Issue 12, Volume 85
Sept. 19, 2012
It was revealed in last week’s issue of The Lance that there are internal problems at the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance.
Tensions have flared between president Kim Orr and vice-president finance Erik Pigeon. According to Orr, Pigeon accused her of pocketing funds from the UWSA at the Coming Home Music Festival on Sept. 5.
Major events, such as the concert never go off without a hitch, and considering that it was revealed that the event cost somewhere in the $230,000-$270,000 range, much attention and spotlight has been drawn to the UWSA and the university respectively.
Having known Orr for a number of years, I firmly don’t believe that the accusations leveled against her are true. And while I am not guaranteeing her innocence, nor vouching for her personally, I can unequivocally state that I don’t believe her capable of committing such an act.
Since enrolling at the University of Windsor, Orr has consistently been involved in student affairs on campus. And while simply being involved in student affairs hardly guarantees innocence, it does speak to her dedication to the UWSA and the university as a whole.
Indeed, missteps occurred at the concert headlined by DJ Avicii: excessively long waits at both the entrance and the bar, congestion overall at the site and the need for extra police to be called in for crowd control.
The issue that got Orr in the predicament she is in resulted from her handling of the entrance lineup. While there were two entrances— one for those with tickets and one for those purchasing ticket— both were overcrowded and caused excessive congestion.
Orr was working the entrance intended for people who already had tickets. When patrons attempted to purchase tickets from her at the entrance gate, rather than send them to the back of the other line (after they had already waited in line for roughly the same amount of time), she opted to attempt to alleviate crowd tensions, and allowed those patrons to enter the concert from her line, while she ‘pocketed’ the cash admission.
This is where the story gets murky. Since Orr was pocketing the cash, there was no record of when, by whom, or how many tickets were sold inappropriately. As such, the accounting of the event will be skewed. Even further, as told to me by a UWSA board member, Orr was approached multiple times by Pigeon and was informed to discontinue this practice.
Yet, Orr wanted to ensure that the show went well and that all had a good time, so she continued the practice of letting people in and pocketing the cash. Now, Orr claims that she returned all of the money, and I believe her when she says that.
However, since we are left in a situation where the accusations levied against her cannot be proven or disproven, we are boxed in a corner.
Did Orr steal money? I don’t believe so. Did Orr act inappropriately when she bent the rules to accommodate patrons? Certainly.
The situation comes down to a certain portion of the UWSA executive who wish Orr to be removed from office. The other cohort seemingly stands behind Orr and believe the charges levied against her to be inaccurate. An investigation will surely be launched, and one can only assume that the results will be inconclusive. There are too many missing variables to be able to accurately assess just exactly what occurred on the night of the Avicii concert.
Having spoken to some people familiar with UWSA bylaws, it would appear the only means to remove Orr from office would be a campus-wide referendum question. Is this an appropriate remedy for the situation? I’m not sure. But, it certainly would be the only democratic remedy. Let the students assess the situation, cast their vote, and determine Orr’s fate.
Having said this, following the results of last year’s referendum question regarding the integrated Transit Windsor U-Pass, and what I penned as a “Ron Paul-esque mantra of Libertarianism” which swept the campus, I would not be resting comfortably if I were Orr and this was the remedy.
Though there were improprieties at the Avicii show, does this mean that the current UWSA president should lose her job over what happened? Increasingly, it’s appearing as if that is a decision that is going to have to be made by you and your
Jon Liedtke was the Features and Opinions Editor, Advertising Manager and Deficit Consultant at the UWindsor Lance.