Petition to Impeach CSU President Circulating
Website Takes Aim at Lex Gill
The petition lists the decline of student representation on the Board of Governors, slashed budgets and issues stemming from last semester’s byelection as some of the reasons for Gill to be removed from office.
Co-organized by former CSU councillor Tomer Shavit, Arts and Science Federation of Associations President Alex Gordon and Commerce and Administration Students’ Association President Marianna Luciano, the petition can be found online at stoplexgill.com .
An alternate website stoplexgill.ca swiftly went up later that day.
According to the CSU executive, the current petition does not comply with current bylaws, which state executive teams may be recalled to an election if the CEO receives a petition of 10 per cent of all the members of the student union. In this case, approximately 3,500 students would be required to sign the online document.
In the version of the bylaws currently in effect, Gill explained she could not be recalled to an election or removed from office as an individual.
This, she stated, would make the petition invalid even if it reached the required signatories.
Gill also called the clauses of the petition “rife with conjecture, misinformation, logical fallacies, defamatory statements and straightforward lies about myself, and more importantly the work of my executive team.”
“I am proud of my team, of this year, and will stand by our record,” she said at council.
Members of the executive then went through the accusations against Gill in the clauses and stood by their president, before council unanimously passed a motion of confidence in Gill.
Shavit, who took the CSU to the Judicial Board—the highest independent body of the CSU—over the firing of former CEO Bram Goldstein last semester, told The Link earlier in the day the petition was months in the making, but that “it took a while for everything to fall into place.” He added that volunteers will begin circulating the petition, and a Facebook page will be set up for discussion of the petition.
Later at the meeting, Shavit defended his petition, calling the bylaws to impeach a president “anything but straightforward” and “open to interpretation.” He maintained it was possible to simply impeach the president separately from the executive and would pursue that avenue.
“This is starting to remind me of another government,” said Shavit of the meeting, referring to President George W. Bush. “If we criticize ourselves, the terrorists win. Student governments are just as important.”
This is not the first time a CSU president has been called to resign.
In early 2002, then VP Finance Patrice Blais, who currently works as a lawyer for the CSU, took control of the union after the recall of his executive amidst serious questions about the union’s finances.
Again in 2009, a 3,600-signature petition was created to oust former CSU President Keyana Kashfi and was circulated in part by Blais. The petition was then sent to then-CEO Jessica Nudo, who resigned 25 hours after rejecting it.
More to come.
This story was updated Jan. 25, 2012 following the council meeting.