By-election fuelled by upcoming University Council Meeting
The University of Regina’s Students’ Union (URSU) will hold a by-election on Sept. 23-25. The nomination period ran from Sept. 4-12. The election comes before the University Council Meeting which will discuss the petition for a non-confidence vote on University of Regina President, Vianne Timmons.
“We are trying to fill a handful of positions. First and foremost, in my mind, is reason for this quick turnaround on the election is the University Council Meeting. There has been a special meeting called by Vianne Timmons to address the petition to vote non-confidence on the poor woman. Something like that needs to be dealt with and I commend Vianne for inviting that conversation because this is an academic campus, which means we have to have the opportunity for discussion and for debate. As the student body is afforded 50 spots on this council, it’s important that we get our say,” says URSU President Nathan Sgrazzutti.
URSU will remain neutral on the petition, believing it to be in their best interest to do so.
“As representatives of the students’ union, we can’t really choose a side for the students because there are students on both sides of the argument. I have students coming up to me saying, ‘I don’t really like Vianne,’ and I have students saying, ‘I do really like Vianne.’ We need to focus on that this isn’t really a good use of university resources.”
The by-election motion was passed on Aug. 6. The media release for the by-election, which included the nomination period information, did not come out until Sept. 10. Sgrazzutti explains that there are certain rules and regulations as part of their constitution they must follow about announcing by-elections, which has contributed to a slow response at the beginning of the nomination period.
“We’ve now been in quite a rush to inform the student body. I think we’ve had success in getting quite a few nomination forms coming in…. the number one thing is that we have a very specific timeline that we need to follow. We will be able to ratify the new student representatives a day before the council,” Sgrazzutti states.
Sgrazzutti stresses the importance of the University Council Meeting, which is taking place on Sep. 27 at 2pm.
“The council meeting coming up is very important, and this is a very tumultuous time for the students. I believe there are many students that will step forward. I would be surprised if we had less than the required amount of councillors.”
The late media release was due to a discrepancy in URSU’s constitution and Robert’s Rule of Order. This resulted in the Aug.6 meeting minutes being posted late as well.
“There is a discrepancy right now in our constitution and Robert’s Rule of Order…. Our constitution requests that every two weeks we have all the minutes posted, but according to Robert’s Rule of Order, before minutes are posted, they have to be reviewed by the Board of Directors.” Sgrazzutti goes on to say, “The idea of every two weeks is fine, because during the fall and winter semester, we are sitting as a board of directors every two weeks.”
The problem is, they meet fewer times during the summer.
“We need to actually go into our constitution and make it to after the following board meeting, would be a better fix… technically, once it’s minutes, it’s law,” Sgrazzutti said.