(Pride)Western heads East

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

March 13, 2008 Ed Cartoon

On Tuesday, former PrideWestern co-ordinator Jamie East was informed he had been removed from his position. However, a day later he was told by University Students’ Council VP-campus issues James Arthurs that he will remain as a vice-chair of the organization.

The about-face by the USC raises questions as to why it decided to remove East in the first place and why it had a sudden change of heart. This appears to be no more rational than removing the head coach of a fledgling team, only to make him an assistant coach the next day.

If the USC Board of Directors decided PrideWestern was in such a shambles, Arthurs should have been decisive enough to stick to his guns and help kickstart a fresh direction for an organization that represents many Western students.

In this instance, the almost-immediate change in the USC’s position makes it appear as if it has pandered under pressure by other services to reinstate East.

Furthermore, the decision by Arthurs makes it questionable as to how effective it was to fire East in the first place, particularly with only a month left in the school year.

Admittedly, Pride has had its share of issues this year, notably getting itself in financial trouble. However, perhaps it would have been more effective to deal with East’s status earlier in the year. As well, the USC should have been decisive rather than waffle on its position.

Despite the problems PrideWestern has had this year, East should be credited for gracefully returning to the organization and even offering to sacrifice his honorarium to ensure Pride can hold its Pride Ball.

Regardless of how things went this year, having East as a part of Pride for the remainder of the year will help ensure any restructuring will not be influenced too heavily by the board.

Already this year, the USC has been accused by some Pride members of intervening too much in the group’s activities, like with its annual Homo Hop event.

The events of the past week have also brought to light how the USC should go about handling its co-ordinators when services are floundering.

The current regulations with respect to removing co-ordinators is vague and does not outline specific policies for when it is justified or what the process is to remove them. This must be clarified or reworded in the event other services undergo similar crises in the future.

Overall, such indecision shows it is crucial that all parties involved focus on doing what is best for Pride. This includes the group drafting a constitution and instituting a financial plan for next year.

Having these mechanisms in place by the spring is intrinsic to the future success of PrideWestern.

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