Student council at St. Francis Xavier University is expressing opposition to the automatic appointment of the Bishop of Antigonish as chancellor of the Nova Scotia school. Members of the council voted 14-1 this week against the practice.
The process for appointing the chancellor, the honorary head of the school, is enshrined in the university’s bylaws. Council president Sam Mason will present the student position at the upcoming board of governors meeting. The board of governors is the only body capable of repealing or amending the bylaws. Such changes require a majority vote of the members present at any annual meeting of the board. The next general meeting is Oct. 8.
A group called the Movement to Stop the Automatic Appointment of the Chancellor has been active in the university community over the past year.
“Our movement has used informal and formal internal processes to inform the administration that the relevant bylaws contravene the university’s own discrimination policy as well as the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act,” says the group’s Cam Fleming. “That the board of governors has not taken action to amend this process is a shame given the values of equality, social justice and inclusion at this university.”
The Canadian press