Last semester left students confused, and with an unpleasant taste in their mouths after its conclusion.
This article will be a recap of the events that transpired last semester, and of where the Vanier College Student’s Association (VCSA) is headed in 2020; it will, hopefully, clear the air surrounding the end of last semester.
The Meeting of November 27th, 2019
This meeting took place at UB, and was deemed to not be an official meeting because it did not follow proper procedures for the creation of a Special General Assembly, according to the VCSA By-laws.
On the original agenda was the approval of The Insider’s budget for Winter 2020 and the allocation of clubs’ budgets. However, time did not allow for the latter to be discussed, and motions were made to impeach the President of the VCSA, along with Community Coordinator 1.
The Insider’s budget was passed at this meeting, along with almost unanimous votes for the impeachment of the aforementioned members of the VCSA Executive Council.
At this meeting, there was obvious tension, and students had strong opinions about the goings-on of the VCSA Executive Council.
However, because this meeting did not follow the VCSA By-laws, all motions set forth were invalid. As a result of this meeting, the Council requested an investigation by the College, to look into breaches in the Vanier College Code of Conduct Policy.
In tandem with the college, all VCSA activities, clubs, and entities were suspended for the remainder of the fall 2019 semester, including the DJ Booth and The Insider.
The Insider’s suspension of activities, as a result of the investigation, is the reason as to why additional newspapers could not be distributed, and why articles from last semester were not uploaded online; its website was shut down indefinitely by the VCSA, but was recently reinstated at the end of January.
Results of The College’s Investigation
The College released an official statement to students via Omnivox on January 23rd, 2020 about their conclusions concerning the meeting of November 27th.
It states that, at the gathering, “dialogue appeared to become increasingly vexatious”, and reports students describing the event as “getting out of hand”.
The College stresses in its the statement that “in healthy democratic communities, everyone’s voice is recognized and appreciated”, while noting that there are avenues for one’s voice to be heard, which can be found through the VCSA Executive members, the VCSA By-laws, and the Student Services office.
The Council is currently going through an internal restructuring of its executives.
The Community Coordinator 1 has taken on the Vice-President position, while the previous Vice-President now holds the position of Community Coordinator 1. Academic Affairs has changed to the position of Treasurer, following the resignation of the previous treasurer.
Communications Coordinators 1 and 2, as well as Clubs Coordinator 1, were impeached at different times during the Fall 2019 semester; Clubs Coordinator 2 resigned.
Therefore, the VCSA will be hosting by-elections for five open executive positions. Elections will be taking place on February 25th and on February 26th, 2020.
In their official statement, the council embraces the new changes, and “are thrilled about the possibilities they bring”.
They also express their gratitude towards their former executives “for their invaluable contributions and resolute dedication to the Association”.
What’s next for the Council?
A General Assembly was held on February 13th, 2020 at 6:00 pm, where the council aimed to set forth votes to motions for their new projects.
Unfortunately, this meeting did not reach quorum, which requires the presence of at least 1% of the college population, so no voting was able to take place, but the items on the agenda were discussed with those who attended the meeting regardless.
The topics covered were the council’s financial update, a statement about the restructuring of the council, organizing a strike to have a Fall Reading week, and the creation of a Student Insurance Plan.
The new Treasurer noted, about the financial statement, that any of the numbers could be accessed in the VCSA office, C-214; there would be a printed copy ready, and an appointment with her or the executive director of the association could be arranged.
In regards to the student insurance policy, the Vice-President is heading the project, and he revealed the results of the Omnivox survey pertaining to insurance. It was shown that a majority of students wanted some form of coverage, whether it be dental, medical, travel or a combination of the three.
The VCSA seems to have a number of new projects on the go, and how they come to fruition will be seen throughout this semester.
By India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner