Brock Rutter resigned in frustration on Thursday morning, leaving the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) without someone to oversee their elections for the third time this year.
“I just signed up for something to do on the side, I had no idea what I was getting into,” Rutter told The Daily. “I don’t care about student politics. I’m getting as far away from this as I can.”
Rutter was hired by the Society in January as their Chief Returning Officer (CRO) to oversee their upcoming March referendum to elect a new executive and run an accreditation vote.
Tensions arose in the middle of the week when several PGSS members – including one executive – raised concerns about the nomination period not being extended given that all of the candidates, four of which were incumbents, were running unopposed.
A debate between candidates erupted in a shouting match on Wednesday between Rutter and PGSS members concerned about potential bylaw violations, as well as the fact that the CRO was unelected, and instead appointed to his position.
PGSS External Affairs Officer Errol Salamon believes that PGSS has had trouble keeping CROs this year, partly because the position was changed from an elected position to a part-time, contractual one. “The position [used to be] taken more seriously,” he said.
The elections process has been delayed indefinitely until a new CRO is found, although Secretary-General Jonathan Mooney told The Daily that the Society had already received some applications.
The accreditation vote, which would make PGSS the legal representative of graduate students at McGill if successful, will go on as scheduled.