Quebec court upholds ruling on banned students

After a month of deliberation, the Quebec Superior Court supported Concordia University’s decision to ban Laith Marouf and Tom Keefer from campus.
Superior Court Judge Nicole Morneau dismissed their request on Nov. 22 to have the restrictions lifted, stating that they have yet to explore all avenues of appeal within the university. The judge also assessed all the costs of the court case to the two students.
The ban, issued on Aug. 20 by Rector Frederick Lowy, stated that the two students were barred from Concordia premises and expelled from the university. The decision was made after the two allegedly assaulted and uttered death threats against campus security on July 20.
Lowy stated in an e-mail that the length of the ban is still under discussion.
Marouf and Keefer have since brought the case to the Quebec Supreme Court, seeking an injunction where they would be reinstated as Concordia students and face a tribunal.
The judge quashed the injunction, stating that the two did not exhaust all possible avenues within the university prior to taking legal action.
Lowy agreed with the ruling, stating that the two have not yet explored the option of going to the Board of Governors (BoG). The BoG has the power to overturn Lowy’s decision of barring and expelling Marouf and Keefer.
The two students argue that the BoG is already partial to their case. According to both students, they have already passed a motion on Sept. 26 supporting Lowy’s decision to ban the students from campus.
“There’s no actual body that has not taken a position,” said Marouf.
Evidence submitted to the Supreme Court by the university attest that no motion was ever passed. The allegation was not mentioned in the 12-page ruling by the judge, presumably on the basis that there is no evidence to the accusations.
According to Marouf, an article published by The Suburban on Oct. 3 stated that “a number of ‘points of order’ were made in the motion of support for the rector’s actions, especially concerning the expulsion of two students from the university, was easily passed by the BoG.”
Keefer and Marouf claim that BoG changed the minutes of the meeting, omitting the discussion of CSU issues and the CSU handbook. The CSU representatives for BoG were not present at the meeting.
Keefer asserted that the Supreme Court’s ruling would not deter him from infringing on his ban from campus.
“I’m not going to respect the university’s order to ban me. I’m going to carry on about my business,” he said.
The two students have not made any definite plans yet as to how they will proceed with their attempts to be reinstated. According to Marouf, they will either appeal the judge’s ruling or wait and see what the administration will do next.
“If [we] are to win the right to return to Concordia, it must be through the political support of the community and through a broad-based student mobilization against the actions of the administration,” Keefer said in an e-mail Monday.
Lowy temporarily lifted the ban for Keefer last week so that he could vie for CSU presidency. Lowy also stated that he would reconsider Keefer’s ban from Concordia should he win on Nov. 29.
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