CTR Home Internal  Relations and Communications Home About CTR Publication Schedule CTR Archives

February 7, 2002 Concordia University will not recognize an illegitimate CSU executive



The following statement was issued January 25 by Rector Frederick Lowy to faculty, staff, students and the media:

In its action this week to impose a CSU executive in defiance of the expressed wishes of a majority of voting students, the CSU council has thwarted the democratic process.

In the manner in which it conducted the November 2001 election the CSU has violated its own constitution. This follows on actions of recent CSU executive committees and councils that have already damaged the University’s image, alienated many of its supporters in the community and undermined the best interests of its students. This is an increasingly unacceptable situation and the administration of Concordia University has a moral responsibility to act in the best interests of the institution.

The November 2001 election was precipitated by an unprecedented expression of non-confidence in the CSU leadership and its practices by a sizeable representation of the undergraduate student body. The election, organized by the CSU and conducted by a chief electoral officer appointed by the CSU, was declared flawed by a 3-1 decision of the CSU’s own judicial board.

Although the judicial board found that the election process was biased against the Representative Union slate, headed by Mr. Chris Schulz, this slate nevertheless obtained the majority of the votes. This week, following the judicial board decision, the CSU council voted against installing the Schulz slate as the interim CSU government.

The University administration considers this process an abuse of power by the CSU council. The University administration does not recognize the imposed interim CSU executive and regards it as illegitimate.

Consequently, until the University can deal with a legitimate, duly elected CSU executive it will refuse to transfer any further funds to the CSU. Student dues collected by the University on behalf of the CSU will be held in trust. Further, the University will suspend all discussions and negotiations with CSU representatives.

Despite considerable concern about the CSU’s actions during the past three years, the University administration has respected the autonomy of the duly elected student governments. The University continues to seek a truly collaborative relationship with another representative, duly elected student government. Sadly, this is not possible now as a result of the CSU council’s decision this week.

It should be noted that the recent CSU leadership has adopted an aggressive and, at times, belligerent strategy of confrontation and threats towards the University administration and front-line University employees. The CSU leadership has also taken positions that, on several occasions, damaged both the reputation of Concordia and the interests of students seeking jobs and careers based on their Concordia degrees. The reputation of Concordia has been adversely affected by the actions of a small group of CSU activists.

This latest election debacle and the imposing of a non-elected executive only add to the frustration of students who find themselves misrepresented and disenfranchised.

In the interests of the students and the institution the University will not accept this situation.

Frederick Lowy,
Rector and Vice-Chancellor

Students funds are frozen by university

The university has decided to withhold transfer of student fees to the Concordia Student Union until it is clear who is legitimately in charge. However, this policy does not affect other student organizations that receive student fees collected on their behalf by the university.

The Commerce and Administration Students Association (CASA), Engineering and Computer Science Students Association (ECA), Graduate Students Association (GSA), Arts and Science Faculty Associations (ASFA), and the student newspapers – about 20 groups in all – will continue to receive their operating funds.

Student association fee revenues are deposited in the respective student association accounts about one month after each term begins. This may include fees for full-year courses, even though students are allowed to pay them one term at a time. A policy announced by the university in November (CTR, Nov. 8, p. 5) that would have transferred only the fees paid for that term was cancelled.

Effectively, this means that approximately 80 per cent of the fees go to the student associations in the fall, 10 per cent in the winter, and 10 per cent in the summer.

Thus, fall and winter fees (for students who registered from May to September 2001) were deposited at the end of September, with adjustments and later registrations transferred at October, November and December month-ends. These amounted to $746,029.54 for the CSU.
The current balance of the Concordia Student Union, now standing at $206,233.66, has been frozen, and the winter fees (for students who registered in January 2002) will not be transferred. This comes to approximately $92,000.