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Arts VP Events resigns amidst speculation of impeachment

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The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) VP Events Namapande Londe has resigned from her post, according to an AUS press release dated September 14. 
Londe’s departure comes a week after the first AUS Council meeting of the year, when Londe reported that Arts Frosh – a central part of the VP Events’ portfolio – would run a deficit for the first time in several years.

Though registration shortfall was cited as an official reason for the financial loss, in the days after Council, Londe was singled out as responsible for many of the management and budgeting errors made while the event was being planned.

However, the press release – signed by AUS President Dave Marshall and VP Communications Frances Hui – stated that this was not a factor in Londe’s decision.

“Contrary to recent speculation as to Ms. Londe’s resignation over issues pertaining to the budget and organization of the AUS 2010 Frosh event, Ms. Londe cited personal issues in her decision to resign,” Hui and Marshall wrote. “Ms. Londe wrote in her resignation letter to the AUS Executive, ‘Unfortunately due to personal reasons, I will have to take a year off from my studies at McGill, and will therefore no longer be eligible to fill [the position of VP Events]’.”

Arts Senator Amara Possian told The Daily in an email that she and other councillors were considering moving forward with impeachment if Londe did not resign. She noted that several Frosh coordinators, who had worked under Londe to plan Frosh, had also expressed an interest to her in seeing Londe replaced.

“We were waiting for the release of the budget so we could see how much student money was lost and so we had time to look into how financial decisions were made,” Possian wrote. “Regardless, we had the constitutional grounds to go forward with an impeachment if necessary.”

In a separate email to The Daily, Londe said that she was aware of the impeachment rumours, but reiterated that they did not factor into her decision.

“I was never planning on resigning or even on taking a year off, but I received some very distressing news Tuesday morning that made me realize I was going to have to take the year off, which forced me to resign my position,” Londe wrote. “I had heard that all of the buzz surrounding Frosh might have been leading to impeachment, but again, I was never planning to resign. I stand by what I said in Council, and in the interviews I gave, which is that Frosh was a learning process for me and for everyone involved.”

Marshall, however, explained that as of September 14, no official impeachment proceeding had gone forward. “There was no plan amongst the executives to go forward with impeachment. I can’t speak for all of council of any motion going forward. There was no business slated for Council when the [press release] was written,” he said.

AUS Council is expected to elect a new VP Events at its next session, on September 22.