News | AUS VP Academic resigns, citing personal reasons

Position will be filled in September

As of yesterday, the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) Executive no longer has a VP Academic. Colleen Morawetz, the VP Academic elected in March and serving since May 1, has resigned, citing personal reasons. AUS announced the resignation with a press release on July 29.

As the AUS constitution stipulates, AUS Legislative Council will appoint an interim VP Academic in its first session of the school year on September 4. The interim candidate can be chosen from within the ranks of either Council or AUS committee members.

After the appointment of the interim VP Academic, Council will then vote on whether or not to hold a by-election for the position. The interim appointee will be eligible to run for the full-time position.

Both the appointment and the by-election decision will be voted on exclusively by voting members of AUS Council, though the session will be open to AUS members.

If Council does call an election, the elected member will remain for the year. However, if Council votes not to hold a by-election, the interim appointee will then hold the position for the rest of the academic year. In this case, Council could call an election later in the year, and the elected member would take over for the remainder of the academic year.

“Council could call an election for the VP Academic position at any point thereafter because if an election is not called, the VP Academic would be serving in an interim capacity,” AUS President Justin Fletcher told The Daily by email.

Currently, the AUS Executive Committee is fulfilling the responsibilities of the VP Academic position until the Council session on September 4. These responsibilities include liaising with the Faculty of Arts, as well as taking a part in academic and other support networks for Arts students.

Morawetz previously held the position of Arts representative to SSMU in the 2012-13 academic year. In that position, notably, she moved a motion along with other representatives to divest McGill from its holdings in fossil fuel companies.

As to Morawetz’s success in implementing projects as VP Academic up until her resignation, Fletcher noted, “AUS has had an exciting and productive summer, including the planning of a Frosh with an engaging and inclusive theme, the hiring and training of a full-time Executive Assistant following the Winter 2013 fee referendum, and the planning of numerous projects for the year, including a 24 hour space campaign.”

When asked how the AUS Executive will go about dividing the tasks of the position until September 4, Fletcher said most meetings the VP Academic must participate in also require the participation of the president and other members of the Executive.

Last year, the AUS VP Events also resigned citing personal reasons. Fletcher did not elaborate on the underlying reasons for Morawetz’s departure.

In a previous version of this article, The Daily incorrectly stated that the interim appointee can be chosen from within the ranks of either Council or AUS members. In fact, as per the AUS Constitution, general AUS members are not eligible for appointment as the interim – only AUS Council members or AUS Committee members.


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