Home News Petition calling for PSSA president’s resignation gains support

Petition calling for PSSA president’s resignation gains support

by Alyssa Tremblay March 13, 2012

The petition calling for the resignation of the Political Science Students’ Association’s president had 32 signatures as of Monday. Despite Pier-Luc Therrien Péloquin’s public apology for originally calling off the PSSA’s strike against tuition hikes, organizers say he could be facing a vote of confidence in the near future.
The PSSA president came under fire for an email sent to political science students the morning of March 6 stating that the association’s strike mandate, which had been voted on at a general assembly, was cancelled, one day before it was set to take effect. Péloquin retracted the statement at around 9 p.m. the same day on the PSSA’s Facebook page, calling the cancellation a “mistake” and maintaining that the PSSA would in fact be respecting the vote.
“I made a stupid human mistake,” said Péloquin in an interview. He said he misread the original email sent to students and titled it wrong before sending it to the entire political science student body. Péloquin said that the error was his own and in no way reflected the rest of his executive.
Political science undergraduates voted to go on strike at a general assembly held March 1. A total of 70 students attended, with 59 voting in favour, 14 against and one abstention.
According to PSSA bylaws, 2.5 per cent of political science students is needed to make quorum and make the vote binding, a requirement that was met at the GA.
Péloquin, a former Liberal Party candidate in the federal riding of Vercheres—Les Patriotes, said that while the results of the PSSA’s general assembly were legitimate, many students were concerned by the low turnout (70 out of 1,600 political science undergrads) and lack of student awareness about the vote due to its timing after reading week.
A second PSSA general assembly will be held on March 14 to decide whether to extend the strike mandate.
“These last few days have brought a lot more awareness,” said Péloquin, referring to the heated reaction to his original comments, including an online petition started by political science student Nadim Kobeissi calling for Péloquin’s impeachment.
“I don’t want someone with that much disrespect for the democratic process to be heading, out of all the student associations at Concordia, the department of political science,” said Kobeissi. “I think making that decision unilaterally without consulting the student body is still against his mandate [as PSSA president].”
Kobeissi told The Concordian that his cause has received support within the department and that there has been talk of calling a vote of confidence at a future PSSA meeting.
Dissatisfied with Péloquin’s apology, he plans on bringing his petition to CSU council and formally beginning the impeachment process if 100 people sign.
The petition demands for Péloquin’s immediate resignation, accusing him of undemocratically trying to cancel a legal vote due to “a conflict of interest” regarding Péloquin’s alleged anti-strike stance.

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