Council votes to keep ex-Soph despite claim of sexual advances
By Brendan Howe
A first-year Saugeen-Maitland Hall resident made an emotional plea to the University Students' Council last night to remove Stuart Trier, USC Saugeen representative, from council for actions allegedly taken during orientation week.
A motion was made to council to remove Trier, spurring over three hours of heated debate, but eventually it was defeated in a secret ballot. Trier was stripped of his position as Soph in mid-September for alleged actions taking place on Sept. 6. Last Wednesday, Trier was brought before a disciplinary committee which made a recommendation to council last night to remove the Saugeen rep.
Trier was accused of leaving Western's campus on Sept. 6 and proceeding to a keg party where he allegedly consumed alcohol and harassed a first-year Saugeen resident both actions were in violation of his Soph contract.
The female student, in an address to council, said she went to the party with Trier on the Saturday of Frosh week and was the only Frosh who was there. She said she recalled Trier holding a cup of beer at the party, one of three he allegedly consumed. She also said he made sexual comments to her during the night.
"He told me if I had sex with his friend Rog he would eat me out," she said, on the verge of tears. She also said as they were parting, Trier asked if she was going to kiss him goodbye. Then he kissed me, she said.
Trier said the accusations were false. He told council he went to the party but only drank water while there. "In my mind I did nothing wrong. I did not make those comments," Trier said.
USC President Ryan Parks was chair of the disciplinary committee and heard testimony from nine witnesses, including Trier, recounting the night's activities. "As chair of the committee my position was quite clear on what I thought should have been done," Parks said, explaining he was in favour of the motion.
"I don't feel he should represent the USC," Kevin Tribe, orientation officer for the USC, said, adding the decision to defeat the motion was swayed by ignorance. "There's a lot of people who don't know what went on."
Michael Rubinoff told council there are many reasons why anyone could be considered a bad councillor. "I don't think the committee found he was a bad councillor, they found he was a bad Soph," he said.
Saugeen Residents' Council President Ricardo Mathison said the executive at Saugeen is going to feel very uncomfortable with Trier sitting on their council as USC rep for the rest of the year.
"I was absolutely furious at how some of the councillors manipulated the information. They made the victim look like the aggressor," Mathison said. He added the reason the first-year student spoke out was because Trier was denying the accusations and she thought that was wrong.
"I found it very demeaning he would do these things to me," she said. She added a week later at about 4 a.m. while she was sleeping, Trier came into her room and started making out with her.
Trier said that was a blatant lie and had no idea why the girl said those things about him.