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Collection of East Campus residence fees suspended after failed re-elections

Collection of residence fees at East Campus Village has been suspended, following a failure to host re-elections for the recently derecognized East Campus Students’ Association (ECSA).

In February, the ECSA was derecognized by the Students’ Union due to inactivity and a lack of communication. When re-elections failed to happen in April, SU vice-president (student life) Andre Bourgeois said the SU decided to suspend collection of East Campus residence fees starting in May. 

“There is no [East Campus Students’ Association],” Bourgeois said. “There is no student representation right now at [East Campus Village].”

Past vice-president (student life) Ilya Ushakov had planned for re-elections in April but was unable to secure an elections officer to administer the re-election.

The East Campus Residence Association fee ordinarily charge students living in East Campus Village $18 per term. Without student representatives, Bourgeois said it would be unfair to collect those fees from students, and on May 11, SU president Reed Larsen and fellow Board of Governor representatives voted to suspend fee collection.

“Without a student representative to use those fees and better [East Campus Village] … it doesn’t make sense to charge the residents,” Bourgeois said.

To relaunch the group, the SU and Discover Governance are working over the summer to appoint East Campus residents to fill ECSA’s executive team for the upcoming academic year. Bourgeois said he expects positions to be filled by August at which point fee collection will resume.

Elections are expected to return the year after.  

In the interim, Bourgeois said he will be representing East Campus residents at advocacy meetings over the summer.

The SU and Discover Governance chose to derecognize the ECSA in February when only Yuliya Fakhr was elected onto the executive team as president, leaving all other vice-president positions unfilled. The group also failed to attend any of the SU’s programming and advocacy meetings.

Bourgeois said he will be working with Discover Governance and East Campus residents to relaunch ECSA and identify improvements to the governance model to prevent similar situations from happening again. Changes being considered for ECSA include having elected vice-presidents from each house, including East Campus Village, Pinecrest, and Tamarack.  

While derecognitions are uncommon, the SU faced a similar problem in 2014 with the Lister Hall Students’ Association. The group was suspended by the university for two years after a hazing incident during Skulk, an annual Henday tower event. The LHSA was relaunched in 2017 under the direction of the SU.

“We were able to bring [LHSA] back in full force in just one year,” Bourgeois said. “We’re really optimistic we can repeat that [with ECSA] this year.”

East Campus residents interested in aiding the relaunch of ECSA or filling an executive position can contact Bourgeois directly.

“The sooner we get this underway, the better.”

Calvin Chan

Calvin Chan is a cell biology student with a keen interest in science writing.

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