Vote to determine if reprimanded students may sit on Concordia’s senate

Graphic by Florence Yee.

During the last senate meeting six of the nine committee members were approved

Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) General Coordinator Lucinda Marshall-Kiparissis may soon be allowed full privilege to sit on Concordia’s senate, along with other former reprimanded students. Following senate’s approval for students to sit on senate, the final vote will be made by the Board of Governors which will either pass or fail.

Marshall-Kiparissis, who has requested speaking rights before each senate meeting, may no longer have to. “As general coordinator of the Concordia Student Union it’s part of my responsibilities to be a representative on senate and the Board of Governors since I’m the primary [person] representative of the union,” said Marshall-Kiparissis.

“Senators voted on a proposal that now has to go to the Board of Governors for approval,” said university spokesperson Chris Mota. “If the governors vote in favour of the proposal, then the reprimanded students will be allowed to sit on senate.” This would not allow reprimanded students to sit on the Board of Governors, however.

Marshall-Kiparissis said students who want to sit on senate are bound by certain eligibility requirements, which include term limits that do not apply to any other members. Students also have to be in acceptable academic standing—not conditional standing—and can not be independent students.

She said both she and Marion Miller, elected to represent the faculty of Fine Arts, were chosen to be senators in the CSU’s elections last March. “We both received the lowest possible sanction under the code of rights and responsibilities related to the 2015 strikes,” she said, adding that an ad hoc committee, a committee formed to resolve an issue with a specific goal, met throughout the summer with faculty and student representatives.

Marshall-Kiparissis said the ad hoc committee was formed after Concordia’s senate voted against the recommendations made by CSU and Concordia administration to grant reprimanded students eligibility at the senate meeting at the end of the last academic year.

She said the recommendation was made in light of her and Miller being appointed on senate. Marshall-Kiparissis said it was approved by six of the nine members of the committee. “Senate passed without any dissent so that was really heartening,” said Marshall-Kiparissis. Marshall-Kiparissis said she is really excited to be able to fulfill the responsibility given to her as the CSU general coordinator.

She said this is the step in the right direction for students, however, although in the CSU’s mind this represents good progress, it’s not quite complete. Kiparissis said CSU council had a mandate last year recognizing the eligibility barriers to students sitting on Concordia’s bodies is not completely in line with the provincial accreditation act concerning student representation of unions.

“We believe it is in our right that any students that the undergraduate constituency deems to be a good representative should be allowed to sit on those bodies without interference from the university,” said Marshall-Kiparissis. “That means we hope in the future independant students will be able to sit on, that even students with conditional standing will be able to sit on, that students are not bound by a more rigid term limits than faculty are.”

The date of the vote was not confirmed before the publication deadline, but those who are interested in viewing the next Board of Governors meeting may attend at the observer’s’ room in H-633-1 of the Hall building on S.G.W. campus at 4 p.m. on Nov 2.

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