[box type=”info”]Update: The KSU chair has called the by-election for Jones’s replacement as member-at-large. Students will vote for their new member-at-large on Feb. 20 and Feb. 21, the same day as executive elections.[/box]
King’s students found themselves short a representative yesterday afternoon.
The King’s Students’ Union (KSU) council impeached member-at-large Braeden Jones following an automatic impeachment motion that came with his third missed meeting.
Jones tried to resign. The night before, he announced his intent to leave his post. While his fellow councilors discussed impeaching him, Jones sent an email to chair Jacob Eidinger, officially resigning.
“I couldn’t do the job anymore,” said Jones in a phone call after the meeting.
Jones says his position as member-at-large was too much work on top of balancing six classes and Patrol shifts. As the member-at-large, Jones was required to sit on the KSU finance committee and meet with KSU president Nick Stark on a weekly basis. Jones says these meetings now conflict with his classes or work shifts.
“I don’t think (the union members) need to see us as a body that will punish on their behalf”
– Asher Goldstein, DSS financial vice-president, on impeachment
Michaela Sam, KSU communications vice-president, says he wasn’t doing his job. He missed council meetings, finance committee meetings and office hours. Jones says he did attend finance committee meetings last semester, worked with the finance committee on Facebook and held his office hours in the Wardroom between classes.
For his fellow councilors, the missed meetings and seemingly missed work were unforgivable. They voted more than two-thirds in favour of rejecting Jones’s resignation and ousting him on their own terms.
“I think it, honest to God, came down to constitutional and procedural decision for most councilors and making sure that they do hold him to that standard, as they do with every other member in that room,” Sam said.
Because the official resignation came mid-impeachment proceedings, Eidinger ruled the impeachment was in order.
|“The desire to have time”
In October 2012, Jones told The Watch that time constraints may be a factor in students not running for KSU office.
Asher Goldstein, Day Students’ Society (DSS) financial vice-president, was also up for impeachment. He had missed four council meetings. His colleagues voted that motion down.
He dodged impeachment because of a discrepancy between the DSS constitution and KSU constitution. The DSS thought they could cycle who fills their two councilor seats, but the KSU constitution says they need to choose two specific people.
Goldstein later voted against impeaching Jones.
“I don’t think (the union members) need to see us as a body that will punish on their behalf,” said Goldstein. He added a resignation wouldn’t have changed the process of replacing Jones.
Jones at large: Jones sat down with The Watch for a councilor profile after his election last semester
Jones sees little difference between an impeachment and a resignation.
“The end result is that I am no longer member-at-large,” said Jones.
“There shouldn’t be any ill will.”
The KSU chair has a week to call a by-election to replace Jones.
Jones contacted us to clarify his comments. He said his meetings were supposed to be with KSU president Nick Stark, not King’s president George Cooper.
Eidinger also contacted The Watch this afternoon when he discovered that, according to the KSU procedural handbook, by-elections following impeachments must be called immediately, not within a week.