J-blows past SU politics

While all good things eventually must come to the end, sometimes that end comes sooner than expected.

Such is true for former Students’ Union vice-president events Eric Jablonski who resigned from his position Wed., Aug. 1, after receiving late admission to the University of Calgary faculty of medicine.

Jablonski applied to the medical school last October, at the time, however, he was not planning to run for a second term as VP events. When he was acclaimed to his position in February, he had not yet heard from the school. Two weeks after the election he was called for an interview and on Tue., Jul. 31 he was accepted abruptly.

“The timing just didn’t match up,” explained Jablonski. “I had to have a plan and I had to have a backup plan, and that’s just how it worked out.”

Jablonski stressed he is confident that one of his commissioners could easily take over his position, as three of the four–Richard Freeman, Josh Sandulak and Pamela Weatherbee–have served a previous term. While he was not concerned about the position being filled, he recognized a need to fill it as soon as possible.

“This is one of the busiest times for this job–between now and September,” said Jablonski. “We’re really hoping that we have a definitive answer, because we really need someone working in this office full-time planning for U of C 101, Kickoff, clubs week–there are a ton of things.”

Despite the critical timing, SU president Julie Bogle is not concerned about the VP events’ job being carried out.

“The majority of upcoming events have already been planned,” she said. “Some of the details just need ironing out.”

The SU must now follow the appropriate by-laws to fill the vacant position, which is a two-step process, explained SU policy advisor and governance coordinator Andrea Fugeman-Millar. An interim VP must first be chosen by the Students’ Legislative Council from the current events commission. A permanent replacement will be then be chosen in the SU by-election, which all U of C students are eligible to run in.

Fugeman-Millar added that while the interim VP will be able to return to the position of events commissioner, commissioners who run for the permanent position will not automatically be returned their title if they lose the election.

As the VP events position is a full-time job, both the interim and permanent replacement will only be allowed to take one class per semester. Fugeman-Millar noted this requirement may pose added risk to potential candidates who have already registered for the fall courses, and therefore, limit the electoral scope of the by-election.

Bogle stressed the solution to this problem lies within the ongoing re-examination of the SU’s bylaws.

“What needs to be kept in mind is that the majority of the bylaws were written 10 years ago,” noted Bogle. “We did a major overhaul last year, but when it comes to sticky situations like this, we realize there are still things that need to be examined.”

According to Bogle, it is not yet known whether the replacement VP will have to follow Jablonski’s platform. However, there is one particular weekly event that Jablonski hopes his successor will continue to put as much passion into as he has.

“[That Empty Space] was the most fun part of the job, and maybe that was just me personally, but it’s always a good time,” he said. “You have 100 people who are there every week, and it kind of proves that even if some of your little events bomb, you know you are doing something right because people are coming to that.”

A name will be brought forward to be appointed as interim VP events at the Students’ Legislative Council Tue., Aug. 21, noted Bogle. The SU by-election will be in mid-October.

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