Hearing Hits SAA

Publication YearIssue Date 

For the second time in three months, controversy plagues a Students’ Academic Assembly Faculty of Management Representative.

A hearing was granted to Management student Jennifer Bond to determine if current SAA representative Ryan Cartwright is in violation of section 58 of the Students’ Union Governance bylaws. Parts of the bylaw state that a Faculty Representative must represent his or her faculty, student organizations and students.

At the root of the issue is the Faculty of Management electoral process, in which an Undergraduate Student Representative is internally elected before each year’s SU General Election. The winner then nominates themselves for the SAA representative position and is acclaimed.

“We have had [internal] elections every year for as long as I can remember,” said Commerce Undergraduate Society President Nancy Le Bosquain. “It’s advertised around the faculty, then whoever wants to run can run.”

According to the application for a hearing, this year’s CUS election did not end before the SU General Election’s nomination deadline. The CUS candidates, who could have applied for the SAA position, did not nominate themselves out of respect for one candidate who was away due to family illness. Cartwright, who did not run in the CUS election, nominated himself for the SAA position and was acclaimed.

Cartwright is not recognized as the faculty representative by Faculty of Management student organizations or the faculty, and was not invited to serve on faculty committees. Bond, who won the cus election, believes Cartwright cannot competently act as a student representative.

“Within the Faculty of Management he is not recognized as the undergraduate student representative,” she said. “It is not feasible for Cartwright to effectively perform his duties as a member of the SAA without the support and recognition of the students and faculty that he claims to represent.”

Bond has the support of the faculty and faculty groups, including CUS.

“It is important to know who your representative is,” said Le Bosquain. “I don’t even know who he is or where to find him. I saw what [1998/99 SAA Management Representative] Geoff [Revell] did last year, talking to faculty, to students, and bringing it back to the SU, and I haven’t seen Cartwright do that.”

Cartwright believes he can act as a student liaison between the faculty and the SU.

“I’m very confident that I will be able to represent them,” he said. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I applied to be in this position like the other SAA reps.”

Cartwright declined to comment on other aspects of the case until the hearing, which will be conducted at 6 p.m. on Wed., June 30 in Council Chambers.
According to Committee Chair and SU President Rob South, the Committee has a variety of options.

“What happens is that all the evidence is heard, the hearing occurs, and the committee goes in camera, and they decide whether they can rule on the case or not,” he said. “If they feel the issue is too political in nature, they are prejudiced on the issue, or just not capable of making a decision on it, they rule they can’t make a determination, and the hearing goes on to the Review Board of the SU.”

If the committee finds Cartwright is in violation of the bylaws, they may remove him from the position.

“It is within the power of the committee of the hearing to do that,” said South. “It has the option of, if Ryan Cartwright is found in violation of the bylaws, taking no action whatsoever. There’s the option of censure, [and] the option of suspension from SAA for a set period of time.”