Students’ Union Chair steps down and talks surrounding reproductive rights

Photo by Jake Watts

 

The Students’ Union Board of Directors meeting held on Feb. 2, the day after the Students’ Union election results were announced, was particularly eventful.

Starting off the meeting was a presentation on reproductive rights lead by Alicia Hall, along with other members of the group “Laurier Students for Pro-Choice.”

The presentation addressed the issue of abortion generally, and then levied specific objections to the Students’ Union-funded club, LifeLink.

Their presentation comes in the wake of LifeLink’s demonstration this past fall, which the presenters say caused distress among Laurier’s student population.

Laurier Students for Pro-Choice concluded by presenting a set of example motions that the board could pass to affirm the Students’ Union’s commitment to reproductive rights.

One such motion reads: “Be it further resolved that if clubs do not amend their constitution or continue to plan anti-choice events or campaigns, they will forfeit their student union funding and future events and campaigns run by such clubs will be required to take place in such a way that individuals will have a choice in their level of engagement with these events or campaigns (ex. take place in closed rooms).”

The board, having only included the presentation in their agenda as “for information,” opted not to consider any such motions at the meeting.

Following that, the chair of the elections portfolio, Muhammad Talha Naeem, delivered comments on the recently passed election and its low voter turnout.

Board members compared different explanations for the 22 per cent voter turnout, which has remained stagnant over the years.

After that discussion, the board officially ratified the previous day’s election results, cementing Tarique Plummer as incoming president and CEO, as well as all of the other winners’ future roles in the Students’ Union.

Plummer, who prior to the Feb. 2 board meeting was the Chair and CGO of the board of directors, set forward a motion to resign from that position because of his status as Students’ Union president-elect.

The motion passed and Plummer automatically assumed the role of director. Ensuing this, there was an on-the-spot election to determine who would be the new Chair and CGO of the board for the remainder of the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Director Rezkalla nominated Director Wojtanowski for the role and Director Hassan nominated Director Naeem.

Both candidates were asked a series of questions and then each candidate delivered opening remarks. During this period, Director Naeem emphasized his experience as Chair of the Elections Portfolio, and Director Wojtanowski emphasized her commitment and dedication to the Students’ Union.

Votes from board members, both electronic and written on slips of paper, were gathered and tallied.

After counting the votes the board moved to elect Naeem as the next Chair and CGO of the board.

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