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April 25, 2002 Keefer and Marouf ban lifted



by Barbara Black

The Board of Governors voted April 17, on the recommendation of a report of its Appeals Panel, to lift the ban imposed last summer on Tom Keefer and Leith Marouf. The ban was imposed August 20, 2001, by Rector Frederick Lowy in the aftermath of an altercation between Keefer and Marouf and Concordia security guards in the Hall Building.

The panel was chaired by Board member and lawyer Rita Lc de Santis. The other Board members were Sister Eileen McIlwaine (vice-chair), Alex Potter, Miriam Roland, Joanne Beaudoin and Rocci Luppicini.

The panel noted that “Mr. Keefer admitted that his words were ill-advised and excessive and he apologized for them at the hearing. However, he strongly denied that they were meant or taken as a death threat, or that he engaged in any physical assault on any of the guards.”

Regarding the security guards, “the Panel finds that they acted throughout professionally and commends them for showing appropriate restraint.”

While the report supported the right of the Rector to maintain a safe learning environment and acknowledged that he made a reasonable decision based on the facts before him, “it is the opinion of the Panel that the Rector should have interviewed each of Mr. Keefer and Mr. Marouf.”

Further, the panel report said, “the definition of student is ambiguous; however, whether or not Messrs. Keefer and Marouf were students is irrelevant in the case at hand. If they were not, in July 2001, students, they were being deprived of either becoming students, retaining their student status or regaining their student status.”

In their report, dated April 16, the panel thanked all parties for their co-operation and patience, particularly regarding the hearing of March 15, which extended well into the night.

Here is the motion passed by the Board of Governors the following day:

Be it resolved:
That the Board of Governors receive the report of the Appeals Panel dated April 16, 2002; and
That upon recommendation of the Appeals Panel, the Board of Governors lift the ban imposed upon Mr. Tom Keefer and Mr. Laith Marouf; however such ban is lifted without condoning the actions of Mr. Keefer or Mr. Marouf; and
That the Board of Governors reiterate its support for the Rector and administration in promoting and enforcing zero tolerance for violence, racism, intimidation and verbal threats.