STUSU Briefs March 1, 2018

Notice of motion to impeach Sean Kenney

The St. Thomas University Students’ Union brought forward a notice of a motion to impeach at-large representative Sean Kenney.

Motioned by President Philippe Ferland, the grounds for Kenney’s impeachment are related to violating various aspects of the union’s code of conduct. This includes concerning social media posts; the lack of respect for other members of the SRC and the student body, especially those of a different race or religion; failing to be mindful of his position and the failure to fulfill obligations as an SRC member.

STUSU chair Rachel Barry said discussion and viewing of evidence would wait until the next meeting.

Kenney was worried about whether or not he’d get to see the evidence beforehand. Ferland told the SRC he had already shown Kenney the majority of the evidence earlier in the week.

Still, Kenney had concerns about use of the word “removal” in the email notifying him of impeachment versus the use of the word “impeachment” in STUSU’s bylaws. He told the SRC they were two different things, making the motion flawed and unable to go through.

Though Barry affirmed there would be no discussion on the matter, Kenney was able to motion for a change in the matter’s wording.

Vice-president administration Matt LeBlanc seconded the motion, only so he could ask Kenney what he believed the difference in the two words was.

“Removal and impeachment are two different things,” Kenney said.

Recording secretary Laura Robinson told him the words are synonyms.

Kenney’s motion to overrule the definition of impeachment failed, with 11 votes against and one abstention.

The Union will see the evidence and vote on Kenney’s impeachment at its next meeting on March 15.

Concern over debate moderator

At-large representative Nick Decarie said a number of students told him they were concerned with the choice to have Sam Titus, former STUSU vice-president education and acting director of the New Brunswick Student Alliance, moderating this year’s vice-president education debates.

Decarie said this is because Titus “represents the narrative of status quo” for STUSU, and it may be “within his best interest to oppose candidates who may seem reformist.”

He also said one of the three candidates said they “felt an aura of hostility” from Titus.

Ferland was the one who asked Titus to moderate. As current vice-president education Brianna Workman was unable to do it as per her candidacy for president, he felt Titus was another qualified person for the job.

Decarie suggested another vice-president or the outgoing president could have been the moderator insetad to avoid the “bad optic” of having the NBSA’s executive director asking questions.

Board of governors representative Husoni Raymond pointed out it might have happened anyway as the vice-president education works with the NBSA.

Olivier Hébert, sexuality and gender diversity representative, said many people might not understand what the NBSA does and its impartiality, adding the image is the main point.

Funding for campaigns and clubs

STUSU unanimously voted to give $346.21 to the STUnningly Successful campaign, a group of criminology students collecting gently-used clothing for women incarcerated in correctional centres as they attend court procedures and reintegrate into society.

LeBlanc originally motioned for $150, but after a discussion about future funding obligations, at-large representative Nick Decarie amended to change the motion to $346.21. There was $1,346.21 left in the SRC general line and only $700 is required to be left at the end of the semester.

The money came from the SRC general line as there is no money left in the Union’s charitable assistance line.

Money from STUSU will be used to purchase cheap, second-hand clothing for the campaign.

STUSU also gave $480 to the STU Debate Society to cover students’ registration for the Atlantic Debate Championship at Dalhousie University from March 8 to 10. That leaves about $556.57 in funding for clubs and societies.

Finally, $1,500 came out of the activities line for STU’s third-annual Long Night Against Procrastination.

Federal budget wins

Workman highlighted wins for students that came out of the federal government’s budget announcement.

In general, millions of dollars will be directed into different aspects of student research, including $231.3-million over five years for indirect costs of research. This includes things like research environments or classrooms and study halls. Workman said indirect costs of research amount to 40 per cent of usual costs for research.

The Canada Summer Jobs program will receive an additional $448.5-million over five years, doubling placements.

A student support program for Indigenous students will receive $10-million and programs assisting young people in making informed career decisions will get $27.5-million over five years.

NBSA executive director applications

Applications for the NBSA’s executive director have closed.

Workman said they had received about eight or nine applications as of the March 1 STUSU meeting. Interviews will take place after the March break with the goal to have someone in the role after March.

Mental health framework input

Vice-president student life Jimy Beltran said the mental health committee, which includes staff and faculty along with students, has finalized its framework document. However, it’s still looking for student input.

An opportunity to look it over and discuss will take place March 22.

UNB Women’s Centre’s success

Social inclusion representative Rebecca Kingston said she attended the Women’s Centre’s meeting at the University of New Brunswick.

After many events throughout the last two months, volunteers were able to raise $900 from the Vagina Monologues, giving over $400 to two different transition houses.

The Centre’s computers were also declared a firehazard, so it’s set to receive new ones. A new logo is also being designed.

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