in interpersonal interactions. Further process details may be found in the Tier 1 Bylaw detailing the Chairperson’s duties and responsibilities (Bylaw 1.4B). If the Chairperson concludes that the Representative in question has acted inappropriately, the Representative will be placed on probation. The length of the probation period will be decided on by the Chairperson and will be for no longer than three weeks. In all cases except for when the Complaint is about not fulfilling their duties, a Representative on probation may not fulfill any of their duties
including but not limited to attending SRC meetings, voting in SRC decisions, or acting in any official capacity as a Representative. The SRC will divide the duties of the Representative in question amongst themselves during the probation. In the case that the Representative is on probation for failing to fulfill the duties of their position, they will continue their SRC duties with supervision from another Representative, designated for this role by the SRC. Representatives do not receive stipend installments while they are on probation. If a Representative feels they have been unfairly placed on probation, they can call for a Review Group as specified in Bylaw 3.4C. If the Chairperson is not satisfied that the
Representative has changed their conduct and/or made sufficient reparations during this probationary period, the SRC will vote to remove them from office. Before a vote occurs the Representative in question will be allowed to speak in their own defense. A two-thirds majority is required to remove a Representative from office. If the Chairperson is perceived by any of the involved parties as having a conflict of interest, an individual that is mutually decided upon by the involved parties will carry out their role as described above.
3.8C Student Removal Vote
A Student Association removal vote may be called for as specified in Bylaw 3.8A. Additionally, if a Representative is not removed from office after undergoing the process specified in Bylaw 3.8B, the Student Association member(s) who filed the complaint may call for such a vote by submitting a petition of at least 3% Student Association members to the Chairperson and the SRC. These Student Association members will indicate on their petition who, out of the Representatives and employees of the SRC, they would like to coordinate the vote. For the outcome of the vote to take effect, 30% of the student body must cast a ‘yes’ vote, and 65% of the votes cast must be ‘yes’.
3.9 Replacing Resigned or Removed Representatives
3.9A Replacing One or Some Representatives
If one or some Representatives have resigned or been removed, a byelection will be held for the vacated position(s) automatically unless there is less than three months left in the term. If there is less than three months left and the minimum number of Representatives required is met, as specified in Bylaw 3.5A, the SRC will decide whether to hold a byelection. The byelection will be run by an Elections Committee, as described in Bylaw 3.6B.
3.9B Replacing an Entire SRC
If all Representatives have resigned or been removed, an Elections Committee will be formed by all interested Student Association members. Student Association members must ensure clear communication with regards to the Elections Committee in order that only one committee is formed and that all interested Student Association members can participate. The Elections Committee must run a nomination period, Representative debates, a voting period, as well as announce the rules for campaigning and the results of the vote. The Elections Committee must publicize the timeline and rules for the election. The Elections Committee is responsible for collecting and publicizing nominations, arranging debates including booking spaces and facilitating student questions, monitoring and regulating campaigning, setting up online voting through the Quest Portal, and publishing the results of the election including vote counts. No member of the Elections Committee may run in the election.
3.10 Student Association Fees
The Student Association fee is $100 CAD per Fall and Spring semester.
3.11 SRC Budget
The Treasurer must create a budget for SRC spending by the beginning of Fall semester. The first budget and any subsequent alterations throughout the year must be approved by the SRC as per their collective decision making procedures, which must be specified in a Tier 2 Bylaw. The budget, budget alterations, and the general ledger of all SRC spending must be published to the Student Association.
3.12 Compensation for Review Groups During the Fall and Spring Semester
3.12A Compensation Amount
In the Tier 2 Bylaw describing positions, it is specified during which semesters each Representative works. For each of the Fall and Spring semesters that a Representative works, they are compensated for their work with a stipend that is equal to 120 multiplied by the hourly campus Work-Study wage. Representatives receive installments of this stipend every two weeks. Representatives may not be monetarily compensated for their work on the SRC during Fall and Spring semesters in any other manner.
Representatives publish the work they have done for the SRC to the Student Association by the last SRC meeting of each Quest block. Representatives are expected to spend an average of at least four hours per week fulfilling their role and responsibilities on the SRC as specified in a Tier 2 Bylaw. Representatives are responsible for holding one another accountable to this expectation. If a Representative is not meeting this expectation, nor responding to calls for improvement from other Representatives and/or Student Association members, the Complaint Process may be pursued, as specified in Bylaw 3.7. As described in the Complaint Process, if a Representative is put on probation, they will not receive stipend installments during that probation period.
3.13 Compensation for Representatives During the Summer Semester
If a Representative works during the Summer semester, they will submit their hours and work completed at the end of the semester to the SRC. The SRC will by consensus determine an amount for their stipend. The amount will be proportionate to the compensation for Fall and Spring semesters, will not be more than 120 multiplied by the hourly campus Work-Study wage, and will not exceed what an hourly Work-Study wage would equal. Representatives may not be monetarily compensated for their work on the SRC during the Summer semester in any other manner.
3.14 SRC Employees
The hourly wage for SRC employees must be decided upon by the SRC before the hiring process begins. The Representatives that form hiring committees are decided upon with consensus approval from the entire SRC. Further specifications of the hiring process can be found in a Tier 2 Bylaw.
3.15 Constitution Edits
The Constitution and Bylaws may be edited without a referendum to correct a bylaw reference, meaning “Bylaw #.#X”.