SLC questions South’s ability to represent

By Mary Chan

Students’ Legislative Council voted 13-5 in favour of allowing Students’ Union President Rob South to sit on the University of Calgary Presidential Review Committee Tuesday night. The motion was passed after a drawn-out discussion brought up ghosts of South’s conduct at the Feb. 4 Board of Governors meeting.

At the heart of the discussion was South’s role in the committee, which determines if U of C President Terry White is reappointed for another term.

Some members of SLC maintained South failed to represent students when he did not support a motion for a zero per cent tuition increase at the BoG meeting.

The questions of what "representation" entailed and whether SLC had the confidence in South to follow the definition frequently came up.

"I’m supposed to represent the views of students as often as possible," he said at the meeting.

"I’ve got to put forward as many opinions as I can."

All proceedings on the Presidential Review Committee are confidential, which means South can bring up students’ views in the committee, but he cannot bring back any discussion to SLC.

"I can’t come in with an organizational opinion that I’m supposed to 100 per cent vote on after receiving 12 weeks of information," he said, adding it was important to be flexible. "I’m supposed to use judgment to see what the students’ view would be."

Some other council members, including Vice-president Academic Heather Clitheroe, strongly disagreed.

"I don’t trust a representative who says he will exercise his judgement over the voice of students," she said.

Other VPs felt similarly.

"I do not have trust in South," said VP Operations and Finance Amanda Affonso. "I don’t think he would adequately represent me or my position on this committee."

Though South said he was "hurt" by the trust issues some councillors have, he says he wants to move past it.

"More and more that’s becoming an issue for them and not for me," said South. "If people can’t move on and work cooperatively, they’re hurting the work the SU can do for students, and they should think seriously about that."

The motion, which read, "Be it resolved that the 57th SLC support Rob South as the representative on the Presidential Review Committee," was moved by Academic Commissioner Brent Robinson and seconded by External Commissioner Andrew Ferguson. Clitheroe, Affonso, VP Events Jared Lorenz, Op-Fi Commissioner Tyler Brekko and Events Commissioner Evan Truman voted against it.


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