At Monday night’s ASUS Assembly, emotions were high during a discussion about whether ASUS President Jacob Mantle should receive his entire honorarium for his year in office.
After the ASUS Honourarium Review Committee withheld part of his $2,500 winter semester honourarium, Mantle called an Assembly to appeal the process of evaluation. The committee deliberated for over 11 hours on Apr. 15.
Chair of the Review Committee Sarah Dall said she can’t reveal the reasons behind the committee’s decision due to the confidential nature of the review.
“Confidentiality is to protect the person being evaluated. It was also very important for those evaluating,” she said. “We developed a process to evaluate him and he disagreed with the way we did it.”
Dall said the five-person committee made the decision based on reviews of Mantle’s term as president.
“All of ASUS Council, General Manager, Camps Director and year presidents submit anonymous reviews to an e-mail. The purpose of the committee, along with the evaluation of all ASUS Council, is to evaluate Jacob Mantle or whoever in the presidential role.”
Last semester, Mantle came under fire for a racist comment he made on a friend’s Facebook wall.
Dall said an assembly member motioned for a discussion period to allow students to voice their opinions.
“The original motion he put forth was that ASUS grant Jacob Mantle his full honourarium. At Monday night he had changed it, that ASUS Assembly repeal the decision of the Review Committee concerning the evaluation of Jacob Mantle,” Dall said. “He had every right to do that.”
Assembly may overturn the Review Committee’s decision with a two thirds majority vote. Mantle’s motion was voted down 19 to three meaning that the decision of the Review Committee to withhold approximately $1,400 of Mantle’s honorourarium will be upheld. All members of ASUS Assembly were able to vote except for the five ASUS commissioners.
Mantle said due to the confidential nature of the review process, assembly members and the gallery discussed whether Mantle should receive his honourarium instead of the process itself.
Dall said Mantle was made aware of the process in a letter to him.
“He had the choice to approach us privately or call an assembly,” she said. “Jacob’s appeal was about our process rather than money. Assembly didn’t know what the process was. There couldn’t be an accurate critique of the motion.
“I think people were really frustrated. There were so many assemblies where people didn’t get to say what they wanted. It was very tense. Emotions were high.” Social Issues Commissioner Kavita Bissoondial said she spoke out against Mantle receiving his honourarium at the assembly.
“I wished for him to receive no honourarium for this semester,” she said.
Bissoondial said the gallery was frustrated by the discussion.
“It wasn’t made clear the process of review,” she said. “I think that because a lot of people on assembly were reluctant to comment, the gallery felt they had to prove their case. It should have been more of an open dialogue. There was a lot of tension.”
Towards the end of the discussion ASUS Assembly members started to comment on the situation, she said.
“[ASUS Assembly members] were able to stand up and I think that was much appreciated.”
Bissoondial said she questioned Mantle at assembly about discriminatory comments he made following the Facebook incident.
“He had been heard to say several homophobic and anti-Semitic comments,” she said. “I’ve had people come forward with that type of complaint. What is known is that after I made that statement he did not bother to make a point of personal privilege or anything.”
Bissoondial said the gallery became frustrated because Mantle failed to respond to questions about how he had learned from his experience.
“A lot of students had asked him to comment on his learning experience—seven or eight of them.”
Mantle didn’t respond to the Journal’s request for an interview.
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