STUSU errs in dismissing 2 minority reps

A motion made to remove two St. Thomas University Students’ Union minority representatives last December was deemed invalid Thursday night during STUSU’s council meeting. According to bylaws in STUSU’s constitution, the council did not follow the rules of the removal process.

Off-campus representative Brandon LeBlanc noticed the mistake on Wednesday while reviewing STUSU’s constitution. He said the removal process includes a one week’s notice of the motion before voting takes place. When sexual and gender diversity representative Kris Foreman and indigenous representative Keyaira Gruben were removed, the motion and vote were carried out in one night.

“I’m a very hard believer in following the rules no matter what, so I felt it necessary to bring this up in the [Student Representative Council],” LeBlanc told The Aquinian.

He said the reason STUSU must provide a week’s notice to members is so they can come to the next council meeting and plead their case before the vote takes place.

“We didn’t really give them that fair opportunity at all,” LeBlanc said during the council meeting.

The one-week noticed wasn’t followed, but STUSU allowed two minority representatives the opportunity to appeal the motion. Neither representative chose to appeal their removal.

Because the representatives have already been removed and notified of their removal from the SRC, the motion could not be rescinded and the members would not be re-instated. Instead, they noted the motion from December was invalid to record the mistake.

“Now, for posterity’s sake we know and moving forward, we won’t do it again,” said chairman Jeremy Keats.

They moved on to discuss how to remedy their error.

“Considering that we invalidly removed two members of the SRC, I think a formal apology to those members would be a good start,” said LeBlanc.

Vice-president education Sam Titus said executives could, on behalf of the entire council, issue a formal apology.

“We’ll draft up some kind of formal apology, we’ll even pass it by council … we’ll figure it out and we’ll let you guys know by next week.”

Bylaws also state removed members of the SRC are not eligible to run in the following elections. LeBlanc suggested they allow the members to run in the spring election if they were interested and extending the nomination deadline for them.

This suggestion was more contested as the two minority representatives removed had not expressed interest in running again. Neither Foreman or Gruben could be reached for comment on the error or the proposed remedies.

Ultimately, LeBlanc said he feels the apology is sufficient.

“It seems there was no harm because they did not want to seek election anyways. Had they wanted to run, than of course more action would have been necessary.”

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