Meg Hodges, Municipal Councillor for the County of Kings and first year Politics student, sent out a mass email on Sunday, January 27th stating her concerns with the revised ASU bylaws.
Hodges had collected support on a petition to put the proposed Acadia UPass on the ballot for the February 2019 election. Hodges had gone through the bylaw process, which required the petition to gain signatures from 10% of the student population. The question would then be put on the ballot by the Chairperson of the ASU, Molly Anderson.
A week after Hodges submitted the petition to the ASU, the new election bylaw came into force, effectively removing the ability for student-initiated petitions to be considered. Hodges noted in her mass email that the conduct of the ASU was not undemocratic but instead “becoming an authoritative dictatorship by threatening students with punishment for participating in healthy debate or questioning elected officials.”
Hodges alleged in her email that ASU General Manager Ian Morrison told Anderson not to put the question on the ballot until a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Kings Transit and the ASU. Hodges noted that the ASU “has no right or agency to demand a signed MOU from Kings Transit without the permission that would enter a referendum result of yes from the students.”
Hodges stated that Kings Transit has been cooperative, meeting all the requirements for the petition to make it onto the ballot as a referendum question.
“The students’ council needs to understand that democracy on our campus is dysfunctional and unhealthy – at best,” she wrote. “It is their obligation to uphold our bylaws and allow the UPass to go to a vote.”
In addition to her duties as a Councillor, Hodges also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Kings Transit.
For further information the next Students’ Representative Council meeting will be on Tuesday, January 29th at 5:00 pm.
Josée Léger is a third year Politics student and News Editor of The Athenaeum