Dear readers, at the UPEISU’s Council meeting on Nov. 29th 2015, both Alex Heighington, the VP Communications, and Ellen Boyd, the AVC Rep, resigned from council. Printed here in full is the letter that Heighington read to Council to announce and explain her decision. In lieu of a regular council recap, the Cadre will be following up on this development.

Dear Councillors and fellow executives,

Tonight I would like to speak to you about the feelings of frustration and defeat that I have experienced over the last four months as your Vice President Communications.

In order to properly address this I wish to inform you all about the issues and problems I have felt I faced since taking over this position. I feel that this position primarily is about communication, but there has been a lack of this among executives since I assumed this role. I am aware a lot is expected of the person in this position, but the job responsibilities should not be limited to creating Facebook events and scheduling tweets. The primary role of the new Director of Communications should be more comprehensive, with a more involved role in media relations, being consulted on outreach projects, and of course, connecting people with events, activities and services on campus.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to perform these duties to my full potential as I feel there is often a lack of respect and faith in my abilities and my opinions by some of the executive. This has led to frustrations that are not taken seriously, and my discontent has often been labelled as me being emotional. I take issue with this on a personal level. If anything, my passion for UPEI should not be passed off as an emotional response. This to me is a lack of respect and professionalism. I have a lot of experience as a returning executive member and offer only constructive thoughts and suggestions that I feel are in the best interest of all students at UPEI, not of interests pertaining to myself. I believe in team and not I.

There are many initiatives and projects that I would love to work on and are of interest to current issues facing university students, beyond academics, but being in this role inhibits the freedom and time to do this. The Vice President Communications role is piled with projects and initiatives that come from the other four executives and given little credit to the VP Comms and I’m tired of putting my own projects and initiatives that would be good for students aside, because of the focus put on other people’s. The role of a Vice President is to develop New Initiatives and work on ideas that will help the student body, however my role as a Vice President has not allowed me to do this.

Unfortunately due to these and other issues, I regret to inform council that I am tendering my two weeks notice for my position. As I told the executive, please don’t panic, I’ll be there to make sure this transition (to a hired Director of Comms) goes over smoothly. I’ve put so much time and effort into the Student Union over the last four years and now it’s time to put that time and effort into my grades as I prepare to apply for grad school. I hate to say good-bye but this is the best decision for me.

I’d love to stay on the Street Team as a volunteer and be of assistance when needed or asked, as I don’t have any bad feelings toward this organization, and happy with my involvement. I wish everyone the best in second semester, as I hope it goes well. I also hope that executive and council begin to look at this group as a team, and not as individuals trying to gain a name for themselves.

Please feel free to message me if you have any questions, or really anything at all. I’m more than happy to talk about this decision. The Student Union has been my family and home for the past four years and it’s hard to say good bye.

Now, that being said, I don’t want to move this into a solution session, as we still have plenty of time to do this. I’m still around for the rest of the semester and transition for the Director of Comms next semester.