To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
Attached is an Sil Article. Read it and see what the MSU President thinks of Accountability.
I have been intimated since I announced that I was moving this act at General Assembly. I have been confronted by members of the SRA, Board of Directors, and full-time staff of the MSU. A smear campaign has been engaged in by some of these people. I have had students that are associated with a member of the BoD call me a “Fucking Asshole”, “Fucking Douche bag”�, and a “Fucking Idiot” in the last 24 hours.
The VP Finance attempted to dismiss me as Disability Coordinator representing and advocating for students (which is a volunteer position that I give about 12 hours a week to) Wednesday night but was overturn 2 hours by the MSU President. I was asked to keep quiet about it by members of the SRA and BoD in order to prevent damaging the image of the MSU. They attempted to appeal to my idealist view that the MSU can be reformed from within. I honestly believed the MSU President was he said he would deal with the issue. They said I had to understand that tensions are high right now and that the VP Finance was just lashing out at me because of how upset everyone is at my support of the General Assembly especially in light of the fact that two Engineers have moved to change the name of Quarters. I thought that was seriously the reason, it turns out that it has to do with accountability.
They can say all they want about accountability and caring about student opinion every single time they want our vote but when it comes time to prove it, they fight to intimate students.
Many members of the SRA and the Board of Directors have been meeting in the MSU office every day since the MSU Accountability Act to figure out how to stop the MSU General Assembly. They have been looking at Roberts Rules of Order to try and find out every single dirty procedural trick they can pull to try to grind the democratic process to a halt. They have been talking about the following procedure to as they told me “prevent voter fraud”�.
All MSU members will be checked against a printout list of the entire MSU membership and their name crossed off one by one. They claim this is because people that are not MSU members could be taking Membership stickers off of their friends that are MSU members and trying to vote at General Assembly.
Can you imagine the line-up and the extremely long time it will take?
They have also talked about challenging every item on the agenda in order to try to remove them. They are also planning to filibuster every item on the agenda and to talk for the maximum amount of time they can in the hope that MSU members will grow tired or have to go to class so that there will be less than the 550 members required in Quarters for the meeting to proceed.
We must remain calm and peaceful at all times. To be honest, by sending this email I have stopped them because they will try to claim that I am crazy and seeing conspiracies where none exist. They will claim I am lying and continue the smear campaign. It is up to you what you believe. I feel that this practice needs to end and they need to listen to students.
I will tell you there are two SRA members that have been fully supportive of the democratic process and that I know for sure are not involved in these attempts to stop student democracy. They are Andy Moonsammy and Chrissy Taylor. I want to publicly thank them for their support of the process. They are the only two to talk to me and tell me to hold out and not to be intimated.
I need every MSU member to come out and end this practice of taking”gifts”� from people that want student money and this pathetic attitude that the MSU is a corporation and that I am entitled to my “gifts”� and how dare students tell us what to do.
I will quote today’s Sil article which talks about the MSU Accountability Act.
Another item outlines a code of ethics, if passed and ratified, would apply to all MSU employees and volunteers, as well as the volunteers and employees of MSU operations, services, and subsidiaries. This item calls for an independent arm of the MSU which would investigate the actions and decisions of employees and volunteers accountable to the MSU.
Tommy Piribauer, MSU president, opposes this item. He said that section three, which prohibits MSU employees from accepting gifts from suppliers, may deter MSU board members from performing additional duties. Piribauer says that the board regularly put in more hours than are required in the job description.
“The accountability act is going to make leadership in the MSU so unbearable that people aren’t going to put in any time over and above what they’re actually supposed to”� warned Piribauer.
Last year John McGowan, MSU business manager, Shano Mohan, former MSU president, and Umair Khan, former vice-president finance, accepted box seats to a World Cup of Hockey final from Gallivan and Associates, a dental and health plan company bidding for a contract with the MSU.
“Under the current system there is no guidance of what we expect in this situation,” says Joey Coleman, diversity coordinator. Coleman says he put this motion forward because of concerns over MSU accountability.
Piribauer said he believes that such perks should come with the job: “That’s part of the advantage of actually being a board of director or a staff member, and that is part of the reason why board members are willing to put in so much time.”
This is what he tells us in public!!!! What is he thinking in private? The fact is that the entire BoD knows the MSU Presidents position on this issue and none of them,
The three Vice Presidents: John Popham, VP Admin, Jeff Mohan, VP Finance, Stephanie Murray, VP Education have said anything!!!
Here is the section that are so upset about and the reason that I am now MSU Public Enemy Number One!
SECTION THREE: MSU CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT
3 GIFTS AND BENEFITS
3.1 No official shall accept a fee, advance, gift or personal benefit that is connected directly or indirectly with the performance of his or her duties of office.
3.2 Any gift received from a supplier/third party shall be declared and given to the MSU.
3.2.1 The MSU shall raffle/auction any gifts from a supplier/third party and donate the monies to Student Financial Aid & Scholarships for undergraduate student bursaries.
3.3 Exceptions to the aforementioned non-acceptance of gifts or personal benefits by officials in relation to their official duties are:
3.3.1 Such gifts or benefits that normally accompany the responsibilities of office and are received as an incident of protocol, custom, or social obligations;
3.3.2 Suitable memento of a function honouring the official;
3.3.3 Food and beverages consumed at banquets, receptions or similar events; and
3.3.4 Benefits internal to the MSU (such as a reasonable discount).
Since the board has been meeting constantly since the Accountability Act was proposed attempting to figure out how to stop it, what does this mean about them? Why was it that the Sil does not have any quotes from the MSU Board of Directors in favour of being accountable? I cannot see the Sil not having tried to reach them. I know from experience that the MSU President always consults with all the other VP’s on matter of importance. I hope that we get something from Mr. Popham, our President-Elect condemning this, if only because students are getting active against these practices.
We need every single MSU member that can make it to come out and take back our Student Union.
Rarely in life does the opportunity present itself to end unethical practices in government and the opportunity is now.
I have done everything I can; now it is up to the membership to decide if they want our union back.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 22nd 2006
2:30pm QUARTERS BAR AND GRILL
Doors will open at 2:00pm so be there early to make sure that we start taking back the Student Union right at 2:30pm
Forward this to all MSU members you know.
It is our Student Union, its time for us to take it back!
I have attached files to this email.
Sil Article : Sil_Thurs_Mar_16_2006.pdf
MSU Accountability Act: MSU_Accountability_Act.pdf
The only time we are aware of, and only because the VP Education at the time spoke out: The_Sil_2004_1007_hockey_tickets.pdf
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Add to this:
A motion was proposed that MSU SRA minutes be put on the MSU website within days of the meeting marked draft until approved.
The last time minutes were publicity put on the MSU website to be available for students was almost a year ago: http://www.msu.mcmaster.ca/sra/sraminutes.php
Executive Board last summer: http://www.msu.mcmaster.ca/sra/ebminutes.php
I have also been asked to add a link to By-Law 7 Student Academic Council which has been ignored all year: http://www.msu.mcmaster.ca/cbp/2005-2006/Bylaw_7_-_Student_Academic_Council.pdf
I thank you for reading this,