2006 Carleton University CUSID Spring General Meeting

CUSID Spring General Meeting Minutes

March 18 and 19, 2006

Carleton University

1. Call to Order

2. Roll Call and Voting Rights

Executive Present:

Jess Prince, President (Chair)

Joanna Langille, Treasurer

Myles McNutt, Vice-President, Atlantic Region

Erin Reddekopp, Vice-President, Western Region

Paul-Erik Veel, Vice-President, Central Region

Michael Kotrly, National Ombudsperson

Schools and Voting Rights:

Acadia University

University of Alaska (proxy carried by Teddy Harrison)

Unviersity of Alberta

Athabasca University

Brandon University (proxy carried by Erin Reddekopp)

Bishop’s University  (Ben)

University of British Columbia

University of Calgary

Carleton University

Concordia University

University College of Cape Breton

Dalhousie University

English Debating Society, University of Ottawa

University of Guelph

Hart House, University of Toronto

Lakehead University

McGill University

McMaster University

University of New Brunswick

Queen’s University

Royal Military College

University of Saskatchewan (proxy carried by James Crossman)

St. Francis Xavier University

Trinity College, University of Toronto

University of Waterloo

University of Western Ontario

Wilfrid Laurier University

York University

Fully-directed proxies:

École Polytechnique de Montréal

Also present:

University of Manitoba (proxy carried by Meredith Tapper)

University of Winnipeg (proxy carried by Meredith Tapper)

3. Approval of the Agenda

– Motioned by Saskatchewan, seconded by Alberta.  Motion carries unanimously.

4. Approval of Previous Minutes

– Motioned by Bishop’s, seconded by McMaster.  Motion carries unanimously.

5. Oral Executive Reports


Report found in http://www.cusid.ca/documents/reports/2005-2006/president.final.html

Executive Director:

Report found in http://www.cusid.ca/documents/reports/2005-2006/ed.final.html


Report found in http://www.cusid.ca/documents/reports/2005-2006/treasurer.final.html

Director of French Language Debate:

Report found in http://www.cusid.ca/documents/reports/2005-2006/directrice.final.html

National Ombudsperson:

Although most of the National Ombudperson’s Report is confidential, Michael Kotrly reported that there was some need to clarify the role of the National Ombudsperson and his or her regional partners.

6. Constitutional amendments

A.  Amendment to Schedule A for new full memberships: University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba


  • Winnipeg and Manitoba both had provisional membership and the required documents for full membership.

– Motioned by St. FX, seconded by Athabasca.  Motion carries unanimously.

B.  Amendments to the “Executive” section:

43. The Executive Director shall be responsible for
a. maintaining the CUSID WWW site and CUSID-Net mailing list CUSIDnet discussion forum

42. The President shall be responsible for

Addition of:

i. reviewing and updating Schedule A, jointly with the Treasurer, at his/her term’s end

44. The Treasurer shall be responsible for

Addition of:

j. reviewing and updating Schedule A, jointly with the President, at his/her term’s end

Proposed by: Executive Director 2005/2006.

– Motioned by Hart House, seconded by Western.  Motion carries unanimously.

C. Other Amendments:


  • Kozo Ota (McMaster) proposed a change to Article 52, which would require candidates for executive positions to declare their candidacy more than one week in advance of the CUSID meeting.  Kozo explained that it is difficult for schools to submit proxies when platforms are not posted, and that it limits the ability of clubs to have proper consultation and represent the wishes of their club democratically.  Even if individuals were only required to declare their candidacy and not post a platform, a list of names would be very helpful.
  • Ben Wald (Bishop’s) asked if this motion would mean that if no one posted their platform a week in advance then there would be no executive.  Kozo agreed that this would be the implication of his proposal.
  • Bryan Badali  (McGill) yielded the floor to Jason Rogers, who noted that the McGill Debating Union has thought about adopting such a plan in years past, and had opted not to do so because of the fear that it would discourage last-minute candidates, lose a measure of flexibility, and ultimately make the elections less democratic.  It’s not a matter of people deliberately misleading the electorate; rather, they are just not certain if they want to run.
  • Chris Niewiadomski  (RMC) asked what would count as declaring ones candidacy?  Jess (President) stated that it would likely be a post on CUSIDnet.  Kozo (McMaster) accepted this as a friendly amendment to the motion.
  • Joanna Nairn (Hart House) commented that this would mean people could not run for multiple positions on the executive.

– Motioned by Athabasca that this discussion be continued on CUSIDnet, seconded by McMaster.  Motion carries unanimously.

7. New business

Tournament Attendance:

  • Joanna Nairn (Hart House) brought up the issues of declining membership in CUSID, and asked what could be done about it.  She suggested that perhaps the problem is that tournaments are becoming too informal and disorganized, and not enough of an ‘event.’
  • Mark Botte (UCCB) agreed with Jo that this is a major issue, but had the opposite response – in his opinion, tournaments are becoming too formal and not enough fun.
  • Bernard Dawson (WLU) agreed with Mark that the issue was not the formality of the tournament, as tournaments, even when CUSID was much larger, never ran on time.  Bernard argued that smaller tournaments are better than large ones, and that big tournaments should have the same feel as small tournaments in order to keep the CUSID identity.
  • Kozo Ota (McMaster) identified the real issue as being the high cost of entry, perhaps as a function of the new prevalence of banquets which drive up the cost.  Jess (President) said that the recent Mac Pro-Am was a testament to how small tournaments could be successful.
  • Laura Kusisto(Queen’s) agreed that at Queen’s it is an issue of money, and Jess agreed that the same problem exists at McGill.
  • Michael Payton (York) thought that the problem was that going to every tournament doesn’t work for all clubs.

-Motioned by McGill that this discussion be continued on CUSIDnet, seconded by Laurier.  Motion carries unanimously.

[At this point in the meeting, several people left to do public speaking.  Votes were proxied as thus:

Lakehead University (proxy carried by Dave Sorensen)

English Debating Society, University of Ottawa (proxy carried by John Sergeant)

University of Guelph (proxy carried by Kozo Ota)

Royal Military College (proxy carried by John Sergeant)

Concordia University (proxy carried by Laurier)]

8. National Championship Bids

Designation of CUSID Nationals, March 2007
Bidding school: Queen’s University


  • Laura Kusisto and Adam Lazier presented the 2007 Nationals bid from Queens.  Meredith (Western) asked whether novices would be in the normal break or a novice break, and Laura stated that they would do whatever the CUSID community wanted. Ben Piper (Carleton) yielded the floor to Padraic Ryan, who stated that the novice break was the only reason he kept debating in CUSID.
  • Chris Rivers (Acadia) asked whether resolutions would be squirrelable, and Laura replied in the affirmative.
  • Joanna Nairn (Hart House) asked whether they would still host Chancellors; Laura replied that it was likely but not entirely confirmed.
  • Christopher Macmillan (Calgary) asked about the cost; Laura replied that the cost wasn’t finalized but that they would be looking in to sponsorship options.

– Motioned by McGill, seconded by Bishop’s.  Motion carries unanimously.


– Motioned by Saskatchewan to adjourn, seconded by Hart House. Motion carries unanimously. It was decided to reconvene the next day to complete the agenda.

Call to Order

Meeting reconvened on March 19, 2006.

Second Roll Call

Acadia University

Unviersity of Alaska (proxy carried by Teddy Harrison)

University of Alberta

Athabasca University

Bishop’s University

Brandon University (proxy carried by Erin Reddekopp)

University of British Columbia

Carleton University

Concordia (proxy carried by EDS)

Dalhouse University

English Debating Society, University of Ottawa

Guelph University

Hart House, University of Toronto

Lakehead University

University of Manitoba (proxy carried by Meredith Tapper)

McGill University

McMaster University

University of New Brunswick

Queen’s University

Royal Military College

University of Saskatchewan (proxy carried by James Crossman)

St. Francis Xavier University

Trinity College, University of Toronto

University of Waterloo (proxy carried by Bernard Dawson)

University of Western Ontario

University of Winnipeg (proxy carried by Meredith Tapper)

Wilfrid Laurier University

York University

Jess noted that Manitoba and Winnipeg hadn’t paid dues at the last meeting yesterday – but they paid in last 24 hours and are now on the list.

9. Elections for the 2006-2007 CUSID Executive

Each candidate is given five minutes to speak.  The speaking order is determined by last name alphabetically.

A. President


– Padraic Ryan

– Meredith Tapper

– Nominations approved unanimously.

Padraic Ryan:

He introduced himself and explained that he has been debating at Carleton for three years, which was the most important intellectual activity he has ever experienced.  He is running because he wants to be involved in debating and to expand the quantity and quality of debating in Canada.  He would like to make it accessible to the most people in the best way possible.  At Carleton, they have seen the culmination of a great club building process.  The skills and experience that he has from going through this process are relevant to his ability to act as CUSID President.  Padraic has experience ‘in all brackets’ and can thus represent the views of a variety of types of debaters.  Debating should be an educational experience that is interactive and developmental.  Padraic spoke to five campaign issues:

Small schools issue: he will use own experience and try and share those skills with others.

French Debating: he plans to compete at a French tournament and can speak French. Also, the knowledge he has on small schools issues are transferable to French schools.

Women/Equity: he is a feminist and supports improving the status of women in CUSID.

Regional Development: he will attend a tournament in each region.

Northams and Worlds Council: he knows about these issues too.

Meredith Tapper:

She explained her motivations for running – she has been in CUSID for three years and has enjoyed the intellectual development and the people.  She wishes CUSID to have an open environment where everyone is comfortable.  She has been the President of Western’s club, which has fundraised significantly and formulated bonds with other clubs.  Meredith is very interested in communication issues.  The most important role for the CUSID President to fulfill is to coordinate communication between clubs.  She hopes to take on initiatives such as creating a tournament directing guide, among other communication-based projects.  Meredith would also represent CUSID at Northams by standing up for Canadian interests, and would effectively deal with other organizations such as school administrations, companies, etc.  Communication would be further facilitated by the creation of a CUSID email list, which would help those people who do not check CUSIDnet, particularly French schools.


Alberta: We abolished Western MoA because it was outdated and unenforceable, and we wanted to outline rules in the running of McGoun.  With the existence of regional issues such as these, what can you do to help regions?

Padraic:  He agreed that it wasn’t necessary to have constitutional document like MoA.  His primary mode of assistance would be through communication, such as seeking out clubs to bit for title tournaments, etc.  He also emphasized that it’s okay to have a competitive bid process.  The only problem is when the lines of communication are too informal.

Meredith:  She is in favor of decentralization.  However, as President she wants to facilitate discussions within regions, particularly over tournament bids.

Athabasca: Can you communicate in French, because the new director of French Debate does not speak English?

Meredith:  She can communicate in French (primarily written) and grew up in a French culture.

Padraic:  [In French]  He speaks French with an intermediate level of speaking and writing.  He is confident in his ability to translate in the Exec forum, for example.  He intends to compete at a French tournament.

Hart House: Both candidates mention centralizing the role of President in Nationals fundraising.  To what extent should the President be distributing resources?

Meredith: In general her platform is not in favor of centralizing power.  Her goal with respect to Nats is to have it hosted in all regions and hopefully coordinate the appropriate money for traveling.

Padraic:  During the title tournament bidding process this might be relevant, but is ultimately at the discretion of the host school.

Alaska:  I’m glad to see importance of representing CUSID at Northams and Worlds Council.  What are your particular qualifications or skills to sit on those bodies?

Padraic:  He broke this year at Worlds and attended the women’s forum there.  He also reads about world debating issues.  Equity is an essential element of his perspective at the table.

Meredith:  She attended Worlds and made many friends there; she doesn’t hold the belief that you have to break at worlds to contribute at the Worlds Council table.  She is educated in communication and negotiation.

Bishop’s: On the issue of increasing tournament fees, what would your position be on getting more smaller or cheaper tournaments?

Meredith: Although cheaper tournaments are good idea, there is nothing President can enforce.

Padraic: He agrees that we should have smaller tournaments, but that by facilitating the bid process we can solve for this issue.

McGill: There has been a serious drop in participation. What would President do to combat that?

Padraic:  Combating this issue is about making debating seem as open and inclusive as possible.  We could eliminate injokes in opening briefings, for example.

Meredith:  This is a culture issue – we need schools to interact with one another at the very beginning to address this.  We should moderate the level of exclusivity. Meredith attempted to make people aware of the ombudsperson in addressing these issues while she was in that role.

Brittany Piovesan (former Director of French Language Debate): Why were your platforms only in English?

Meredith:  She can understand French and is committed to this issue.

Padraic:  It was a mistake.  There is no simple solution, but one thing that could be done would be to have platforms half in French and half in English.

Dalhousie ceded the floor to Jen Bond: There is a current problem with Central and ‘the regions’ (ugly step-child metaphor).   What do you really think that the President can do for the East?

Padraic:  He is not going to promise something unrealistic.  However, the lessons of developing small schools issues can apply, and he would like to ensure that there is a level of respect so people don’t feel alienated.

Meredith:  Each region does have issues; these issues are most effectively deal with by the Vice Presidents, but there are resource problems that apply to all regions.

Vote: 17-11 in favour of Padraic Ryan for 2006-2007 CUSID President.

B. Executive Director


– Carleton nominates Graham Pressey, seconded by Saskatchewan.  Nomination approved unanimously.

– Dalhousie nominates Chris Rivers, seconded by RMC.  Nomination approved unanimously.

Graham Pressey:

He likened CUSIDnet to cocaine for computer geeks, and described his love of CUSIDnet.  He is studying computer science, and has moderated boards in the past.  He also has organizational experience with CUSID, as he is the assistant tabs director for Nationals.  He is dedicated and levelheaded and feels he will be affective.

Chris Rivers:

He likes CUSIDnet, and the Acadia Advantage means he likes computers.  He has some experience with computers, and knows where to ask for help.  He is from another region, and has credibility because he takes CUSID very seriously.  ED’s need to understand more than just computer issues.  He would create a mailing list, and would create a short-term file sharing capacity on CUSIDnet.  In terms of moderating, he cares about equity.


Hart House: Wth respect to equity, how far should the free speech argument go? Would you work with Ombudspeople?

Graham:  There is a need to balance free speech with equity, and would work with Ombuddies.

Rivers:  He would go to Ombudspeople for advice.

McMaster: Do you have the technical skills?

Rivers: He doen’t need help with email list, and can get help for file sharing.

Graham:  Rivers ideas are very good, and would be simple to do.

Vote: 20-7-1 (abstention) in favour of Chris Rivers for 2006-2007 CUSID Executive Director.

C. Treasurer


– McMaster nominates Chris Somerville, seconded by Hart House.  Nomination approved unanimously.

– Brandon nominates Monica Ferris, seconded by Queen’s.  Nomination approved unanimously.

Monica Ferris:

She stated that she works at her father’s accounting firm, and knows how to look at lots of boring facts and figures.  She would like to do a few things: accurately reflect the cost of tournaments in the open letter with respect to the different costs people from different regions face, and would like to have more national visibility because regional VPs can embezzle.  To achieve this latter goal, Monica would travel to the regions to collect money.

Chris Somerville:

He likes different perspectives on issues and feels this is the best way to contribute to the executive.  He has been a treasurer three times in his life, and is comfortable handling money and effectively communication.  He has a sufficient administrative capacity and has done committee work.  Chris speaks French.


Bishop’s: Do you have any particular projects as an Exec member?

Chris:  The open letter sounds like a good idea.

Monica:  We already have an open letter, but she would improve it. She would also go to the regions.

Vote: 17-11 in favour of Chris Somerville for 2006-2007 CUSID Treasurer.

10. Adjournment

Motion carries unanimously.

Posted in Meeting Minutes.

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