A legal battle is on the horizon for the Concordia Student Union as the Canadian Federation of Students refused to recognize Concordia’s referendum results at the organization’s semi-annual general meeting in late May.
The tribulations in the CSU’s effort to leave the CFS have far from ended. Regardless of the 2,300 Concordia students who voted to leave the lobbying organization in April, the CFS maintains that the referendum was illegal.
“We went knowing what was going to happen, so it wasn’t a surprise for us,” said CSU President Prince Ralph Osei, referring to the general meeting. Osei went to the meeting to present a motion to have the referendum recognized, but the motion was shut down by the CFS. Osei challenged the chair’s ruling but to no avail. “It went to a vote and obviously undemocratic student unions refused to stand up for fellow student unions against the big brother,” Osei said.
The non-recognition will not affect the CSU’s plans for this year, at least according to the CFS bylaws, since Concordia will be forced to pay a year of dues to the organization for the year after they leave. Simply put, the student organization would be paying 2010-2011 dues to the CFS.
But Osei said that the CFS’ failure to recognize the referendum will likely lead to a legal battle. “As the ex [CSU] president used to say, “this is a messy divorce,’ and I think it’s going to get messier,” he said.
Still, Osei is confident that the CSU will succeed in leaving the CFS. “We have copies of every communication we’ve had with the national executives. We’ve documented every aspect of this relationship,” he said.
“We know we have a strong case. We’ve acted in good faith and tried to play by the rules since day one.”
The CFS could not be reached for comment.