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Second time’s a charm

King’s voted 282 to 87 last week to fund the King’s Galley. That means that KSU Internal Coordinator John Adams will set the plan in motion to install the canteen in the alcove off the Wardroom. If all goes well, the canteen will be serving food before the end of February.

Hey everyone, we’re getting a canteen.
King’s voted 282 to 87 last week to fund the King’s Galley. That means that KSU Internal Coordinator John Adams will set the plan in motion to install the canteen in the alcove off the Wardroom. In the next month, said Adams, the KSU will incorporate the canteen, apply for a business number and food handler’s licence and buy insurance. If all goes well, the canteen will be serving food before the end of February.
“Realistically, something’s going to go wrong,” Adams said. “We hope it will be nothing too major.” When it opens, the canteen will sell coffee, muffins and cookies, as well as a simple meal. Adams hopes to have a soup or stew, as well as much-loved grilled cheese sandwiches.
The canteen will be funded by KSU investments, as well as a levy that the KSU will start collecting next year.
Which brings us to the reason why we had two referenda instead of one.
The first referendum on the canteen was held two weeks ago. On the ballot, the KSU asked to start collecting money from students this year. Since levies are paid along with student fees, however, it was already too late this year to collect. The referendum was asking the impossible. KSU Chair David Etherington decided to embargo the results. On Sun, Jan. 15, he told council that he would ask the chief returning officer—who’s in charge of elections—to redo the referendum.
Even though the mistake was small, Etherington said, voters had been misled by the referendum question. The ballot should be corrected, he said, and then sent back to King’s students for another vote. Any other choice would violate procedure and undermine the electoral policy of the KSU.
Council reacted with frustration and disbelief at Etherington’s ruling. Many councillors — including Day Students’ Society President Noah White and External VP Omri Haiven—said that because students had voted for the general idea of the canteen, council should be able to amend the result without holding another referendum.
White finally raised a motion to overturn the ruling. His motion failed with only 10 out of 15 votes. Twelve votes would have been necessary to reject a ruling by the chair. White said that he raised the motion because he thought that another ballot would not change the results of the referendum. But Nick Stark, one of the five councillors who voted to support Etherington, said that council had no other choice but to follow the rules.
Former KSU Chair Judy Booth agrees that overturning Etherington’s ruling would have violated the constitution. She said that, if anything, Etherington should have thrown out the referendum and allowed council to pass a new ballot question. The only difference would have been passing a referendum motion through council that day.
KSU President Gabe Hoogers, Anna Bishop VP Communications and Haiven all voted to overturn Etherington’s ruling.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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