Two contentious amendments to the Victoria University Student Administrative Council constitution have abruptly been withdrawn from consideration after being proposed and debated in recent meetings.
One amendment would have ensured that only Canadian citizens could serve as president of the VUSAC, the other that only Victoria students with at least one year of experience on the VUSAC would be eligible for the presidency.
Both amendments have since been withdrawn, but not before inciting considerable dissent, both within the VUSAC and in the student body.
The first amendment was advanced in order to make the VUSAC constitution compliant with the Victoria University Act, which assigns a seat on the Board of Regents, Victoria University’s highest governing body, to the President. The Act also stipulates that all members of the Board of Regents must be Canadian citizens. Students have alleged that discussion of the proposal was redacted from council meeting minutes after they were posted on the VUSAC website.
The second amendment was motivated by a conviction among some students that only a candidate with prior VUSAC experience could serve as an effective president. But some VUSAC executives and students believed that the amendment would aggravate the so-called ‘VUSAC bubble,’ which is said to isolate the council from its constituents and deter parts of the Victoria University population from becoming involved in student government.
“Instead of trying to bring people into the process of student government, this council is spending its time insulating itself from the student body,” said Zack Medow, a former VUSAC presidential candidate.
Although neither proposal was approved, there will be another opportunity to introduce constitutional amendments in the second semester.