OMG UPDATE: Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get updates on updates!

Updated on Wednesday, September 24

#19832

OMG: Feds had lots of sponsorship for welcome week ... too bad one of the big sponsors was Schembri. The same people who screwed over all of us that were going to live at 1 Columbia. Thanks for your support Feds

36 comments

  1. If only they had looked into their magic mirror and seen what a dick Schembri was going to be before they accepted sponsorship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1 how are they supposed to know ahead of time that a company is evil?

      Delete
    2. True. But did feds even do their background work to see if there were problems with this company before they got sponsorship? Doubt they did. Bet they just said thanks for the money

      Delete
    3. Care to explain what the problems were that they could have looked up about Schembri BEFORE this whole problem with 1 Columbia happened?
      I understand how this is a terrible thing to happen to students, but once Feds got that commitment of sponsorship money from any company, they would have signed a contract with them and breaking that contract would make them vulnerable to litigation.
      This contract would have been signed in the middle of the summer most likely, so they would not have any way of knowing how bad Schembri turned out to be if they did a background check on them.

      Delete
    4. Did FEDS do a background check? How about did the students do a background check? How could FEDS predict what know one saw coming?

      Delete
    5. I think feds turned down sponsorship from big landlords before because they didn't trust them. Guess they decided to say yes this year ...

      Delete
    6. 1e, that's "didn't trust them to pay the sponsorship funds they said they would." This year, they took that risk, and still got their money.

      Delete
    7. 1f, I don't think 1e was talking about trust in getting paid. I think trust was about the company doing things that weren't right for people that live in their buildings

      Delete
  2. Another lame anti-feds person. Seriously, this is getting old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not old or lame. Maybe homeless. I can imagine that'd add insult to injury to see Schembri celebrated by our own Feds. I didn't know the connection to this. CBC News Waterloo students demand deposits back from Schembri.

      If Feds staff was way smaller they wouldn't need to scrape the bottom of the sponsorship barrel. Who made the decision to have Schembri as a sponsor?

      Delete
    2. 2a, it was probably Kumar Patel, the interim Welcome Week Coordinator. And there's no way he made that sponsorship deal any later than about mid-August - long before Schembri pulled its crap. After they learned about the crap - what are they gonna do, back out of a signed contract? In that regard, Feds is better than Schembri - they honour their agreements.

      This past weekend, Feds Council issued a formal reprisal to Schembri for its actions re:housing, if I'm not mistaken.

      Delete
    3. 2a - if Feds staff was way smaller, you would complain about nothing getting done. Feds hired an interim Events manager to help get through the fall term and in particular, Welcome Week. Instead of being an anonymous troll, make some real suggestions that have a place in common practice and sense in order to make change happen.

      Delete
    4. 2c, yeah by 2a's logic, the ONE GUY they had managing this project is apparently 'too big' of a staff (well, I guess Kumar IS a big guy...). Apparently having staff also means they need more sponsorship for some reason? I don't really get it.

      Delete
    5. 2a here. 2b, 1c, you're right. Kumar couldn't have known different. Good that the Feds acted on the weekend and did the right thing.
      2c, making Feds smaller would do something big and helpful for every student if it reduced our fees. That's a common priority for us, especially since it's a mandatory fee.
      2d, sponsorship revenue go towards the whole expenses, not just Kumar's pay.

      Delete
    6. 2e, this is 2b. I'm in agreement with you about reducing the Feds fee. There was actually a motion put forward last October to reduce it by 10%, but the AGM ended before the motion was voted on. I suspect it wasn't voted on because the volunteers/coordinators for the various non-commercial services (read: Food Bank, Women's Centre, CRT, etc.) were worried that if it was voted on and approved, their service budgets would get cut. But it's hard to be sure - everyone might just have been tired.

      Like any bureaucracy, Feds will always find a way to spend the money its given, and it will always find a reason to ask for more. Could it spend money more efficiently if *some* funds were cut? Yes, absolutely. It's not 100% efficient right now, not by a long shot.

      There was $65000 allotted to Welcome Week in the budget this year. Apparently Kumar managed to raise more than that in sponsorship. That doesn't surprise me - he's an expert at that sort of thing. Hopefully it's a sign that Feds can reduce its spending enough to cut the fee by a little, saving students money without actually reducing quality of service.

      Delete
  3. Yeah, 1 is on point: there really wasn't any way to see how awful the Schembri situation was going to get.

    OP, a motion was passed in Students' Council on Sunday that is going to see FedS cease any sort of business with Schembri until the situation is rectified-- this means that there will be no sponsorship, no allowing Schembri into vendor's alley, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for passing that motion! Are there sponsorship rules though? The whole motion seems to be feds reacting to a situation. I guess the question is could something like this ever be avoided if there were guidelines in accepting sponsorship money

      Delete
    2. Yes better to prevent where possible than react. But much better to recognize an issue from past actions, and fix it than to continue down the wrong road and just defend the prior actions. UW's famous for that, so it's good to see Feds acting in a different way than UW. It shows there's some space between them.

      I get more confidence seeing them fix a wrong transparently than if the bad thing didn't happen. The second case is better, but is hard to know about.

      This one looks good on the Feds and gives me hope.

      Delete
    3. 3a, as far as I know, the only 'major' rule for sponsorship is that Feds and UW can't steal each other's sponsors.

      That said, rules wouldn't have prevented this situation, and this motion wasn't made as a reaction to the fact that they'd been sponsored by Schembri during WW, but as a response to what Schembri did AFTER they'd already sponsored Feds.

      Delete
  4. Ahem.... Schembri has been evil. How many people had their deposits stolen by 'tony'?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4, do you have links to any time Schembri incited mass public outrage that Feds should have been aware of prior to the incident with 1 Columbia? I'm not talking about individual incidents - every property management company has its fair share of students claiming they got "scammed" by them, it's just a part of business. I'm talking about something on the same scale as 1 Columbia.

      Unless such a thing has happened before with Schembri, Feds was perfectly justified accepting sponsorship from them, and signing a contract.

      Because of what happened since, Feds has sanctioned them, and won't enter into any further agreements/contracts with Schembri for the foreseeable future. Seems right to me.

      Delete
    2. 4a, you too?! cant believe how many people tony took advantage of.

      Delete
    3. Schembri is awful. The owner came into my place without proper notice and then threatened me with (completely illegal) recourse when I asked for 24-hour notice to be given next time. Didn't feel safe living there for the remaining 6 months.

      Delete
  5. As has already been said by several posters, Feds Council passed a motion this past Sunday regarding Schembri. Here is the full copy of the motion that was passed by Council unanimously:

    Whereas Certain students need a place to live while they attend the University of Waterloo; and
    Whereas Schembri has agreed to leases with students; and
    Whereas Schembri has not completed a building that students signed leases for in the Fall 2014 term; and
    Whereas Schembri has not let students break their leases and has not returned deposits; and
    BIRT Federation of Student’s Council believes that we should no longer work with Schembri and not permit them to use space under the management of the Federation of Students, while this situation is not rectified.
    BIFRT that Council task the Executive with writing an open letter to Schembri Property management.

    It is important to note that this motion itself does not forbid Feds from working with Schembri, as it is only a recommendation (something like that would be way out of Council's purview in my opinion). Though I think I gave all the relevant information regarding this discussion, if you have any more questions about it, feel free to shoot me an email at speaker@feds.ca.

    However, the Board of Directors passed a motion this past Tuesday "that Feds will not work with Schembri or allow them to use the Marketplace until we [the Board] determine otherwise." I don't have the the full motion, that is just a statement made by the Chair of Board, but regardless, this motion will be valid in keeping Feds from working with Schembri until this problem is resolved.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good to see this fast, responsive activism on important issues. Nimbler than I expected and the right direction.

    All those whereas'es look odd. What's BIRT? Be it resolved that? BIRFT - be it further resolved that? Too bad things can't be in plainer english rather than code. It reads so much cleaner without them but whatever.

    Good post on good work. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRT means "Be It Resolved That" and BIFRT means "Be It Further Resolved That". All of the whereas' and BIRT's are just the formal way that we pass motions at Council and Board.
      And it's important that Feds acts transparently.

      Delete
    2. Actually 6, as formal resolutions go, this particular one uses really informal language.
      Though I do think the use of abbreviations for turns of phrase like 'be it resolved that' is rather silly.

      Delete
    3. I should have said, this is just OUR formal way of passing the motions. I am quite aware of how we don't follow parliamentary procedure to a tee nor do we try to make any of our motions more than they need to be. This is just how the framer of this motion put it.

      Just as my own little aside, it was also recommended in the Governance Report that we try to avoid using Robert's Rules too heavily. It was said (and I totally agree with this) that it both intimidates people when they try to speak as well as takes too much away from the debate when members bicker over the rules.

      So as speaker, I have tried to just keep the peace (not that things get too out of hand) and allow a little bit more leeway, and I am sure everybody can agree that debates are far more fluid now :)

      Delete
    4. 6c thank you. This would all be be moves in the right direction and remove barriers from the general public students attending.

      So whereas is used to say facts, views or situations and the birts/bifrts are for decisions and positions I guess.

      Delete
    5. That's the gist of it.

      The real trouble is just getting students to come out to the meetings - they generally run pretty long (3-4 hrs) so students aren't too keen to come out unfortunately

      Delete
    6. Hmm there's got to be a solution.

      Can they be webcast?
      That way people can catch up on their own time, drop in and leave easily without getting up.
      Push meetings to where the students are, their rooms or phones.
      Or have moderated blogs. A valid UW student ID gets you in.
      I'm sure if the question's put out Waterloo students will give ideas that can be field-tested. Experiment each month until you find one that works. I dunno just throwing this out there.

      Delete
    7. 6f IIRC, at present the following things are true:

      1) Meetings are webcast via livestream;
      2) Councillors can attend virtually (via conference call, Skype too I think), but are expected to attend in-person if they are within a 2-hour drive of the campus (since the meetings are only once per month, this is considered reasonable).

      Also, regarding your earlier statement - WHEREAS statements are generally considered to be 'statements of fact.' Specifically, summary facts that lead to the resolutions described (i.e. the BIRT statements). Strictly speaking, they aren't supposed to actually be a part of the resolution that 'does' anything.

      Delete
  7. Here's a Feds statement about the situation on the website http://www.feds.ca/home/feds-takes-steps-to-support-students-waiting-for-housing-at-1-columbia-west/

    ReplyDelete
  8. To all the Kumar haters: He was given a set budget for Welcome Week. Wanting to throw bigger and better events that Waterloo could be proud of, he looked aggressively for additional sponsors in the limited time he had instead of asking for more money from the student fees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8, i think we moved on from this and I think everyone/big majority on this thread now agrees Kumar did great. I know my view changed anyway.

      Delete
    2. 8a speaks truth.

      It's pretty impressive, since he more than doubled his original budget. Normally it's a case of the person in his position continuously asking the Budget Committee for more money.

      Delete