Concordia University’s Office of Rights and Responsibilities has launched formal complaints against students regarding actions taken during the student strike which violate certain behavioral codes.
According to Concordia Student Union’s VP Advocacy Lucia Gallardo, approximately 60 students received emails from the university administration on Friday, June 1. Although the content of these messages remains unclear due to confidentiality, students may be facing charges under the Academic Code of Conduct or the Code of Rights and Responsibilities.
Gallardo went on to explain that students could be facing charges under Code 29G for obstructing or blocking access to classrooms. Under the Code of Rights and Responsibilities, 29G states the following:
“Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, study, student disciplinary procedures or other University activity. For example, peaceful picketing or other activity in any public space that does not impede access nor interfere with the activities in a class or meeting is an acceptable expression of dissent and shall not be considered an infraction of this article.”
The CSU’s Advocacy Centre has reached out to Concordia’s entire student body since Gallardo explained they do not have “a comprehensive list of students who received formal complaints.”
CSU President Schubert Laforest, who took office June 1, confirmed that while some letters had used a basic template for the complaints, others were more specific, citing dates when students had violated the code in question.
Laforest emphasized that the CSU’s goal is to help represent these students and to help them realize “the potential ramifications.”
The CSU was informed about the charges around 4 p.m. on the first day of their mandate, and Laforest criticized the university administration for being late to address the issue.
“It’s relatively irresponsible to charge these students now,” he said. “It’s June. This should have been dealt with in May.”
Laforest went on to say that the timing of the emails does nothing to help students who could not access their classes during the winter semester.
“The situation should have been remedied,” Laforest explained. “It’s negative, it’s political and it’s tricky.”
University spokesperson Chris Mota explained that the university purposely waited until to file the complaints.
“The university made a conscious decision to wait until exam period was over,” said Mota. “We had to see which complaints were legitimate and then process them.”
Although an exact number cannot be confirmed, Mota explained that approximately 40 inquiries were made during the semester, though not all led to complaints.