RSU signs on with Gallivan (sort of)

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By Vanessa Greco

The Ryerson Students’ Union will be sticking with the same insurance broker next year according to student groups director, Osman Hamid.

The board of directors passed a motion late into Monday night’s meeting to reinstate Gallivan and Associates, the broker who negotiates the school’s health and dental plan.

But not all RSU board members believe the process that reinstated Gallivan is valid.

“I don’t think anyone can call that a proper meeting,” said VP finance and services, Toby Whitfield, who served as the acting chair in the absence of RSU president Muhammad Ali Jabbar.

Whitfield left the meeting after infighting among members escalated into a shouting match.

When the motion was passed, more than seven directors of about 20 had already left the meeting — including Whitfield.

According to Robert’s Rules of Order, the procedure manual followed by the RSU board, a chair and secretary must always be present. Minutes were taken of the entire meeting.

In Whitfield’s absence, Sid Naidu stepped in as acting-chair. Naidu, VP student life and events, approved the motion to keep Gallivan.

Soon after the motion was passed, VP education, Rebecca Rose, returned to the room visibly upset and near tears. “You cannot proceed, there is no quorum,” she said, before counting 13 meeting attendees out loud.

Quorum is the minimum number of people that must be present at a meeting for business to be legally transacted. According to Robert’s Rules, no procedures count without quorum.

The RSU board’s meeting required a minimum of 15 members to complete any transactions. It is unclear how many were present, and there were no calls for a headcount.

Abdullah Snobar, a business faculty director, argues that there was quorum while the motion was being passed.

“The decision cannot be reversed in any way, shape or form,” said Snobar, who brought his own lawyer to the meeting and saw nothing wrong with the decision.

Prior to Naidu approving Gallivan, Whitfield said more time was needed to evaluate the five insurance brokers bidding for partnership with the RSU. Snobar alleges Whitfield is extending the decision-making process to push the Canadian Federation of Students’ broker, the National Student Health Network, through.

Whitfield dismisses the accusations.

“It’s just the flailing arms of people on their way out of the students’ union,” he said. “They’re running out of the barnyard as it’s burning down.”

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