Fortuna General Assembly: Changes and Updates
- reported by Sofia Lotto Persio for PAX Magazine
Fortuna’s third General Assembly of 2011-2012 was held Wednesday the 19th at the Lange Houtstraat. The GA’s agenda included the discussion and approval of a new Board Member, the “officialisation” of the current Fortuna Board, the official approval of the Huishoudelijk Reglement (Policy Manual) and amendments to the Statute and the Huishoudelijk Reglement.
The Board members worked very hard to make the General Assembly a more relaxed, efficient and transparent event than the previous one. They asked support from other members of Fortuna to form a presidium (constituted by Britt van der Donk, Phyleen Mattaar and Boaz Manger) to run the GA and a voting committee (made up by Flip Kylian Adams, Sanne Nusselder and Marc Nelissen) responsible to count the votes. “It was necessary”, Phyleen said in her speech, “to do something about the chaos of the previous GA and to improve its efficiency.”
104 people were present or had authorised another person to vote for them, therefore making the vote legal.
Changes were made
The GA organisation and voting procedures were a matter of discussion in this GA. An amendment proposed by Liam Klein aimed at reducing the influence of the Board on the voting, inhibiting the Board members to express a voting advice on amendments. However, Liam’s amendment did not pass.
Unlike the previous GA, all amendments proposed by the Board and its members were passed. These are the most important changes: firstly, the amount of people required to make the GA’s vote on the Statutes legal has been decreased from half to one third of the Fortuna members. In the previous GA, this amendment did not pass and was much debated. Even this time the Assembly expressed some concerns, but a great majority eventually approved of it with 72 and 66 votes as amendments to the Huishoudelijk Reglement and the Statute respectively
Secondly, due to an amendment proposed by Georgina Kuipers, abstentions will not be considered in the count of total votes: that is, if a 2/3 majority is needed to pass a proposal, and there are 100 people voting, and 40 people are abstaining the 2/3 of the vote will only count those 60 people that were either in favour or against.
Finally, even if nobody has mentioned this, the new Huishoudelijk Reglement states that a new GA will take place on the fifth week of the final block to present the candidates to student representatives elections, which will be held one week after that. This means that LUC students have to elect the new Fortuna Board members in about a month time.
The financial report presented by Jake was also matter of discussion in the Assembly. Two things were most noted: the Christmas Committee expenses, which however were justified by the Treasurer, and the €1800 of membership fees still missing from some Second Years. This means that 36 students have still not paid the €50 membership fee despite the three emails already sent by the Board. To Martijn Otten’s question regarding the consequences for these people, Jake diplomatically replied “I am not allowed to talk about this yet.”
Updates from the Board
Fortuna Board members each gave a brief speech to update the Assembly on what they have been working on so far.
Jules van der Sneppen, current Chair of Fortuna, reminded the assembly of the Deans’ debate success, of the UCSRN summit and the upcoming UC tournament in Utrecht. He also says that, as representative of LUCTH student body, he has been talking to Leiden’s Vice Rector to work on a programme to reward students’ academic and extra-curricular excellence. He promised LUC students would hear more about it in the next months.
Anouk van Loo, Secretary of Fortuna, has been working on improving the efficiency and transparency on both GA and Fortuna Board meetings. Minutes of both events will soon be available on the website.
Jake van Baarsel, the Treasurer, mentioned his involvement in the Serious Request committee and has proudly announced that Fortuna now has money in the bank account. He has been busy refunding all those students whom have made expenses, either last, or this year, for their committees.
Georgina Kuipers, Academic Representative, officially presented the plan for the upcoming Fortunity week, which will be held from May 5th to May 11th with the aim of reinforcing LUC students’ bonds and the feeling of community. Also, she announced that new sample lectures of professors applying for teaching positions will be held starting coming Friday; the topics of these lectures have currently been announced by e-mail.
Rebeca Salcedo, of the Housing Council, reminded the Assembly of the development of the Peer-Mentoring System. She has been in touch with other UCs to learn more about their system and to make sure the Housing Council can provide a support for this initiative.
Pieter Goethart, General Board member, talked about his role as PR of Fortuna, as he is in charge of the website and the newsletter, is willing to help with any commitees’ events promotion and he is the contact person for any LUC merchandising idea. Also, he informed the Assembly about upcoming inter-UCs sport tournaments.
Finally, Hilde Woker, afterwards officially approved as new SSC-Fortuna Board member, since Mandy Nguyen resigned, reminded the audience of the flow charts sent by tutors, explaining what the procedures are in case a student experiences problems with a course, and that the new course evaluation system seems to be more efficient.