Volume 96, Issue 78
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

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CASA buckles down: national director out

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Liam Arbuckle, the national director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, submitted his resignation last Friday after having been suspended by the CASA Board of Directors since Jan. 31.

Arbuckle's resignation is effective as of Mar. 15, said Erin Stevenson, communications co-ordinator for CASA, adding he will remain suspended until then.

"Tyler McLeod [current chair of CASA] takes over as interim national director," Stevenson said, adding a new national director will be chosen in early March.

Arbuckle was originally suspended after it was revealed that he had shared confidential information from a Board meeting concerning the upcoming election of a new national director with Josh Morgan, VP-education of Western's University Students' Council and candidate for CASA's national director position, Stevenson confirmed.

Morgan did not know the information was confidential, however, until the Board contacted him as part of their investigation, she added.

"The information [Morgan] was given did not give [him] an advantage – [however] Liam broke confidentiality," Stevenson said in explaining why Arbuckle resigned.

"For the integrity of the investigation and the best interests of CASA, I could not give the necessary information to exonerate myself," Morgan said, regarding his comments in the original story that ran in the Feb. 13 edition of The Gazette.

"[Concerning] the information I was given, I was not aware it was confidential at the time it was given to me," Morgan said.

He added that he met with a representative from CASA's Board that was conducting the investigation on Feb. 3, and was later exonerated of any wrongdoing.

Evan Mackintosh, president of the McMaster University Student Union, said he was shocked upon hearing of Arbuckle's resignation.

"It's definitely going to hurt the organization," Mackintosh said, adding CASA will get through it. " I have faith in CASA head office."

"We're at a point now, where [CASA has] done what they should have," Mackintosh said, but added he would have liked the information to have been released earlier, stopping the spread of rumours.

"Liam's resignation doesn't mean the Board found any wrongdoing," McLeod said, adding Arbuckle felt it was in his best interest to resign.

McLeod would not confirm whether Arbuckle resigned on his own free will, or was forced to resign by the Board.

"I don't think there's a scandal here," he said, adding because of CASA's bylaws, he will remain as interim national director until May 1.

"We wanted to make our investigation [very thorough]," McLeod said, in explaining why CASA waited so long to release any information on the matter.

Arbuckle could not be reached for comment.

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