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ASFA president accused of ‘bullying’

by The Concordian February 14, 2012

Arts and Science Federation of Associations President Alex Gordon’s explanation on his involvement in the impeachment petition of Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill was met with mixed reactions from the ASFA council last Thursday.
Gordon began by making a formal apology to any members who were offended by his actions.
“It was not my intent to convey all the sentiments of every member of ASFA,” he said. “I realize it’s tough to disassociate myself from the position I’m in.”
He went on to say that he felt there are still questions to be answered but that, “I don’t expect that everyone in arts and science feels the same way.”
Gordon was one of three students to initiate the impeachment process of Gill last month, along with former CSU councillor Tomer Shavit, and Commerce and Administration Students’ Association President Marianna Luciano, who could not be reached for comment. The group has since agreed to hold off on the petition and instead sit down with the CSU to discuss their concerns at a date yet to be determined.
During last Thursday’s council meeting, women’s studies councillor Hector Martinez openly criticized Gordon for his actions.
“I wonder how ethical it is for the president of ASFA to single out one person,” he said.
He claimed Gordon was creating a “smear campaign” of Gill’s reputation, which he likened to a form of bullying.
“Lex does not work alone. She is part of a group. Lex does not move the CSU. It moves as a collective,” said Martinez.
ASFA presidential candidate and councillor Charlie Brenchley stated during the meeting that he “wasn’t impressed” with the way Gordon handled the situation.
“It is bullying when you’re going after one person when you clearly have grievances against an entire organization,” he said.
Brenchley went on to inquire, “is this an ASFA issue at this point or an Alex Gordon issue?”
When the subject resurfaced in discussion, Gordon was given a chance to explain himself.
”I respect that it can be seen as bullying. It’s the democratic right of students to file this petition if we see fit,” he said.
Some councillors had also taken issue with the section of the website stoplexgill.com which states “ASFA’s comments coming soon.” In response, Gordon promised to have the ASFA brand removed from the site “as soon as possible.”
Vice-president internal Schubert Laforest indicated that the situation was ultimately a learning opportunity.
“Even though executives may have personal quarrels with other individuals in other associations, we’re elected [representatives],” said Laforest. “At the end of the day, we are always going to be regarded as executives of ASFA and in that regard we must be very careful in how we express our discontent.”

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