Posted in Board

Minutes from March 15

Peak Publications Society Board of Directors Meeting Agenda
March 15, 2017
The Peak offices

Chair: Jessica Pickering

In Attendance:

  • Maia Odegaard (Board Secretary, non-voting)
  • Max Hill (Editor-in-Chief)
  • Nathan Ross (Collective Rep)
  • Jessica Whitesel (Collective Rep)
  • Jessica Pickering (Employee Rep)
  • Nikki Dumrique (At-large Member)
  • Zach Siddiqui (guest)
  • Tamara Connor (guest)
  • Gabrielle McLaren (guest)
  • Courtney Miller (guest)
  • Matthew Fong (late coming guest)
  • Alexa Tarrayo (late coming guest)
  • Linda Shu (late coming guest)
  • Elena Hsu (late coming guest)


  • Russell Copley (At-large Member)


  1. Call to Order: 5:38 p.m.
  2. Approval of Agenda:
    Remove items: 11, 12, and adding an item between 4 and 5: Summer board of directors
    Jess W./Max
  3. Approval of past minutes from January 18, 2017 and February 22, 2017
    Jess W./Nathan
  4. Financial update
    Maia presented the Spring 2017 budget reflecting spending through February 2017.
  5. Summer board of directors:
    Tamara is proposing we hold by-election for the collective representatives for the summer semester. Zach added his thoughts. Motion to have a by-election for one Collective Rep and one Alternate tabled until April meeting.
    No vote
  6. Staff writer
    Max presented information gathered from other Canadian student newspapers regarding their staff writer policies. He suggested we adopt a system like what they have at the Other Press (Douglas College).
    Summer: hire two, make sure in the interview that it’s clear they must write for 5 of the 6 sections? Or should they be required to write for all sections. Must write two articles per week. Fall and Spring: hire three
    Vote: Have to write for all sections: 3 in favour, 2 abstentions
    Motion to hire two writers for the summer semester and that we have to write a job description before the summer hiring.
    Vote: 4, 1 abstention
  7. Hiring Board Policy
    Revisiting the discussion of the Hiring Board policy from October 2016 Board meeting to include the formation of the hiring board.
    There have been complaints about The Peak hiring only those in their social circle, and there are concerns about candidates being able to challenge the decisions of outgoing staff. Nathan proposed having the hiring board made up of the EIC, Business Manager/Adviser, and an At-Large Rep from the Board. While having a former editor does add more institutional memory.
    Could impose the stipulation that the former editor should have been removed for one or more semesters.
    Gabrielle pointed out that having an at-large member on the hiring board would help assuage feelings that we only hire Peak friends.
    Courtney proposed that the former editor can’t be involved in hiring for their position if it  is vacant.
    Max brought up that this make up won’t fix the issue of bias as the EIC and Business Manager are also biased.
    Vote: to change make up of hiring board: in favour 3, 2 abstentions — motion carries
    Should it be made up of EIC, any Board member, former editor who has been removed from The Peak or EIC, Adviser, At-Large board member
    Vote: A secret ballot was brought in for this motion: 1 abstention, 1 for option 1, 3 for option two
    Motion to take the policy from draft constitution, with the addition of the new hiring board makeup and create a policy
    All in favour
  8. Summer Hiring
    Vacant positions: copy, news, arts, features, promo, social media, (on hiatus: multi assistant, one layout assistant?, sports, web news)
    Tamara suggests an additional layout assistant to help finish the branding that is incomplete, as well as helping with online layout.
    Table the discussion of expectations for new editors until the next meeting
    Courtney’s ideal masthead
    Vote: All in favour
  9. Removal of online content policy
  10. AV Policy (Tentative)
  11. Leave of Absence Policy (Tentative)
  12. Contributor Pay Budget

    We are way over budget for contributor pay, Maia is proposing a budget per section. There needs to be emphasis on editors creating more content in house, and for them to be clear with their contributors what amount their piece is worth (if they go over word count, they aren’t entitled to higher pay.

    No vote

  13. Disciplinary Policy
    Jessica P. looked at The Sheaf (U of Sask) as they have a “progressive” policy with separate stipulation For part time staff (layout assistant, staff writer, contrib. etc.), full time (EIC/Business Manager) and emergency removal policy for grave misconduct.
    Nathan proposed that Jessica bring a proposed policy for discussion, but that it not be voted upon until May when there is a new board and new editorial board.
    No vote
  14. In-Camera 7:13 pm
    Courtney Miller asked to stay as she is the incoming EIC.
    In-camera session ended at 8:03 pm
  15. Adjournment: 8:11 p.m.