Skip to the main content

Sam Gaus's picture

The following question was posed by a student and is displayed here in accordance with Bye-Law 67.b, the provision allowing any Member to ask an open question of the Union Officers.

Dear UCLU,

I have heard the motion of the referendum has been approved by UCLU Committee though a quorum was not met. I would like to contest UCLU committee decision for several reasons but I will expose only one.

We have a set rules made by former UCLU members, these rules were created in order to maintain some kind of “democracy”. A word you keep on using to hide your dictatorial/ hegemonic actions. In the past I have been confronted with a lot of unfairness and a lot of litigious actions from people in the UCLU committee. 

I am asking you to reconsider your actions and think about the consequences it will have on your beloved “democracy”. Don’t forget the position you are holding and its purpose. I have already lost faith in my Union. Don’t make others members lose their faith in you too.


Jules Leclair

You can find my response below.


Thank you for your letter. Unfortunately - and perhaps reflective of the key issue here - the answer to this is simple but necessitates reference to some potentially confusing aspects of our governance.

These reforms were seen by Councl to be too important to simply consider at a Council and should be voted on by all the Membership. However, the referendum you are referring to was on a motion to change our Bye-Laws. The Bye-Laws can actually only be changed by UCLU Council. Traditionally, the reason for this is that Bye-Laws are often changed in many places at once and are too confusing to digest at referendum level.

So if the referendum had been quorate and positive, it still would not have enacted the changes. Whatever the outcome, Council would need to meet to either pass or reject the changes. The referendum was purely indicative and having it extended the discussion to over 500 Members, instead of the 50 representatives at Coucil.

I hope this sufficiently meets your request, and am sorry to hear that you’ve lost faith in the Union. Hopefully the changes that have been implemented will do as expected and pave the way to a more engaging Union in the future.


Sam Gaus
Democracy and Communications Officer, 2012-13