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I have a few answers to the questions in Sandra’s post, and a few comments as well. First of all, the article was not intended to be another article about why Sandra quit the council, and I’m sorry if that is the impression it made. The primary intent of the article was to discuss the issues that arose from not just that event, but all of the events that have occurred in council recently. This is also why I did not discuss the reprimand against the president which was already mentioned in the article that I referenced in my article. The few places that I did go into detail on what happened were only because I felt it was necessary to discuss the issue.
Secondly, I did attempt to consult Sandra about the issues. I in fact sent her the same e-mail that I sent Debbie, but I sent it to her AUSU e-mail. Tamra Ross Low advised me that Sandra’s AUSU e-mail was probably no longer working, and she agreed to forward the e-mail to Sandra’s personal e-mail on my behalf. I was going to include this fact in the article, but I did not and still do not know why I did not receive a reply. For all I know the e-mail got lost in the vast internet somewhere or was accidentally deleted. Who knows? In retrospect I probably should have followed up but it was Christmas and my family was all home so of course it was not on the top of my mind. By the time I had received Debbie’s response and started to write the article I did not have time to try again to contact Sandra and wait for a response because in my opinion it was already getting old and delaying it anymore would have made it really old news. Instead I decided to take the information I needed from her posts on this discussion board, which I copied into my computer before they were removed.
I also had a long discussion with Tamra Ross Low who was involved in some of the recent conflicts mentioned in Sandra’s first post and who has also been attending all of the council meetings. Although there were no direct quotes in the article from her she did help to give me another person’s perspective on the situation. I also thought about contacting Nicholas but since no one else has had much luck lately and because I figured that he probably has enough people trying to contact him already I decided not to.
Another reason why I did not contact everyone is because I am still a busy student, and as such I did not want to read lengthy comments from all nine councillors and Tamra Ross Low. I thought that I had enough information for the article I was writing and I tried to make it as impartial as possible. Speaking of Tamra Ross Low I think that she is doing a great job of covering council activities in her editorials (and she actually did mention the reprimand against the President in her article), and I did not say anywhere in my article that it is her job or duty to report these things. The reason that she is doing this is because no one else is. She is an extremely busy person who does a lot of paid and non paid work for AU students, so I think that we can be thankful to get whatever coverage she gives us. Hopefully, more students will start attending council meetings and write about them so that we will have even more coverage in the future.
Thirdly, I agree with Debbie’s statement that when a councillor is removed all we need to know is which councillor was removed and what policy violations occurred. If some people want more details then they can ask the councillors who will let them know, but there is no need to make a general announcement of every little thing that happened. Dwelling on nitty gritty details may be entertaining but it serves no useful purpose. In my opinion one of the reasons why Sandra’s resignation has received so much attention is because of the fact that every little detail was exposed on the discussion board by Sandra herself which has lead to more curiosity about what happened and why.
Furthermore, all of the circumstances surrounding the resignation and the fact that another councillor was removed at the same time was bound to receive more attention than the President’s reprimand. The case of the President’s reprimand was also more cut and dry. She had a motion of reprimand against her because she requested an expense payment before it was approved. The motion was considered at a council meeting, passed and placed on her record. I think that Sandra’s situation received more attention because there were more details and therefore more questions.
Moreover, the motion was not dealt with at a council meeting, so we had no final decision made by the council on the matters that were exposed in the document that Sandra placed on the discussion board. Maybe these things should have received the same amount of attention, but we can’t change that now. It does give us something to think about for future articles though. I would also like to clarify that when I spoke about the President’s concern about placing information on the internet I was speaking of the MAIN AUSU website not the student secure area. I had hoped that using the words “main AUSU website” would indicate to people that I was not including the student secure area of the website. My intention was not to have people think that the President thinks we need secrecy in these matters. When I read her comments on the recent events I did not feel as though she was trying to hide anything from me and I did not get the impression that she wanted to keep secrets from the students. I wanted to write an article that dealt with some issues that I felt were raised by recent events.
I hope that what students will take away from the article is the idea that they can ask questions and let the Council know what they want and what they don’t want. I also hope it will encourage more people to get involved and write about their involvement so that other students will have a better idea of what is going on. I did not want the students to focus on the people mentioned in the article just the ideas.