DSU disability rep resigns

Mary MacDonald resigned during a motion to discipline her for conduct

Mary MacDonald is no longer the disability representative on Dal Student Union (DSU) council.

In the council meeting last night one of the first motions to be debated was the motion to discipline MacDonald put forward by councillor Alex Hughes. The motion claims that MacDonald broke the rules of the contract that all DSU councillors sign.

In the motion, Hughes claims that MacDonald was working against the DSU, citing an email that encouraged “Access Services” to stop working with the DSU.

The motion also accuses MacDonald of not conducting herself with integrity. Once council votes on a motion, councillors are expected to support the final decision of the DSU; the motion has also accused MacDonald of breaching that aspect of the DSU’s Statement of Office.

The process of debating the disciplinary motion started with an opportunity for MacDonald to ask questions to clarify the facts as presented by Hughes. MacDonald was reminded a number of times to follow the rules during this part of the process.

Mary then stated she did not recognize the legality of these proceedings.

In Hughes’ oral argument she said that asking people to not work with the DSU impedes the ability for the DSU to work. She also said there were ways that MacDonald could have voiced her displeasure and still have been acting in good faith.

In MacDonald’s oral argument she said that she was treated poorly when pointing out that able-bodied people were appointed to the disability committee. She also claims the DSU ignored her complaints and attempts to resolve her issues.

“Over my dead body, Alex Hughes, am I going to apologize to you, or to any member of this council,” said MacDonald during her oral argument, continuing that she didn’t regret anything written in her emails.

She continued that she has a right as a Canadian citizen to express concern when the rights of the disabled are being infringed.

After delivering her 13-minute oral argument, MacDonald asked for a 10-minute recess.

During the break, she emailed her resignation from the DSU to the chair and left.




  1. Mary MacDonald on February 9, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I actually asked for a 5 minute recess and met with DSU president Amina Abawajy downstairs. I gave Amina a hug and my letter of resignation, and we agreed to work on an accessibility audit of the campus. I will not concede to demands or threats when advocating for persons with disabilities. The DSU is shallow when it claims to “love all marginalized” students. Matt Strickland, the author of this article, should apply for a paid job with the DSU, as he is proving free PR services to the Union.

  2. […] than a month after resigning from her position as representative for students with disabilities on the Dalhousie Student Union council, Mary […]

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