New chief kept under wraps
By Karena Walter
Representatives from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance voted for a new director yesterday but no winner was announced.
A one-and-a-half-hour teleconference saw the five member schools cast one vote each for an interim director to replace Mike Burns. Burns, the organization's executive director, was laid off this month because the organization cannot afford to keep him due to current financial woes.
The job description of the new director will be different from that of Burns', the first executive and founder of the organization. The position will be part-time and all staff and consultant positions have been eliminated.
The two candidates vying for the new part-time executive position are Jane Pak, a former president of the Waterloo Federation of Students and Rick Martin, OUSA's senior policy advisor.
"Everyone voted but we haven't reached a decision yet for reasons I can't tell you right now," said Eric Canale, one of Western's representatives.
The schools will be in contact with each other today but there is no guarantee a decision will be announced this week. "We want to be sure of this. We want to make an informed decision," Canale said.
Chris Walsh, Western's University Students' Council's VP-student issues, said the two candidates are both very qualified for the position. A preliminary vote was taken at the beginning of the conference to see where everybody stood and then discussion took place about the direction of OUSA as an organization.
"The general agreement is we'd like to have an answer by Monday," Walsh said. He was optimistic the organization is well on its way to making a decision.
The part-time director will begin his or her position immediately following a decision, Walsh said.
Burns was let go effective Jan. 2 because OUSA was not able to meet its original budget. An unexpected lawsuit against OUSA and a review of its bylaws meant legal fees for the organization were higher than projected. As well, planned cost-sharing of administrative staff with the Ontario Community College Student Parliamentary Association did not come to fruition. His term was originally slated to end April 30.