Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 30, No.11

March 03, 2005


Engler loses bid to overturn ruling


Activist Yves Engler has lost his bid to overturn a five-year suspension from the university. He had sought an injunction to continue his studies and resume his activities as a representative of the Concordia Student Union.

A student tribunal found Engler guilty of assault and vandalism in the aftermath of a riot on Sept. 9, 2002, when Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech was aborted by demonstrators. Engler was fined $500 and expelled for one term.

However, when he defied the ban by appearing on campus, President Frederick Lowy added another term to his suspension. Once again he breached the sanction, this time committing vandalism. On Dec. 15, on the recommendation of then Dean of Students Charles Bertrand, Lowy extended the suspension to five years.

Engler took this decision to an appeals panel, which, like the student hearings panel, is part of the university’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities. His appeal was denied. He asked the Board of Governors to exercise their discretionary powers on his behalf, and this, too, was denied.

In her judgment, rendered Feb. 1, Justice Sylviane Borenstein of Quebec Superior Court said the decisions taken by the university conformed to its own regulations and followed the rules of natural justice. She pointed out that Engler could register at another university to finish his degree if he didn’t want to wait until his suspension was up.