URSU VP charged with drinking and driving

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Vice-president of student affairs Melissa Blackhurst takes leave of absence

John Cameron
Editor-in-Chief

University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) vice-president of student affairs Melissa Blackhurst has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, the Carillon has learned.

According to court documents, Blackhurst was stopped in Regina on Dec. 16 and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The documents, which are signed and dated Jan. 18, indicate the crown will proceed with a summary charge against her.

The Carillon can also confirm that Blackhurst is currently on a voluntary leave of absence from her duties at URSU. However, students’ union president Kent Peterson declined to comment on the charge, saying only that Blackhurst had taken the leave to deal with “a personal issue” and had determined it would be best to ask for a leave of absence.

“She cited a personal reason, and so I can’t comment on her personal reason,” he said.

Blackhurst explained via e-mail that she also could not provide comment, as the case is still ongoing. She did, however, clarify that she took the leave of absence for the purpose of dealing with the charge.

“I have requested a leave of absence from URSU … to keep myself separate from the organization until such matters are fully resolved,” she wrote. “I feel this is the responsible way to deal with this and is in the best interest of myself and the organization.”

Currently, Blackhurst is scheduled to return to her duties on Feb. 21, although URSU Communications Director Neil Petrich pointed out that date is subject to change.

Blackhurst is scheduled to appear in court in Regina on Thursday, Feb. 16.

UPDATE (13:20 16/02/2012): At her court appearance today, Blackhurst obtained an adjournment for her case until Mar. 8.

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