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Statement Regarding March 17th, 2019 Students' Union Council Meeting

The Students’ Union Representative Council (known as Council) meeting on March 17th, 2019 included an agenda item to discuss the appointment of the Vice President Finance and Operations (VPF&O) for the StFX Students’ Union (the Union) in 2019-2020. The conversation focused on the outcomes of the VPF&O interviews that took place on Saturday, March 9th, 2019.

On March 9th, the hiring panel for VPF&O voted 3-1-1 in favour of candidate Patrick Wallace. The Union’s Incoming President, Cecil VanBuskirk, extended an offer for the VPF&O position to Mr. Wallace. Mr. Wallace accepted this position. After the hiring process was completed, Mr. VanBuskirk later raised a concern to the Chair’s Office about an inconsistency between the Union’s Act of Incorporation (The Act) and the By-laws. The Union’s lawyer confirmed that an inconsistency existed and therefore The Act would supersede the By-Laws. The Act itself indicated that the President could appoint the VPF&O.

Based on this information, Mr. VanBuskirk intended to appoint another candidate for the position, Brody Haskell, as the incoming VPF&O for the Union in 2019-2020. Mr. Wallace was informed that the original offer he had accepted for the VPF&O position was rescinded.

In light of the inconsistencies brought forward during this hiring process, Council approved the use of up to $30, 000 from the Union’s endowment fund with the university for a review of all the Union’s governance documents, including but not limited to: The Act of Incorporation, the By-Laws, The Constitution, and the Policy Manual.

Council also approved the creation of an ad hoc committee to oversee the review process of all governing documents of the Union. The mandate and terms of reference for this ad hoc committee will be presented to Council for consideration at the Union’s Representative Council meeting on March 31st, 2019.

The Act of Incorporation was created in 1965 and last amended in 1972 through the Province of Nova Scotia. The Act does not currently align with the best practices of the Students’ Union. It is imperative that The Act is amended to provide all future StFX students with an equal opportunity to become engaged with the Union. The StFX Students’ Union remains committed to upholding its core values.

For more information, please contact the Chair of Council, Tanaka Chikwavaire at su_chair@stfx.ca or current Students’ Union President, Rebecca Mesay at su_pres@stfx.ca.

The minutes from the March 17th Council meeting will become available on March 31st on theu.ca under “Student Council.

Office of the President