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 Universitys
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 CSUs own judicial
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 CSUs 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 councils 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
In the interests of the students and the institution the University will
not accept this situation.
Rector and Vice-Chancellor
Students funds are frozen
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
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.