At last night’s AMS Assembly, Jacob Mantle’s future as ASUS president was discussed.
The discussion occurred in response to a discriminatory comment Mantle posted on a friend’s Facebook wall in response to a photo of two girls wearing scarves and sunglasses, saying “I like your Taliban picture.”
Tensions rose as people spoke on both sides of the issue debating whether or not Mantle should resign. Speakers in the heated discussion included AMS assembly members, External Liaison of Queen’s University Muslim Students’ Association Safiah Chowdhury, Co-ordinator of Queen’s Coalition Against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Aruna Zehra Boodram and Co-ordinator for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group Sean Haberele.
About a third of the way through the discussion, Municipal Affairs Commissioner Paul Tye called Campus Security to deal with an apparent fist fight in the hall. Campus Security would not reveal any details.
AMS President Talia Radcliffe asked for Mantle’s resignation, speaking on behalf of the AMS Council.
“This discussion is not about Jacob’s character but about his ability to act as a student leader,” she said. “Students need to trust their leaders and understand the sentiments of oppression. Jacob’s words have caused irreparable damage.”
Radcliffe said if Mantle does not resign from his position, the process of impeachment may occur.
“We hope that we do not have to embark on an impeachment process that will be embarrassing for the entire University,” she said. “We ask that Jacob Mantle considers the people he represents and resign from his position.”
Under AMS policy, the AMS executive cannot force Mantle to resign. It is up to the members of ASUS to initiate the impeachment process. This means that members of AMS executive, as Arts and Science students, can begin the process.
“If Jacob chooses not to resign, we will proceed with impeachment procedures,” she said. “More specifically, we would support his impeachment.”
As elected representatives of Queen’s students, the AMS should call for Mantle’s resignation, she said.
“The reputation of all Queen’s students is on the line.”
Mantle, ArtSci ’10, apologized in an opening statement at Assembly.
“My comment was wrong. My comment was disrespectful and damaging. The language that I used was damaging to this entire community. The 2,000 frosh I had the pleasure of welcoming—it changed what their first impressions are.
“With learning comes a price. I know I will never see these issues the same again. I am truly sorry.”
Mantle said he is considering resigning from his position.
“There have been calls for my resignation. I will consider them and will continue to consider them until the next ASUS Assembly,” he said. “To think my mind is made up right now is not true.
“I have been humbled by this experience. I know I have become a stronger leader for this and a better person for this. I do want to spend the rest of my time as president showing what my words faltered to convey.”
Mantle said he recognizes he needs to take steps following his official apology.
“There’s no one step for me to take but it starts with knowing the groups on campus, being aware of them, supporting them,” he said. “I am confident that we as a community can move forward together from this.”
Yesterday evening, Mantle sent out an e-mail of apology to the ASUS list serve of students. This follows an apology posted on the ASUS website on Oct. 27.
The photo that ran with the article titled “Racism on the Web” was Isra Rafiq, co-chair of the Queen’s University Muslim Students Association. Safiah Chowdhury did not tell the Journal Jacob Mantle’s comments happened around the same time as the break-in at the muscalla. The Journal learned the approximate timeline of each event from Mantle and Chowdhury, respectively.
Incorrect information appeared in the Oct. 28 edition of the Journal.
The Journal regrets the errors.
On November 2, 2007 an article appeared in the Queen’s Journal entitled “Is OUSA right for Queen’s?” The article was written by Julia Mitchell. In the article Ms. Mitchell made the following statement about the Canadian Federation of Students: “It has a history of allegations of financial mismanagement over a number of decades, including a successful multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought against them by the student governments of four major universities in Canada, including the AMS.” The Journal wishes to clarify this statement in that the Canadian Federation of Students and the CFS-S do not have a history of financial mismanagement over a number of decades. Further, the lawsuit referenced above did not allege “financial mismanagement” by the Canadian Federation of Students or the CFS-S. The lawsuit centered on the ownership of Travel CUTS and was settled by mutual agreement prior to the adjudication of the matter before the courts. The Journal and Ms. Mitchell apologize to the Canadian Federation of Students and the CFS-S for these inaccuracies.
When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.