Councillors given F for attendance
By Brendan Howe
An attempt to boot four councillors from the University Students' Council last night was half successful.
The motion spurred almost two hours of debate including questions on why no one noticed one councillor had not been to a meeting all year. Science councillor Jon Berger was absent without regrets for all eight council meetings and was not even a member of the faculty he was elected to represent.
"Something like this is comical because it's embarrassing to our council," said Michael Rubinoff, president of the Social Science Students' Council. His comments, along with several others, spurred debate on whose responsibility it is to keep track of councillor attendance.
Attendance is written in each meeting's minutes and the motion put forward to remove those members of council was after VP-communications James Deans and VP-finance Lucy Pinheiro went through the minutes and other attendance records.
Sally Brady, the councillor representing the MBA program, was the other member who was removed from council. She had only been present for one meeting of the eight mandatory ones, not including the one last night.
"We have a lot of evening employer meetings. If you don't go you don't get a job and one of the reasons I came back to school was to get a job," Brady said.
She added she originally sought the position because she thought there had to be more communication between the MBA Association and the USC.
Deans said every councillor was aware or should have been aware of the time commitment associated with being a councillor. He also noted they should have been aware of the by-law which states the attendance rules.
"The only thing you have to do is show up every second Wednesday at seven o'clock," Deans said.
The USC by-law states councillors must not miss more than four meetings in a year or two consecutively without regrets.
The business program's other representative, Geoff Herzog, who represents the HBA program, was among the four councillors as well. He, however, did not get removed from his seat on council.
Herzog used a similar excuse to Brady's, saying there are a lot of evening time commitments associated with being in the business program. Herzog attended four out of the eight council meetings. Soon after it was announced he was still on council he left the meeting.
The fourth councillor accused of poor attendance was engineering representative Mohammed Zebian. USC records stated he had only attended three meetings but he said he was sure he had attended more than that. He explained he has a lot of class time and other academic commitments.