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ConU administration unfreezes funds

by Archives June 5, 2002

Concordia’s administration has released $200,000 of students’ fees it
withheld from the CSU after November’s executive byelection failed to
produce an elected executive.
Interim CSU President Patrice Blais announced the unfreezing of funds at
the council of representatives meeting held on May 8.
The fees, which were to be transferred to the CSU at the beginning of
the winter semester, have sat in an interest-earning account since the
judicial board’s decision to annul the byelection results due to
election irregularities. Upon the announcement, the CSU council of
representatives appointed an interim executive headed by Blais, the VP
finance.
The administration issued a statement after the byelection saying it
would not deal with the interim executive because it was not elected and
therefore illegitimate. Furthermore, it announced it would withhold the
balance of the student transfer fees -$200,000- which was destined for
the CSU.
There was some hope that the administration might finally transfer the
fees following the March election of the CANDO slate, headed by Sabine
Friesinger. But CANDO is to only take office on June 1, and the
administration said it would only transfer the funds at that point.
But since that decision in early April, Rector Frederick Lowy has sat
down with Friesinger and negotiated a transfer of the fees to the CSU
before CANDO officially takes office. According to Concordia
Communications Officer Christine Mota, Lowy asked Friesinger if she
would be comfortable with the interim executive receiving the funds.
Friesinger, whose slate decried the administration’s decision to
withhold the fees, agreed to the transfer.
Mota said the sole motivation for the unexpected decision was that a
new, representative executive slate had been elected. Blais, though,
feels there was more to it than that.
After making the announcement, he hinted that the administration’s
decision was in part due to a court appearance to be held the following
Friday. The CSU had decided to file suit with the administration over
the withheld fees, as well as its refusal to deal with the interim
executive, both of which Blais said violated accreditation laws.
By transferring the fees back before the court case, said Blais, the CSU
went from a 98 per cent chance of winning to a fifty-fifty chance.
In fact, the case was thrown out on May 10 for exactly those reasons.
According to interim-vp internal Sameer Zuberi the judge decided that
any decision to transfer the fees to the CSU was in fact an acceptance
of its legitimacy.
The total sum of $203,500, including interest, has already been restored
to the CSU coffers.

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