Volume 93, Issue 40

Wednesday, November 10, 1999


Top soph dismissed by Essex executive

Engineer review to begin today

Aboutown drivers alleged in Fanshawe student beatings

Monopoly still a threat

Shelter proposal to go before city



Caught on campus

Top soph dismissed by Essex executive

By John Intini and Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

The head soph at Essex Hall was removed from his post earlier this week, leaving a number of questions surrounding his dismissal.

President of the Essex Hall residence association, Sumon Chakrabarti, said fourth-year social sciences student Mark Sheard was dismissed from his position Sunday, based on what the association's six member executive deemed an unsatisfactory job performance.

However, Sheard said the decision to strip him of his duties was made in haste. "This was an arbitrary decision made by six members of the association rather than the entire elected body as well as the [residence's] wing representatives."

Sheard added his dismissal did not allow him due process. "There wasn't a warning prior to the meeting in regards to the three issues they cited," he said, explaining he was told the decision was due to discrepancies in the orientation week budget, personality conflicts and his failure to attend several residence events. "In my opinion, none of those reasons, either on their own or put together, have any merit to warrant the removal of this voice on the association."

Chakrabarti said he could not comment on the specific reasons as to Sheard's removal, but did confirm the decision was in part based on budgetary issues. "Mark was given more than one warning. I stress this is totally job-related and not a conflict of opinions."

Sheard said he recieved an email complaint from Chakrabarti in April over communicaton problems between himself and members of the association, but said the issue had been resolved.

At a meeting Monday night, Sheard pleaded his case in front of the association and a group of about 60 supporters. University Students' Council orientaion officer, Jessica St. Peter, also supported Sheard by describing him to the association as a truly phenomenal leader.

The meeting then went into confidential and Sheard was the only non-voting member permitted to stay.

Communication co-chair and executive member Chad Hensler said Sheard's dismissal was raised at the meeting to explain the executive's rationale to the rest of council.

Second-year kinesiology student Adam Luck, an Essex resident, said he thought the procedure was unfair. "Even after [the students] waited outside for an hour and a half they still didn't answer our questions as to why Mark was removed," he said.

Sheard said he too was upset the meeting closed its doors to public scrutiny. "It surprised me that this executive, elected to represent the best interests of residents, completely ignored what [residents] wanted."

Hensler said one of the reasons the meeting went into confidential was because many of the students present were not Essex residents.

Jason Buccino, residence manager at Essex Hall, said no decision has been made by housing and ancillary services with regards to the issue of Sheard's guaranteed bed in residence. Buccino said housing reserves the right to move an impeached soph to another residence.

Sheard said he was still looking into the matter and his position was too important to him to just walk away. "This isn't the final word."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999