School year has not begun and already infighting in NUGSS

By Grant Bachand - Newsroom Director

***Disclaimer author has a personal and professional relationship with a subject in this article***

To those who follow student government, last year, NUGSS suffered from its fair share of infighting. One topic that was particularly heated was the idea of instituting an oversight board for NUGSS. The motion divided the board and created frictions between the directors. This year a new conflict has begun, that has to lead to one director being censured.

Censure is a governance term which means the board does not like the behaviors of that individual. 

At the August 24th, regular NUGSS meeting President Erik Searle tabled a motion which was aimed to have the NUGSS Board of Directors censure Director of Internal Affairs, Seth Jex. The motion was brought forward after the two disagreed as to the role of the Director of Internal Affairs. The censure of Director Jex was due to him publishing a document before the board had time to approve it, and his removal of another an admin from a NUGSS Facebook group.

CFUR reached out to NUGSS for comment and received the following:

We the NUGSS Board of directors herby censure Director Jex for his actions regarding the clubs package. His removal of all other administrators from the NUGSS S.L.O. Facebook Group, the posting of clubs package before I could be voted on by the Board and his failure to follow proper measures for time sensitive, online votes are things we consider inappropriate. We as the board recognize the Directors frustrations with the speed of the procedures for Board decisions, but we believe his methods in this circumstance to be inappropriate.

CFUR also reached out directly to Director Seth Jex for Comment and he provided the following:

Dear Students:
While it is clear that I did not violate policy, broke no bylaws and that my actions were in accordance with precedent from previous years, the NUGSS board still decided to censure me for my action in releasing the SLO package. The censure focused around my release of the SLO package to the student body before the board had “approved” it. While this document does not need board approval, nor had it been approved in years past I still gave my fellow board members weeks in advance to send me edits and comments. After three meetings discussing the SLO package and its edits, I felt confident to present it in final form at the August 17th meeting of the board. However this meeting was canceled due to lack of quorum from other members who could not attend. Due to the readily approaching school semester I felt that it was important to send out the SLO package to students instead of waiting another week. My role as outlined in policy is to create and process all SLO applications, allowing me to provide a competent and thorough recommendation on their approval to the board. The decision to release the SLO package is well within my ability as Director of Internal Affairs and does not violate any policy or precedent. This censure changes nothing in terms of my role or abilities as Director of Internal Affairs which only emphasises its ineffectiveness. For meaningful change edits to policy must be made, as ultimately it’s the policy that guides my actions.
I do not want this distraction to pull attention away from the real issues that the society is facing. So far, this year we have made some immense positive change for the society in regards to SLO policy, our budget and liability management and even work on board reform for our upcoming AGM. These are the achievements that make me eager to come to work and excited to work with my fellow board members. I encourage everyone remember the important parts of our mandates as student government and focus on those.
I was elected into this position and owe my job, to my constituents, the students of UNBC, who entrusted me to work for them. I will continue to work within my role as outlined in policy and bylaws to the best of my abilities to serve the students of UNBC. This year is going to be critical for our society’s future and I am committed to working together to seeing out collective goals accomplished.
Thank you,
Seth Jex
Director of Internal Affairs
Northern Undergraduate Student Society

NUGSS has an important year and ahead of it, and they have some critical issues to contend with: a significant debt load which students are becoming more and more impatient with; Thirsty Moose and Degrees still losing money, and concerns within the student body as the effectiveness and size of the NUGSS Board. The infighting that has already begun could potentially become a major problem for the society moving forward.