ConU admin is still withholding funds

The CSU and Concordia Administration remain deadlocked over the transfer of student fees to the CSU.
On Jan. 25 Concordia University administration decided to cut off funding to the CSU until the council of representatives appointed the Representative Union, who won the contested November byelection, as interim executives. The administration gave the “undemocratic” nature of the current CSU executive as their reasoning for the decision.
At the council of representatives meeting held on Jan. 30, council voted to delay a motion to appoint an executive until the administration released the funds. Furthermore, a letter from the CSU’s lawyer has been delivered to the administration warning them of legal action should the money not be released.
“Your actions are particularly surprising as the university has in the past gone to great lengths to distance itself from the CSU. We […] demand on our clients behalf that your decision on Jan 25. 2002, be revoked no later than Thursday this week, Jan. 31, 2002, failing which judicial proceedings shall be instituted against the university,” read the letter in part.
The administration, for its part, remains steadfast in its demand that a democratically elected executive be installed before any fees are unfrozen.
“Nothing has changed. Until there is a legally elected executive, no funds will be released,” said Concordia co-ordinator for media relations Chris Mota. “We have a responsibility to our students. The university stands by its position.”
Interim CSU President Patrice Blais said he had a feeling the administration would react in this manner, and has therefore secured funds that should last until this problem is resolved. Blais refused to comment on how he managed to secure the funds, telling reporters to ask him next week.
Since no executive is in place, its functions will continue to be filled by interim employees of the CSU hired on weekly contracts. Blais announced he had renewed the contracts of Louis-Eric Simard, Ralph Lee and Sameer Zuberi. All three had previously served as temporary executives under Blais during the end of semester break.
Possible suit against Admin
Councilor Tom Keefer announced he and Laith Marouf will be suing the Concordia administration for defamation of character in relation to their on-going court case. Keefer and Marouf are currently in court defending charges of assault, vandalism and uttering death threats brought against them by Concordia administration this summer.
The slander and libel suit arises out of allegations by Keefer and Marouf that on several occasions the administration did not use the word “alleged” when discussing the case. This left them open to libel and slander charges, said Keefer, since no ruling had yet been made in the case.
In a related motion, Keefer sought and received the support of the CSU council and its legal defense fund in order to pursue the charges. Also in the motion was a disclaimer that if Keefer and Marouf should succeed in their case, the settlement money will first go to repaying the CSU legal defense fund.
Keefer could not specify how much money the case would cost, or how much the settlement would be. He suspected that it could be nearly a year before a ruling was rendered. Keefer added that the charges would be filed very soon, possibly within a day of the council meeting.
When the administration was contacted on Friday afternoon, two days after the meeting, Mota informed the Concordian that no known charges had been received. Mota did not wish to make further comments until the administration had received more information pertaining to the charges.
Committee to appoint new CEO
The council also appointed a six-member committee in order to hire a new Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and two Deputy Electoral Officers (DEOs) in preparation for the CSU election to be held March 26. It became necessary to find a new CEO when the Judicial Board, in the wake of election irregularities during November’s byelection, fired Jessica Lajambe from that position. The committee will also be charged with reviewing the electoral regulations in order to avoid a repeat of the problems that plagued the byelection. The council also plans to dedicate a section of the next Unabridged to individual council members comments on the Judicial Board’s ruling and the council’s decision to not appoint the Representative Union as the new executive.
New club accredited
In other news, the Young Liberals of Concordia is now an officially recognized university club, which allows them to use school facilities and obtain an operating budget. President Marc Younger stressed the fact, though, that the group will provide its own funds in light of its affiliation with a political party. The push for accreditation was necessary in order for the Young Liberals to receive an alcohol license within the month, in time for a wine and cheese featuring federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister StŽphane Dion as the key note speaker.


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