Student’s Union board of directors kicks off a new semester

Photo by Madeline McInnis

Over the summer months, the Students’ Union Board of Directors has had several Board of Director’s meetings.

The most recent official Board of Director’s meeting took place on Aug. 12, 2017. The meeting consisted of the board discussing various orientation week topics, such as promotional items, programming, and more.

The main topic of the meeting, which lasted approximately five hours, was the conflict of interest announced by Tarique Plummer, chair of the Students’ Union board and chief governance office, as per his intent to run for Students’ Union President this upcoming election season.

At this point in the meeting, Michael Del Bono, vice-chair of the Board of Directors, headed the discussion on the elections portfolio.

Essentially, the board discussed Plummer’s ability to continue upholding his responsibilities and role as Chair of the Board while running in the presidential election. In the end, the board decided that another director would take over the elections portfolio.

After being unable to come to a conclusion in regards to who will take over the elections portfolio, the board then moved to have an emergency board meeting.

At the emergency board meeting, which was held on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m., Plummer first took the time to go over Robert’s Rules of Order in order to reiterate and ensure all board members are educated.

“When we started, not everyone had the knowledge of Robert’s Rules or a solid knowledge of policies, not everyone had the knowledge of traditions and customs, so as we go from meeting to meeting they’re going to be inefficiencies,” Plummer said.

Before the discussion surrounding the elections portfolio began in regard to who would take over the portfolio, Idris Omar Hassan, director of the board, decided to put forth the motion to silence the gallery during the conversation pertaining to the elections portfolio.

In contrast, when asked about the decision to silence the gallery, Plummer felt the decision was appropriate and achieved the necessary objective.

Although numerous directors disagreed with the motion, such as Director Wojtanowski and Director Del Bono, the motion was carried 4-3-1.

“There were a lot of comments that came from the gallery. Opinions from the gallery impact the conversation which went off track and deviated. So in an attempt to ensure that the conversation stayed on track and stayed objective in a very timely manner, they put that [motion] forward for that particular conversation [sic],” Plummer said.

Ensuing the motion to silence the gallery, Kanwar Brar, president of Students’ Union, began to voice his concerns towards the decision on Twitter.

Brar stated on the social media platform that he felt the board’s decision to silence the gallery was unfair and unconstitutional. He requested that any students who had questions tweet them to him so that he could voice their concerns to the board.

However, when asked to comment further on his decision to be the spokesperson for any students wanting to voice their concerns about the elections portfolio, Brar decided to decline to the offer.

In contrast, when asked about the decision to silence the gallery, Plummer felt the decision was appropriate and achieved the necessary objective.

“Out of precautionary measures, the board thought it would be best to proceed in that particular sense. It wasn’t unconstitutional,” Plummer said.

Nick DeSumma, former chair of the board and current student at Laurier, stressed the importance of gallery participation at Students’ Union board meetings.

“I think regardless of who’s sitting in the gallery, you shouldn’t motion to silence the gallery because they are the ones who elected to the board to be there, so I don’t agree with that decision I hope that it doesn’t happen again,” DeSumma said.

“Especially with a topic such as elections where you really need that student input, it just doesn’t look good to silence it because student input is the most crucial with something like elections.”

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