Editorial—Should it be a Bi-Election if it Happens Twice in a Term?

Editorial—Should it be a Bi-Election if it Happens Twice in a Term?

While I’m still working on the most recent Council Connection, one thing I can tell you is that it’s time to get yourselves ready for another by-election.  Last time, I reported on Monique Durette stepping down from the executive position to that of a regular councillor.  This most recent meeting came with notice of her resignation from AUSU Council altogether.  Along with her, Councillor Darcie Fleming has announced her resignation to be effective as of May 1, 2021, and Kathryn Hadden was sadly removed from Council for failing to keep up to the academic standards required.  (In layman’s terms, she hasn’t actually been in an AU undergraduate course in quite some time, a requirement to serve on AUSU.) This will cause the second policy-forced by-election for this council in a single term.

While not unprecedented, it is a rare occurrence, and it makes me wonder if the nature of the commitment is being stressed strongly enough to students who want to become candidates.

This latest resignation will leave AUSU Council at seven students, and with the addition of the newest executive, means that the executive team has more votes than the rest of the Council.  This is a dangerous place for a students’ union to be, as there is significant history of various students’ unions being taken over by an executive team that has gone on to do significant damage to the union while benefiting themselves.  This is usually preceded by communications from the students’ union about their activities becoming less frequent or fulsome.

Having said that, with what I’ve gathered from attending many meetings of AUSU Council, as well my conversations with various council members and members of the executive team, I don’t think there is a significant danger of that happening to AUSU with the current group.

But the important part of all this is that council needs to hold a by-election, not only to adhere to policy, but because it’s a security feature for the students’ union to have more councillors at large than executive members.  And I’ve already been informed that plans are already being made for the next by-election for AUSU Council.

So, if you’ve been thinking you’ve got some great ideas for ways that the students union could better spend your money to benefit students, or some things that AU needs to be told to make a priority, you may soon get your chance.

And while we’re on the topic of AUSU, if you’re interested in what the students’ union is doing with your membership fees, but really don’t feel the need to be on council, maybe you want to consider becoming the Voice Magazine’s new council reporter.  If you’re a current undergraduate student who can commit to sitting through a couple of hours of scintillating* conversation each month, we’ll give you some support in putting together a good council meeting report, and even pay you a bit for the time required.

Meanwhile, this week, the Voice Magazine brings you a fresh student interview with a student whose goal is nothing less than to change people’s lives.  Plus a couple of quick and easy recipes to choose from whether you like lasagna or beef souvlaki, what these recipes have in common is that they’re quick and easy for a busy student like you to make.

And, of course, we’ve got advice, course reviews, news, events, character explorations, scholarships and more.  Enjoy the read!

* Scintillation may vary based on the perceiver

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