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November 8, 2001 Concordia Student Union election set for November 27-29



by Barbara Black

Concordia students will go to the polls Nov. 27, 28 and 29 to elect a new — or re-elect the current — executive of the Concordia Student Union and Council of Representatives.

Patrice Blais, vice-president (finance) and acting president, has said that contrary to a front-page report in the Oct. 25 issue of CTR, only the president, Sabrina Stea, has resigned.

In Blais’ view, this makes the coming election a by-election, and not an election for the recall of the current executive because of a series of controversies.

Stea resigned just before a petition of 3,200 names calling for the recall of the current executive could be presented to the CSU. However, the election will be of the whole executive slate.

The nomination period is Nov. 5 to 12, after which the names of those running for election can be published. The chief returning officer is Jessica Lajambe, who gained experience with student elections last fall, when a massive effort was mounted for a successful accreditation drive.

Chris Schulz, who is leading the effort to overturn the current executive, is disappointed that CSU Council delayed the election to a date when many students will have finished the term and left campus. The Council claimed that the students needed more time to familiarize themselves with the issues and with the slates standing for election.

Keefer-Marouf hearings

On Oct. 25, the university presented its preliminary motion to throw out a request for an injunction by Tom Keefer and Laith Marouf. The university’s position was that since they had not yet exhausted their internal recourses at the university (i.e. an appeal to the Board), there was no role for the courts to play at this time.

The judge took the matter under advisement, and University Counsel Bram Freedman said he has no idea when she will render her judgment on the motion. In the interim, the proceedings in the injunction case are suspended pending her decision.

Keefer and Marouf were accompanied at court by about a dozen supporters, who were berated by the judge for allowing a cellular phone to go off and for trying to tape-record the proceedings.

This was the second day of the hearing into a request for an injunction against the university by Keefer and Marouf, who have been excluded from Concordia as the result of an altercation with security guards in the summer. At the first session, on Oct. 10, the pair were granted limited access to the university to fulfill their duties for the CSU.

Bailiffs’ letters

A CSU Council of Representatives meeting was held Oct. 18 to discuss a petition with more than 3,000 signatures, calling for a special election. Council members were reminded of the meeting through bailiffs’ letters delivered to their homes, which angered some of the student representatives.

Acting CSU president Patrice Blais asked Freedman at the Senate meeting the next day about
how Schulz acquired the addresses, which he considered confidential. Freedman replied, as follows:

“As promised, I have looked into this matter and can inform you of the following. The names and addresses of CSU council and executive members were, indeed, released to the attorney representing Mr. Schulz by the University. I was unaware of this fact when questioned at Senate.”

However, Freedman goes on to explain that he has done research into the legality of giving out the addresses. “As a Part III company constituted under the Companies Act of Quebec, the CSU is subject to sections 104 and following of the Act which states that the names and addresses of all directors of a company are public information.

“It should be pointed out that, in accordance with the CSU by-laws, members of the executive are ex-officio members of the Council with speaking rights and the right to present motions. As such, the names and addresses of members of the executive are covered by this legislation, as well.

“Further, the CSU is subject to ‘An Act respecting the legal publicity of sole proprietorships, partnerships and legal persons,’ which mandates, at section 10, an annual declaration of registration which must include the names and domiciles of the directors as well as of the president, secretary and principal officers where they are not members of the board of directors.

“As such, as a result of this law, as well, the addresses of members of the CSU Board and CSU Executive are public information.

“Finally, section 55 of the ‘Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information’ states, at section 55, that ‘personal information which, by law, is public is not nominative information.’

“In conclusion, I am hereby confirming that the names and addresses of the CSU directors and executive members were, indeed, released to the attorney representing Mr. Schulz, and that there was absolutely no breach of any law in so doing since the information requested is public information in accordance with the legal provisions cited above.”