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Councillors’ status unsure

by Archives January 21, 2004

Tension rose at the last Concordia Student Union (CSU) council meeting, as allegations of bias and conflicts of interested were directed right and left.

Chairperson Patrice Blais brought to the table an arguable Judicial Board ruling declaring two arts and science councillors-Sabine Friesinger and Trish McIntosh-non-students and barring them from council.

Blais argued that the timing was “irresponsible,” since the ruling was handed in minutes before the meeting, and that the document was incomplete. Certain Judicial Board members did not sign next to their votes. Three judges allegedly contacted Blais through e-mail to voice their concerns about the ruling, including Stephan Herman, who could not be reached to vote on the ruling.

“Until I receive a final signed decision…I won’t take it as official,” said Blais.

According to Judicial Board member Dovid Riven, “the decisions were final.”

For Friesinger, three out of the six voters concurred with the motion, but only five members overall signed. For McIntosh, four of the seven voters concurred, but only three of the concurring signed.

“This makes me question the majority that is set in that vote,” said Blais.

Former councillor Ralph Lee, also mentioned in the ruling, has officially resigned because he is currently in New Zealand.

Councillor Rachel Guy accused Blais, who represented Lee and McIntosh during the Judicial Board proceedings, of “showing a bias.” CSU executives shared Guy’s view while other councillors, like Allison Beck, argued that “it is not council’s place to question a Judicial Board majority, unless there’s a four-fifth’s majority.”

Accusations of bias continued as Adam Slater, student representative on the Board of Governors, read an article written by Judicial Board member Deborah Millette where she uses “activists” and “destroyers” synonymously. He then argued that McIntosh is a known activist and accused Millette of bias. “It is disgusting that this person would not recluse themselves, and just vote,” he said.

He then accused Millette as having a conflict of interest by having a “personal relationship” with CSU executive Tyler Wordsworth.

“The decision is a piece of shit,” said Slater, to which Wordsworth replied: “you’re a piece of shit so you have something in common.”

Despite Blais urging the two students to be more professional, Slater persisted and Wordsworth replied by saying: “How about you suck my dick?

“I strongly object to anything about anybody’s personal life,” he added. “If we want to talk about personal things, we’ll talk about all of them.”

The meeting ended early after three hours of discussion on whether or not Friesinger and McIntosh could vote as council members. A special meeting should soon be called to deal with this issue.

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