Past BOD motions must be recognized

Controversy has arisen over the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) board of directors handling of the move to online voting as put forward at the Nov. 26 board meeting. While WLUSU should be applauded for moving voting online in an effort to stimulate student interest and increase voter turnout, they should not do so by blatantly ignoring past motions of the board of directors.

In 2007-2008 after an extensive committee work investigating the best method for online voting, the board of directors passed a motion to mandate that any online voting system must be by preferential ballot. The board’s belief was that the preferential system would provide greater fairness to student elections and would be made feasible with the nature of online ballots given its complicated nature.

The current board or directors either ignored or were unaware of the past motion and refused to discuss preferential balloting at all.

Regardless of the merits of the preferential balloting, the fact is that decisions made by the board in any given year are binding for all future boards. This is an undisputable fact of corporate governance designed to maintain a degree of continuity between boards of directors. Simply to dismiss the motion because they disagreed with it reflects an astounding degree of ignorance in board procedure that offers a truly terrible precedent for the future.

If the WLUSU board of directors disagrees with preferential balloting then they can overrule the decision of the past board with a two-thirds vote. Until this is the case they need to live with the decision and move towards establishing a preferential balloting system. To do otherwise sends a signal to future boards that the decisions of the past are irrelevant.

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