Day finally over

Nick Day’s resignation as rector should have happened months ago. Day’s resignation was announced on Sept. 1, five months after an AMS campus-wide referendum showed 72 per cent of voters in favour of his removal from office.

A similar referendum for the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) had different results. Day had support from graduate student voters, however a combined majority of his constituents who voted in the referenda still wanted him gone from office. The voting followed Day’s politically divisive letter to Michael Ignatieff that he signed as Queen’s rector.

Choosing to remain rector for months after losing student support was undignified and wrong.

In the process of attempting to remove Day from office, students learned that no legislative body at Queen’s has the power to remove a rector. This allowed Day to keep his title until his resignation.

It’s therefore imperative that an avenue of recourse be established to remove a rector should the need ever arise again.

Given that the position is one mandated to represent students, the power should be in student hands to bring about a rector’s removal. A recommendation to University Council isn’t sufficient. It’s the AMS and SGPS who should have the power to remove the person elected to represent their members.

An email from former Provost Bob Silverman to Day condemned his actions as rector. Regardless of how the administration felt Day affected the University’s reputation, the task of rector removal should remain firmly in student hands and shouldn’t be impacted in any way by University officials.

Looking forward to rector elections this fall, the controversy caused by Day has the potential to be beneficial in the future of the rector role. It was Day’s job to serve as a voting student member on the Board of Trustees to represent the student voice.

With Day absent from many of the society meetings he was expected to attend, including the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society and Engineering Society, it’s questionable how effective he was in his role.

The situation begs a reevaluation for the rector position to assure greater accountability and transparency.

Voters should take special care this October to assure that the new rector is someone who will perform the role effectively, not simply fill a vacant position.

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