September 24, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 15  

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McGill student prez resigns after sucking

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

Due to the recent resignation of its president, uncertainty plagues the Students' Society at McGill University.

SSMU President Naeem Datoo's letter of resignation was submitted Sep. 8 after the executive unanimously agreed to ask him to step down, said SSMU VP-community and government Brianna Hersey.

According to Hersey, Datoo discussed his potential resignation on a couple of occasions in the beginning of August - two subsequent meetings regarding how to improve his job performance proved fruitless. Datoo then submitted his resignation per the executive's request.

Although VP-university affairs Vivian Choy is the acting president, the SSMU is facing a constitutional challenge as a result.

"A by-election does not necessarily follow [the resignation of the president]. It's up to council to decide whether it's necessary to have a by-election and that's coming up Thursday [at the SSMU meeting]," Hersey said.

Hersey said there is a clear divide among students who want a by-election and those who do not.

University Students' Council President Paul Yeoman became fairly well acquainted with Datoo at a Canadian Alliance of Student Associations retreat this past June.

"We had a president's roundtable - I remember Naeem trying to feel out what we did at other schools; he seemed to have his stuff together," he said.

Yeoman added the news surprised him, as SSMU is a well-established student council. "I wish them all the best. It's not an easy thing to be faced with," he added.

Yeoman said he can not blame students for their renewed interest in the council.

A by-product of this resignation, though, is the "lively" debate it has sparked on McGill's campus, Hersey noted.

While students at McGill have been mobilized to understand their institutional framework, many students here at Western may not know what could happen if the USC president was unable to fulfill his or her responsibilities.

"The legal affairs officer steps in as acting president, until the Board of Directors can select a new president," said Kendell Wilde, the USC's legal affairs officer.



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