To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
(5 Updates at bottom)
I have learned of sad news: Evan Cole, the President of the USSU has resigned.
Exact details are still unavailable but this is what I know.
Evan has been a target of the Canadian Federation of Students for over a year now. They have been trying to push him out of elected student office for over a year. Some evidence of this was in Gavin Gardiner’s notebook (Hittip: studentunion.ca) which he wrote of getting Evan to resign.
Basically, Evan Cole was one of the best student leaders in Canada. I thought (and continue to think) very highly of him. During the past year, I was able to ask him many questions about the work he was doing as VP (Academic) of the USSU and he always returned my emails. He build one of the best student academic support sites on the USSU website. You can view it here: http://www.ussu.ca/ass/
He was elected President for 2006/2007 of the USSU by a healthy margin in the Spring and took office. Immediately, the CFS faction went after him.
From what I have learned so far:
I found out about his resignation from the Wayward Reporter (a great blog btw)
According to the Wayward Reporter, Evan resigned yesterday morning.
I confirmed it by going to the USSU website looked under Executive, and sure enough the news was true. It is interesting to note how quickly the site was updated.
Here is what happened that most likely caused the resignation:
The USSU – I was
privileged to watchinhumanly tortured in the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union’s University Students’ Council’s poorly ventilated meeting room for three hours on a sweltering summers afternoon where I watched, for the first time in the USSU’s 97 year history, the procedures for removal of office of the president. Evan Cole will now have to face a special general meeting to decide whether or not he will continue on as president of the union. It’s exciting times for a student of politics. During the meetings, there was a great deal of debate over whether or not they were required to have 2/3 (13 members which was the exact number who supported the motion) of the present members of USC or 2/3s of the total USC (18 members) required in order to send the motion to a Special General Meeting. Article 9, Section A of the USSU constitution states that “Elected Members of the Executive may be removed from office passed by both a vote of at least two-thirds of the councillors of the University Students’ Council in favour of removal from office and a majority vote at a special general meeting for that purpose.” According to the lawyer present and the law student chairing the meeting, that meant the needed 2/3s of the total USC. However, the chair was challenged and USC decided it meant 2/3s of those present at USC that day (as they had quorum). I fully expect this controversial interpretation to have major ramifications.
The Special General Meeting is to be held on July 22nd. It’s basically going to come down to which faction can get the most people out. I have no idea how to vote but I may have to do something about that constitution.
It is very sad to see another good student leader ran out by the CFS. Dirty student politics, it is sickening!
Update 1: 22:39 GMT: Evan Cole has a few words here: http://apatheology.blogspot.com/2006/07/leadership.html
Update 2: 23:27 GMT: This has some connection to the CFS lawsuit filed by students at USask due to the gross violations of common fairness by CFS in rigging the vote: http://www.thesheaf.com/opinion/editorial/impeachy_keen_cfs_lawsuit_gets_juicy
You can read about the rigging of the vote by CFS here (they do this at every school):
CFS Removes The Rights of Some Students to Vote
Thousands of Dollars Lots Of Flown In CFS Staff Rigging Of The Rules Removing The Right Of Some Students To Vote And The CFS Barely Pulls It Off
Coverage of CFS at USask, a Warning for the rest of us.
I now have a copy of Evan Cole’s Resignation Letter. I have converted it to .png format for viewing.
Students at USask are starting to react at their blogs:
Update 5 28 July 06
The Sheaf has coverage online here: http://www.thesheaf.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1677&Itemid=44