A King’s University College Students’ Council vice-president is continuing his election campaign for president despite recent controversy over disciplinary sanctions by the King’s honorarium committee.
Jonathan Lesarge, the current KUCSC vice-president student issues and KUCSC presidential candidate, was brought before the honorarium committee last month due to allegations of performance issues.
Jen Carter, the current KUCSC president, sent an e-mail to the entire King’s council Tuesday informing them of Lesarge’s situation as well as the honorarium committee’s disciplinary recommendations.
Carter, who is running for vice-president external of the University Students’ Council on the Team Helfand slate, declined to comment on this story.
The committee recommended Lesarge pay a $100 fine to be cut from his honorarium, and write letters of apology to administrators, according to the e-mail.
“This fine is justified by his repeated failure to communicate with the rest of the executive and the administrators, including repeated failures to attend meetings,” the statement from the honorarium committee, included in Carter’s e-mail, read.
“These failures have impeded the ability of the rest of council to work efficiently and strained the relationship between the KUCSC and the administrators,” it continued.
After his first meeting with the honorarium committee, Lesarge was brought in front of council on January 19 so that council could approve this form of discipline.
Two weeks later, on February 2, the honorarium committee met again. At this time, Lesarge still had not submitted his apologies. However, Lesarge claimed Carter neither informed him of the second meeting or of the timeline within which he had to complete the committee’s directives. Lesarge said the issues arose from miscommunications between himself and Carter, the current president. The two allegedly differed in priorities. Lesarge said he had nothing but good intentions.
“What I’ve always tried to do in the past is serve the student interest and that is what I will continue to try and do,” Lesarge said.
“What I was waiting for was some guidelines in terms of what was to be included in that letter, and that I never received,” Lesarge said. “I also never received the whole mandate that was issued by the honorarium committee until I was told I hadn’t submitted the letter on time.”
Lesarge will be brought back before council this Sunday, immediately following the KUCSC presidential debate.
This issue could prove problematic for Lesarge’s campaign for KUCSC president.
“I don’t really know if it’s appropriate that someone who has been brought in front of council to be punished for their actions as a VP is currently running for president,” Emily Soti, a KUCSC councillor, said.
However, Lesarge claimed he didn’t know about the timeline, and didn’t even see the honorarium committee’s recommendation until he received the mass e-mail from Carter.
Lesarge’s fine has been paid and he has submitted his letters of apology.
“As a councillor, I’m upset because if it was me put in front of council I’d be embarrassed beyond belief and I would take any action that I could to immediately remedy what I’d done,” Soti said.
She added she thought Lesarge should have gone home that night, written the apology, and submitted it the next day.
Lesarge will continue his bid for KUCSC president because he feels he has substantial support from students and because he also believes he is the most qualified for the position.
Lesarge has three years of experience with the KUCSC, including time as a volunteer commissioner, a University Students’ Council representative and vice-president student issues.
Lesarge said he was pleased with his tenure as vice-president student issues. He was proud of running King’s most profitable speaker series in recent years, as well as several awareness weeks.