To our members:
The past few months have been very turbulent for the Student Association. Aside from the chaos of the elections, and the late ratification of the Executives, there has been no shortage of activities taking place at the SA. This follows on a history filled with controversy.
This year has been no different. At the beginning of the term two directors were relieved of their duties. Following that, the President of the SA and Vice President University Affairs were asked by the Board to go on leave while an investigation took place regarding internal issues. Then, three Durham College board directors resigned. The resignation of those directors puts the SA in violation of the agreement between the SA and Durham College.
Understandably, there has been concern regarding the future of our SA. Concern has come from students at both institutions regarding internal issues, issues with the Board of Directors, formatting of the By-Laws, the multiple lawsuits we have been faced with, as well as concern from students that we are not adequately prepared to represent them and that we exist only to waste their money.
As a team, we would like to express our concerns with you. We could not justify to the students that their money was going into what they wanted to see on campus. A significant portion of our finances have been spent in legal and other non-student related activities.
In the best interest of the students, we felt it was time to figure out a way to move forward. It has taken some time and serious thought, as well as consultation with professionals, but we have come up with a plan to help address some of the key issues that plague the SA.
In order to regain the confidence of the students, we feel it necessary to do a few key things that are best for the future well-being of the SA. Some of these decisions might not be the most popular, and may make us the target of negative publicity, however it is important that in order to proceed towards a positive and productive future, we take the time to rebuild an organization that we can all be proud of.
The goal of the SA over the next three months is to perform a full organizational review. This will require us to minimize the non-essential services we would normally provide to students in order to focus on re-building the foundation of the organization and providing the essential services to you, the students.
What does this mean for you? It means that our mission of advocacy, service and support is still important, and we will do our very best to accommodate that. Your health plan, Legal Services, Outreach Services and Clubs and Societies will still be available, however some services you are accustomed to will be reduced or unavailable during this time frame. This includes the cancellation of Campusfest events.
There will be opportunities to speak with SA Executives and representatives at all Durham College and UOIT events held during the beginning of the school year. As well, we will be attending classes throughout both institutions to discuss how you would like to see your SA work in the future. As always, you are welcome to come by the Student Centre and speak to the Executive.
We understand that the students at DC and UOIT have a lot of questions and concerns regarding the SA, and we would like you to know that we are moving forward with your best interests at the forefront of our actions.
As your representatives, we will provide you with an update into the review mid-October and present our complete findings and recommendations in January 2017. We will also be releasing more information to you in the coming days.
Once again, we ask for your patience and understanding during this time, and welcome your involvement.