Volume 95, Issue 55
Thursday, January 10, 2002
Baxter and Rafiq survive crucial vote
Impeachment motion defeated
By Erin Conway-Smith
By a vote of 22-6, the Social Science Students' Council defeated a motion last night that would have set in motion the wheels of impeachment for president Duane Baxter and VP-finance Owais Rafiq.
SSSC councillor Eric Fortin, who brought forth the motion, said a call for impeachment was a last resort after trying to resolve his concerns about Baxter and Rafiq for the past two months through other avenues.
"This is the only way I could raise these issues and ensure they would be discussed," he said.
Numerous members of council spoke strongly against Fortin's motion.
"This council has been dragged through enough shit this year you don't take a wounded horse, tie it to your pickup truck and drag it through the mud," said councillor Paul Yeoman.
Yeoman also noted the council has other important business to take care of apart from issues relating to financial problems, including upcoming elections.
Fortin's impeachment motions related mainly to the performance of Baxter and Rafiq in dealing with financial concerns related to overspending during Orientation week.
Liz Berman, VP-communications, seconded the motion and noted it was only a request to hold a meeting to discuss the motions of impeachment and was not a motion for impeachment itself.
"We've done a lot of good things, but it's the bad things that people like to hear and that's what they remember," said Cierra Watson, VP-social.
Watson added she "strongly opposed" the rationale for Fortin's motions of impeachment, in particular charges of lack of leadership on the part of Baxter and Rafiq.
Councillor Wendy Chau said it would be difficult for the SSSC to find a new president and VP-finance so close to the end of the year.
She also said the motion should have been brought forth as a posted motion and not introduced during the new business section of the council meeting.
Fortin's motion was brought forth during the new business section because it was not posted 24 hours before the council meeting, required procedure for a motion for impeachment.
Baxter told council he strongly disagreed with Fortin's motion.
Rafiq did not speak during the meeting. He later explained other councillors, who spoke against the motion, said everything that needed to be said. "They did the talking for me," he said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2002