Volume 95, Issue 58

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
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Three's company...

Gazette Investigation: A council in disarray

Library fines are like nose bleeds

Golden hippies still camping in principal's office

Repeat sexual offender kills himself

CASA kids launch "new" national campaign

News Briefs

Gazette Investigation: A council in disarray

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

A series of internal Social Science Students' Council e-mails obtained by The Gazette paint the picture of a council falling into complete disarray.

Between Jan. 10 and 14, members of the SSSC traded a number of mass e-mails. Each of the e-mails, which were sent to current members of the SSSC and ex-officio councillors, discuss the state of the council's integrity.

SSSC councillor Eric Fortin, who brought a motion to council last week to impeach president Duane Baxter and VP-finance Owais Rafiq, sent the first e-mail in the chain.

"I have chosen to continue with [the impeachment] endeavour as I believe it is in the best interests of the Social Science Students, and this Council, as well as the only way to ensure that these issues are public and expediently remedied," Fortin wrote.

In the same message, Fortin apologized to the council for informing The Gazette of last week's impeachment motion before the council was notified.

Fortin resolved not to inform The Gazette of "anything relating to Council beyond that which I would present for immediate release."

Fortin's third message circulated Jan. 13:

"I have allowed emotional irrationality to affect my decision-making and direction," he wrote. "It was arrogantly my intention to present motions of impeachment... it is wholly unreasonable for me to continue in this light."

Fortin said he had decided not to pursue an additional motion for Baxter and Rafiq's impeachment. Further motions, he said, would be at the expense of "further divisions" of the council.

"I have lost my faith in some executive officers," he added.

A retort written by VP-student affairs Cierra Watson circulated on the same day and called Fortin's actions "nothing but that of destruction and embarrassment [to the] council."

"I want an answer, Eric," she wrote. "Have your feelings of disapproval suddenly retreated since you do not have the votes of council behind you?

"We all know that elections are on the forefront," she added, finishing "I expect your reply, and do be sure to respond to the issue of resignation."

Watson also vowed to exclude Fortin from all confidential matters over the next three months.

In an e-mail dated Jan. 13, Baxter encouraged his council to "cool off" and "simmer down" before making further replies.

Fortin made his fourth reply on Jan. 14 in a 7-page e-mail, reiterating his reasons for initially pursuing impeachment and defending his recent actions.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001