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PGSS Secretary-General resigns amid tensions in the executive


On January 20, Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) Secretary-General Juan Camilo Pinto submitted a letter of resignation to the PGSS executive. If PGSS Council accepts Pinto’s resignation at its next meeting on February 3, a special election for an interim Secretary-General will be held from February 18 to 24.

Pinto, who indicated that his resignation was motivated by personal reasons, will continue to fill the position until February 16. “Working at PGSS is a full-time job,” he told The Daily. “I had to decide whether I was furthering my research and working on my project or continuing with PGSS so […] that’s why I’m quitting PGSS, and also there’s a family situation that I have to take care of back in Colombia.”

On November 13, the PGSS Board of Directors passed a motion of censure against Pinto following complaints from PGSS members about his conduct. The PGSS executive later voted “no” during an informal vote of confidence regarding the Secretary-General on December 10.

“I think there were huge communication problems between the [Secretary-General] and the exec,” Member Services Officer Brighita Lungu told The Daily in an interview. “The communication problems […] made a lot things very complicated, so we hope that with this new resignation and the next [Secretary-General] things will go more swiftly and more easily.”

Chief Returning Officer Colby Briggs indicated in an interview with The Daily that several people had already expressed interest in the position, though Pinto originally ran unopposed and was elected with 61.3 per cent of the vote last May.

“I was actually quite surprised, there’s been a handful of people coming forward [to express interest],” said Briggs. “For the interim elections there’s about three people I already heard about.”

Members of the PGSS executive remain confident that they will be able to integrate the new Secretary-General into the team, and that the change in the position will not interfere with their work.

“The executive committee is committed to making sure that the projects that we started continue,” Financial Affairs Officer Nikki Meadows told The Daily. “I think there are things that may work better.”

“I don’t think it’s a huge challenge [to integrate a new Secretary-General],” added Lungu. “I think we have all the potential to support them.”

The nomination period began January 26 and runs until February 9.