University administrators continue
to deal with problems raised by the executive of the Concordia Student
Union over a number of issues. Heres a synopsis:
Board and senate Business and engineering student representatives
have charged that CSU members are appointing themselves to the student
slots at university senate and the board of governors. In the past, CASA
and the ECA sent their own elected representatives. Since the CSU won
provincial accreditation last year, they contend that they have exclusive
rights in this matter.
Dean of Students Don Boisvert disagrees. In a strongly worded letter to
CSU president Sabrina Stea, he invoked university traditions of
collegiality and dialogue which you seem intent on undermining,
and said he was dismayed by reports of the types of interviews to
which candidates for these seats have been subjected, with an apparent
requirement that they adopt a politically correct line of thought.
Exclusion Rector Frederick Lowy sent a letter to the general university
community last Friday explaining in detail his reasons for excluding CSU
executives Laith Marouf and Tom Keefer. He added that the incident in
which security guards were roughed up and a death threat was uttered,
allegedly by Keefer, were witnessed, in part, by Vice-Rector Services
Michael Di Grappa.
Lowy reminded members of the university of his offer of an independent
fact-finding team which, to date, has been rejected.
Tribunal As the result of a separate incident, the overturning
of tables by exhibitors at a job fair last term, a student tribunal is
in progress to hear charges against Keefer and Christina Xydous. Since
neither is now a student, University Counsel Bram Freedman has said that
the tribunal is now of no value.
General assembly A CSU general assembly was planned for yesterday
(Sept. 26) at which students were to vote on the rescinding of the administrative
fee and capital campaign contribution, the reinstatement of Marouf and
Keefer, and the expulsion of a board member and three companies
with links to the university. None of these recommendations would be binding
on the university, even if adopted by the assembly.
Handbook The rectors office has been bombarded with complaints
about the CSU handbook, called Uprising 2001-2002. Lowy has written
a strongly worded letter about the publication. It says, in part:
The CSU is an independent and wholly autonomous corporation accredited
under provincial legislation. As a result, it is legally separate from
the university. Somewhat like a labour union, the CSU is the organization
that legally represents all of our undergraduate students with respect
to university-wide issues. As such, under Quebec law, Concordia University
has no authority over the activities of the CSU.
The CSU student handbook does not at all represent the views of
Concordia University. In addition to information of practical use to all
students that one expects to find in most university student handbooks,
Uprising 2001-2002 contains a great many inflammatory and possibly libelous
statements about the university, university officials, and some of the
companies that employ our graduates and support the university.
The university disclaims all responsibility for this publication,
dissociates itself from its content, and will take appropriate action
Job fairs The CSU, angry at having part of a submission rejected for
publication in The Bridge, aimed at new students, published their
own newsletter, The Unabridged, in which they made charges of warmongering
against several companies. Copies of the article Making a Killing
were faxed to some companies and as a result, some of these companies
withdrew from job fairs organized by engineering and business students.
Rally After a pro-Palestinian bazaar and rally scheduled for Sept.
15 was cancelled in the wake of the U.S. disaster, Concordia senior administrators
got a request from the student group Solidarity for Palestinian Human
Rights to hold the event on university land today.
Dean of Students Donald Boisvert refused the request, saying, It
is our sense that both the internal and external communities would welcome
a period of respite. The safety of all participants, both your own members
and others, also remains of paramount importance to the university.
In addition, and as I again mentioned when we met, the fact that
you were seeking to hold the event on Sept. 27, which is Yom Kippur, the
holiest of Jewish holy days, is a source of grave concern.
Petitions A petition is being circulated by the CSU executive to
reinstate Marouf and Keefer, but at the same time, another petition is
going around denouncing the CSU executive, their politics and their tactics.