10 years with the Students’ Union

Taking a look at all the goings-on of WLUSU through the first decade of the 21st century.

1. WLUSU switches to policy governance

Of any decision made by the board of directors in the past decade, moving to the structure of policy governance has had the biggest impact on the union. Under policy governance the board became responsible to setting the ends of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and are no longer involved with operational decisions. Under this governance structure the board is tasked with setting the visionary goals of the union and engaging in higher discourse. A critique of the system since it has been implemented is that the board is rarely able to do anything tangible.

-Reported Feb. 14, 2007

2. Candidate disqualified; election left in disarray

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The 2008 WLUSU election period was the most contentious and publicized, lasting just over three weeks. After presidential candidate Brian Punambolam was disqualified on election day for accumulating too many campaign-related fines, the elections process was left in shambles. Once the decision was made by the Appellate Committee to overturn his appeal the ballots were counted, though no votes for Punambolam were to be used. As there was no policy in place about what to do in a disqualification the board of directors held an emergency meeting and decided to hold a run-off election between the two remaining candidates. Though Colin Le Fevre came out victorious with only 11.01 per cent of students voting in the second election this was the lowest turnout in over a decade.

-Reported February and March 2008

3. President comes under fire for drinking on deans trip

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WLUSU president Steven Welker came under fire after he was allegedly drinking from a Texas Mickey in a gondola on the annual Dean’s Trip. This followed after Welker had implemented new rules for off-campus socials, which stated that drinking could only occur at socials organized by WLUSU if it was at a licensed establishment. After an investigation was conducted Welker was found to be in policy guideline.

-Reported Sept. 29, 2004

4. Board acclaimed

In 2007 the WLUSU board of directors was acclaimed, after there were not enough nominations to fill the 15 spots; this was the only time that the board has been acclaimed in the decade. Five additional directors were elected out of 12 candidates at a special by-election in March. Currently WLUSU has a policy stating that if there are not enough candidates to fill the board they will re-open nominations.

-Reported January and March 2007

5. Hawk logo removed; replaced after student outcry

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Between 2006 and 2008 the tiled Hawk on the floor of the Fred Nichols Campus Centre was the centre of great controversy. When students returned to school in fall 2006 the Hawk was no longer there and many students were upset that the tradition of “not walking on the Hawk” would be lost. President Alan Cayanne said that it cost too much money to replace it. The following year president Dan Allison purchased a new Italian marble logo for $11,000. Though many students protested the high cost of the Hawk, many also embraced the tradition of walking around it.

-Reported September 2006 through February 2008

6. Radio Laurier cut

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In December 2008 WLUSU president Colin Le Fevre announced that the union would be restructuring and as a result Radio Laurier would no longer be supported by WLUSU. Volunteers were upset as they felt there was a lack of planning and notice from the union. Later in the semester it was announced that Radio Laurier would be loosing its booth in the Concourse. On May 1, 2009 student publications officially took over Radio Laurier, and the booth now resides in the WLUSP office, in the basement of Mac House Residence.

-Reported December 2008 through May 2009

6. President wins by one vote

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In the 2000 WLUSU election one vote made the difference in the four person race. Jeffrey Kroeker received 545 votes, making it WLUSU’s closest presidential race. The year prior to this the WLUSU president was acclaimed.

-Reported Feb. 16, 2000

8. Director Matt Park

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Matt Park became the first person of the decade to serve as the chair of the board for two consecutive terms, in 2006-07 and 2007-08. However, part way through his second term Park stepped down from his position citing personal reasons. Less than a month after stepping down he was hired as a part-time staff member by WLUSU, and thus he had to resign from his position as a director. At the board meeting following the hiring of Park two students raised concerns regarding this appointment because the position Park filled was created and appointed by WLUSU president Dan Allison. The board provided them with no answers regarding if unethical hiring practices took place,

-Reported throughout 2006, ‘07 and ‘08

9. Radio Laurier DJ banned over radio controversy

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Three Radio Laurier DJs were suspended for on-air conduct towards guests they had on their show. The guests had started a petition against The Cord in response to an article the newspaper published called “A Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Laid at Laurier.” Following the article The Cord came under great scrutiny, and over 400 students signed a petition demanding an apology. Following the “Gentleman’s Guide” controversy WLUSU also pulled all ads from The Cord.

-Reported Oct. 5, 2005

10. Faculty fee referendum passes; “yes” campaign comes under scrutiny

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In 2008 voters approved a referendum question, which created a new $15 per-semester student faculty fee, as opposed to the previous rates, which varied by faculty. This question came out of an investigation by the students’ union following a class action lawsuit put forth to the provincial government to prohibit ancillary fees. However, the referendum campaign itself came under scrutiny as there was no official “no” campaign and WLUSU president Dan Allison was a strong advocate for students voting yes, even sending an e-mail to the entire student body suggesting to them that they should do so.

-Reported Feb. 13, 2008