By Alexandra Christopoulos
A self-proclaimed “outspoken” member of the Ryerson Students’ Union board of directors resigned on Friday, saying he could no longer co-operate with the current executive.
RSU Faculty of Arts board director Nick Gauthier submitted his resignation notice to the board by e-mail and announced that he would not run for the board in the upcoming election.
“It has become all too clear that I cannot in good conscience continue working another day as a board director for the Ryerson Students’ Union under the direction of the current executive members,” he wrote. “Sadly, my efforts have increasingly been held in check by those whose political and personal interests do not match my own.”
The executive learned of his decision after the fact, Vice-President Education Nora Loreto said. “It would have been nice if Nick had voiced his concerns to the executive,” she said. “We actually didn’t get that letter.” Gauthier had undertaken a project to start course unions for four academic programs.
He said he had been approached by students and planned to hold elections this term. But the executive decided that the project “needed to be taken over from my direction” at a meeting that Gauthier was not invited to attend last Thursday, he said.
“It’s like being on a baseball team and having the pitcher tell the outfielder to hit the showers because he doesn’t like the way I’m catching fly balls,” he said. “The pitcher isn’t the boss, he’s just out front. I cannot continue to support people like that.”
But RSU president Rebecca Rose rejected those notions, calling his resignation and comments “pretty classic Nick.” The executive asked Gauthier to stop co-ordinating the course union elections because it was concerned about the validity of the course union election nomination forms, she added. The forms, which Gauthier was responsible for creating, “were not real nomination forms,” Rose said.
She said the RSU had to restart the entire elections process in order to ensure that the process was fair for the course unions. “What it came down to was disappointing (Gauthier) or four other programs,” she said. Rose and Loreto ran on an RSU (formerly RyeSAC) candidate slate with Gauthier in 2004. Loreto, Gauthier and presidential candidate Carlos Flores were defeated, while Rose was elected as vice-president education for 2004-2005.
Though he will not be running for the RSU position, Gauthier is seeking election to academic council and the board of governors. Despite criticism and questions from his former colleagues, he says he does not regret his decision.
“The current executive have crossed a line and it is clear to me now that the current RSU politics is far more important than the people” he said. “The student union was a home to me and it’s clear that because of politics like this, I am no longer welcome back in the club.
“This latest issue is the straw that broke the camel’s back.”