the blake witch trials – part ii of the UBC/UN saga

November 27, 2009

run, blake; there are bloodthirsty people calling for your head.

okay, maybe they’re just requesting that you and your VP external be ‘recalled’ (which is pretty much the nicer way to say ‘impeachment’).

the initial response to yesterday’s events was incendiary and has only grown since; already the student president of the largest faculty on UBC campus – Arts, coming in at over 11,000 students – has issued a notice to Arts students via Arts UBC on Facebook to fill out a feedback form regarding the AMS complaint to the U.N. (as an interesting side note Guillaume Houle, the aforementioned Arts president, succinctly summarized the general feeling among UBC students when he offered [and later retracted, due to his official position I take it] a telling description of the offending behaviour as “unacceptable”. by the way, am I the only one getting deja-vu here?).

as the response grows, so has the investigation into the matter. after recovering from the initial shock of the entire matter, sources such as UBC Insiders have looked further into how exactly the rest of the AMS council could have, as they claimed, been unaware of this issue. it has been uncovered that there were indeed vague mentions of a “U.N. complaint with Pivot” in the executive minutes up until the council meeting in April 16, 2009.

next, and absolutely central to this inquisition, is the $3,000 cheque sent to Pivot Legal LLP as remuneration for representation, out of the $25,000 alloted to the AMS for legal fees – expenditures require at least two signatories from the executive council for authorization. currently there is no official word from the AMS executives as to who actually signed off on the cheque, with the exception of VP Finance Tom Dvorak’s brave and admirable concession that his signature was one of the three on the fiscal document in question.

regardless of both any potential inadvertant ratification on behalf of the council and whatever misguided intentions the president may have had (as I discussed in my previous post on the matter), at the end of the day it cannot be denied that Mr. Frederick and Mr. Chu still acted independently of the AMS council, failing to consult them on the matter before initiating the complaint. this lack of consultation has been attributed to their seeing it as within their mandate to push the issue forward independently.

a little history for readers: this won’t be the first time Mr. Frederick has demonstrated this particular penchant for going rogue. earlier this month, he issued a public document on the AMS website before the UBC administration had released an official press release on the matter, demanding accountability from UBC on the failed Translink project.

a conclusion will most likely be reached by the AMS council come this saturday – a emergency council meeting will convene at 5 pm tomorrow. the Ubyssey will be liveblogging from the meeting – sign up for notification/to participate here.

with bated breath,



5 Responses to “the blake witch trials – part ii of the UBC/UN saga”

  1. Julia Says:

    you will be my official update on this saga haha :]

  2. Dan Says:

    It is important to note that Blake’s actions may actually have largely COMPROMISED the same causes he sought to advance. The accountability issue in the Translink failed project has never happened, and I doubt that anyone within the AMS or outside would dare request that at this or any time soon to the UBC Administration whose nerves are still raw from Blake’s stunt. Meanwhile, at least as far as UBC is concerned, the campaign to restore provincial funds the government cut and lower tuition has lost a lot of credibility with the student body. I wonder how many people will actually show up to the next “Reverse the Cuts” free coffee and postcard signing drive and how many will go “That’s Tim and Blake’s campaign. I really don’t want to be associated with that”. I would also wonder how receptive the Provincial Government is going to be to the issue after they’ve had their name dragged through the mud unnecessarily.

  3. laura Says:

    I would not vote to impeach Blake Frederick and Tim Chu, mostly because I think the whole rest of AMS council needs a good talking to, not just the prez or the vice prez. Unfortunately, though, I was never allowed to vote for the other faculty reps, who signed on. I only voted for the prez, and the rest of the exec. This should go to referendum, not to Council (when not all councilors represent me).

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