Home Petition completed, students now wait for word from CFS

Petition completed, students now wait for word from CFS

by admin October 20, 2009

Petition completed, students now wait for word from CFS

by admin October 20, 2009

A petition calling for a referendum on Concordia University’s continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students was delivered to its national office Monday.
The first endorsement on the first page of the petition was signed Sept. 15. Since then, it has grown to 288 pages with 5,357 signatures, or about 16.7 per cent of undergraduate students.
Dawson College also mailed its petition Monday, with 1,018 signatures, or approximately 13.7 per cent of all full-time students at the downtown CEGEP.
Nationwide, 13 student unions at 12 universities are working toward the same goal 8212; to have students vote on whether their unions should maintain memberships with the country’s largest student lobby group.
In order to be valid, petitions require signatures from at least 10 per cent of students. Each signature on Dawson’s petition was individually verified, according to Raymond Boucher, director of student services. Fifty-nine signatures were rejected either because names and student numbers didn’t match up, or because the student is not presently studying full-time.
One of the coordinators for Concordia’s efforts, Lex Gill, said that verifying process would have taken too long for the over 3,000 signatures needed from the university. Instead, the petitioners got enough signatures to make it “basically impossible” for the document to be rejected, said Gill.
“We’re relieved and we’re proud,” she said the evening before the documents were delivered to CFS-National by bailiff. “But now that the petition is finished, now it’s an information war.”
Gill said she is anticipating one of three reactions from the national office: “They’ll either deny receiving anything, try to tie this up in court or there will be a radio silence,” she said, suggesting CFS officials may shut down all communications with outside sources.
Students from Dawson and Concordia took the extra precaution of photocopying the signatures and hiring a bailiff to deliver their petitions in light of what recently happened in Ontario.
When students from the University of Guelph, Trent University and Carleton University delivered petitions late last month, the CFS-Ontario chair denied ever receiving them, according to Guelph’s independent student newspaper.
“They’ll have to acknowledge receipt of ours,” said Gill. “Unless their goal is to go to court, which is possible.”
Concordia students pay nearly $300,000 in fees to CFS each year. In return, students gain access to the federation’s services, like TravelCUTS and the International Student Identity Card (ISIC).
Concordia student’s main complaint about CFS is the impression that it is not an open and…
…democratic organization, Gill said.
In an effort to increase the federation’s transparency, the lobby group’s Quebec component released a reform package last week. The CFS-National chairperson rejected the package over the weekend.
As to what Concordia students will do if they defederate from CFS, Gill said that will have to be left to the membership. “There’s a lot of things we could do independently with $300,000,” she said. “I’m confident that the student body is creative and innovative enough to come up with something.”

Leave a Comment

A petition calling for a referendum on Concordia University’s continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students was delivered to its national office Monday.
The first endorsement on the first page of the petition was signed Sept. 15. Since then, it has grown to 288 pages with 5,357 signatures, or about 16.7 per cent of undergraduate students.
Dawson College also mailed its petition Monday, with 1,018 signatures, or approximately 13.7 per cent of all full-time students at the downtown CEGEP.
Nationwide, 13 student unions at 12 universities are working toward the same goal 8212; to have students vote on whether their unions should maintain memberships with the country’s largest student lobby group.
In order to be valid, petitions require signatures from at least 10 per cent of students. Each signature on Dawson’s petition was individually verified, according to Raymond Boucher, director of student services. Fifty-nine signatures were rejected either because names and student numbers didn’t match up, or because the student is not presently studying full-time.
One of the coordinators for Concordia’s efforts, Lex Gill, said that verifying process would have taken too long for the over 3,000 signatures needed from the university. Instead, the petitioners got enough signatures to make it “basically impossible” for the document to be rejected, said Gill.
“We’re relieved and we’re proud,” she said the evening before the documents were delivered to CFS-National by bailiff. “But now that the petition is finished, now it’s an information war.”
Gill said she is anticipating one of three reactions from the national office: “They’ll either deny receiving anything, try to tie this up in court or there will be a radio silence,” she said, suggesting CFS officials may shut down all communications with outside sources.
Students from Dawson and Concordia took the extra precaution of photocopying the signatures and hiring a bailiff to deliver their petitions in light of what recently happened in Ontario.
When students from the University of Guelph, Trent University and Carleton University delivered petitions late last month, the CFS-Ontario chair denied ever receiving them, according to Guelph’s independent student newspaper.
“They’ll have to acknowledge receipt of ours,” said Gill. “Unless their goal is to go to court, which is possible.”
Concordia students pay nearly $300,000 in fees to CFS each year. In return, students gain access to the federation’s services, like TravelCUTS and the International Student Identity Card (ISIC).
Concordia student’s main complaint about CFS is the impression that it is not an open and…
…democratic organization, Gill said.
In an effort to increase the federation’s transparency, the lobby group’s Quebec component released a reform package last week. The CFS-National chairperson rejected the package over the weekend.
As to what Concordia students will do if they defederate from CFS, Gill said that will have to be left to the membership. “There’s a lot of things we could do independently with $300,000,” she said. “I’m confident that the student body is creative and innovative enough to come up with something.”

Leave a Comment