The St. Thomas University Students’ Union learned last Monday that Brandon Scott LeBlanc was no longer a STU student as of May but deceived it continue his off-campus representative duties.
LeBlanc ran in the 2017 spring general election on the basis he would not be accepted into a masters program elsewhere. He was re-elected as an off-campus representative on March 3.
LeBlanc was impeached from his 2016-17 STUSU position after the fact in a meeting on March 16 due to being disrespectful and sexist towards fellow representatives.
However, due to respective bylaws, the governance committee confirmed that because the election had already passed, LeBlanc would be able to keep his position for the 2017-18 year.
STUSU has since changed those bylaws to prevent this from happening again.
Contrary to excuses given to council on his whereabouts, LeBlanc has been in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador at Memorial University since Sept. 6.
Off-campus representative Nicole Gonzalez-Garcia said she and fellow rep Taylor Barrett are attempting to move forward.
“[We] are working to pretty much reconstruct the committee and find a way to organize things after months of being completely deceived,” she said.
“Brandon was impersonating as a student and he has been giving us excuses as if he were here.”
In an email to The Aquinian on Oct. 20, LeBlanc agreed his actions were deceitful, but maintained his intentions were positive.
“As my actions tell, I believe what I did was necessary for the good of the off-campus community,” LeBlanc wrote.
“My actions were in an effort to return the off-campus community to its healthy form, and I believe I have accomplished my goal.”
Vice-president administration Matt LeBlanc brought forth a motion regarding Title 6 of the STUSU Constitution, which read, “The SRC recognizes that, upon deregistration from St. Thomas University, Brandon Scott LeBlanc ceased to be both a member of the Students’ Union (STUSU) and a representative of its constituent members.”
The motion passed unanimously among 13 voting members.
President Philippe Ferland read a resignation letter Brandon Scott LeBlanc offered to STUSU at the meeting.
LeBlanc claimed there was a “loophole” in the constitution which he “utilized to hold a position on the SRC, despite not being a student at St. Thomas University.”
LeBlanc said Article 2, Section 3, subsections A and B of the bylaws requires someone to be a member of the Union in order to be nominated for a position. He said he interpreted that as meaning if the nomination is successful, “they no longer have to be a member of the Union to hold the position” as “there is no section in the constitution or bylaws that would require an individual to be a student or member of the union.”
However, Title 6 of the constitution states STUSU membership “shall consist of both full-time and part-time registered students at St. Thomas University during the fiscal year.”
Still, LeBlanc wrote in his letter of resignation that he deceived to fellow members of STUSU and did not tell them he would not be returning to STU “because I felt a moral obligation to continue my efforts to improve the off-campus community.”
LeBlanc told The AQ that if he would have let STUSU know he was not returning this fall yet planned to keep his position, “the loophole would have been removed and my position made vacant.”
He said he refrained from doing so “so that I could act in the best interests of the off-campus community.”
In previous conversations, LeBlanc told OC reps he refused to remove himself as an administrator on OC’s various Facebook groups, causing concern among the SRC. However, LeBlanc has since been removed from that position on most groups.
Ferland confirmed the loophole LeBlanc continued to reference does not exist and said STUSU would be rejecting the resignation letter as LeBlanc was never a representative of this year’s SRC to begin with.
When questioned if executive members had ever checked on LeBlanc’s enrolment, Ferland said STUSU acts on good faith in elected students.
Ferland also said proposed repercussions for LeBlanc would not be necessary.
“He doesn’t even go here anymore. Why waste the effort?”
Vice-president education Brianna Workman said she believes LeBlanc’s actions have done a great disservice to the community.
“The way he framed it in his letter of resignation, that he really cares about this community, I find that insulting,” she said.
Ferland said the motion was not an acceptance of LeBlanc’s resignation.
“We’re recognizing the fact that he stopped being a student here on May 9. That’s all we need to do and then we never have to talk about Brandon LeBlanc ever again.”
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