Senate representative resigns from CSU

Erik Steel vacated his position before board of directors could vote on reducing his stipend

Christine Beyleveldt // News Editor

Senate Representative Erik Steel submitted his resignation to the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) on Friday, Nov. 3, citing that he did not have time to fulfill his responsibilities, and he hoped someone would fill his position.

His resignation followed a notice of motion that Noah Berson, vice president external, presented at the CSU’s previous board of directors meeting on Oct. 20. Berson had suggested to reduce Steel’s stipend to zero dollars for failing to fulfill his responsibilities as a board member, which include attending all general meetings of the membership and all board meetings as well.

Steel reportedly failed to attend several CSU board of directors meetings, as well as three consecutive Senate meetings, which according to Senate bylaws, meant that his seat could be declared vacant at any time. If the University declared his seat vacant, he would also cease to be a member of the CSU’s board of directors, although the CSU couldn’t make that decision.

Owen Sigurdsson, vice president equity and sustainability, stated on Oct. 20 that he thought the motion was justified because to sit on board for a non-profit requires a certain level of dedication. Sigurdsson further added that if a member isn’t willing to make that dedication, then there’s a chance that they can’t meet the requirements of their position on the board. Perry Safari, president and vice president finance and services, added that he has spoken with Steel on several occasions dating back to early August when his absence first became an issue and outlined his responsibilities as a board member to him.

Furthermore, Berson asked the governance committee to report on recommending procedural changes that would strip board members of their stipends, and return their report by the second meeting in November. He added that if Steel’s stipend were reduced, it wouldn’t be for the month of October, it would begin the following month and they would vote on Nov. 3, which would give Steel a chance to attend the meeting and explain his absence.

The governance committee recommended a motion on Oct. 30 that read that Steel’s stipend for the month of November would be reduced to zero dollars if he failed to fulfill his duties by the end of the month. However, Steel submitted his resignation at 1 p.m. before the board meeting started, and the motions put forward by the governance committee and Berson to reduce his stipend were both struck from the agenda.

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