During the September 4 meeting of the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS), the Council saw the resignation of Steven Curran, one of the three Arts Representatives to the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU). The resignation is the second to hit the AUS in just over a month, as the VP Academic left their position in late July. At that time the AUS had issued a press release stating that the Council would discuss the vacant position at their first meeting.
In accordance with AUS elections bylaws, any AUS council member could have put their name forward for the interim VP Academic position; however, James Chan, AUS Sponsorship Coordinator, was the only candidate in the running for the interim VP Academic position.
After a secret ballot, the Council decided not to assign an interim VP Academic.
In an email to The Daily, Enbal Singer, AUS VP Internal, commented on the vacancy of the VP Academic. “There may be challenges for us as an executive for the next month, but in taking these positions, we were aware that resignations do happen, and that our top priority is to provide the best representation and services to students.”
“We hope that an election produces the most qualified candidate as it comes from the entire Arts Undergraduate Society, rather than a limited pool of Council members and AUS Committee members,” she continued.
The AUS voted instead to have elections in early October to elect the now-vacant positions of VP Academic and Arts Representative to SSMU.
The nomination period for the two positions will take place between September 16 and 24. Any student fitting the criteria set forth by AUS Electoral Bylaws will be able to put their name forth for either position. Students will be able to vote online from October 3, at 9 a.m. until October 8, at 5 p.m..
In an interview with The Daily following the council meeting, AUS President Justin Fletcher explained the reasoning behind the move. “From my end, having an interim and then going into an election, having the interim campaigning during that election period, and then possibly bringing someone else new in, could be more disruptive to our overall work plans for the year.”
In response to the resignation of the Arts Representative to SSMU, the AUS decided to appoint Fletcher as an Arts Delegate to fill the vacant seat at the SSMU Council.
Singer explained that the absence of the VP Academic has not proved much of a burden to the executive committee.
“The VP Academic role is very important for our relations within the University, but not as time sensitive of a position, such as the VP Events that has to put on Frosh, or the VP Finance who has to complete the audit before a deadline,” Singer said.
Sue Jeong, Arts Representative to SSMU, stated, in an email to The Daily: “In regards to this decision, made by the AUS Council as a whole, I do not think that this would hamper his [Fletcher’s] duties as president.”
“In fact, I think that it might even allow him to directly serve as AUS’ official spokesperson, which is one of his main roles,” she added.
Council also moved a motion that amended some of the AUS Electoral Bylaws, changing campaigning policy to include a wider definition of social networking sites.
In addition, Council also voted on motions regarding the approval of the new AUS bookkeeper, equity committee officers, hires under the portfolios of the President, VP Finance and VP Communications, and Fine Arts Committee hires.