By Don McHoull
After three hours of secret discussion on Monday, the RyeSAC Board of Directors produced a long list of ideas on how RyeSAC can deal with the crisis brought on by Sajjad Wasti’s letter that accused the group’s managers and executives of being corrupt.
The suggestions proposed at the emergency meeting included holding a review of RyeSAC’s involvement with the Canadian Federation of Students, making executive meetings more open to the public and offering training for first-year executives.
Board member Alex Lisman said the suggestion to train executives was redundant because it already happens.
“It’s there, we just need to make people aware of it,” he said.
The suggestions were drawn up during a session in which members of the board split into small groups and brainstormed solutions to RyeSAC’s problems.
Some of the solutions proposed were bizarre, such as the idea of the board eliminating its formal voting structure in favour of a system where members would express approval by making “twinkling-star” motions with their hands.
Others were more serious, such as the suggestion that the board, not the executive, should decide on what RyeSAC’s stance should be on external issues such as protesting the FTAA.
The discussion of the solutions and of the issues surrounding Wasti’s accusatory letter was held out of view of the campus press, after a motion to exclude non-board members passed by a margin of 9 to 7 at the start of the meeting.
“We’ve been having this debate out in public, and I’m not positive what it’s done,” said RyeSAC president Darren Cooney, who proposed the motion.
The immediate solutions to the crisis proposed by the board included a motion of censure, impeaching a member of the executive, and having the board issue an official response to Wasti’s letter.
The first two options were blocked by a motion exempting Wasti from any punishment, but the board did agree to produce an official statement on the letter.
Board member Dave MacLean said he did not see the need for an official statement.
“I think that by voting as we did, we made a statement already,” he told the board.
The motion to issue a statement passed narrowly by a 7-to-6 margin, and a statement will now be prepared for a future board meeting.
The most immediate step for RyeSAC will be entering into a confliction resolution process with a mediator from ST. Stephen’s Community House.
The board’s exoneration of Sajjad might hurt the medication process, Cooney said.
“I’m unsure as to the relevance of the mediator after the board has basically ratified the actions,” he said.
Wasti said he was willing to enter mediation, but insisted he had no plans on apologizing for the letter.
“I am representing the larger student body here, So I don’t think my own opinions should be included in this,” he said. “Students are advising me not to apologize