Board Meeting Cancelled
Students hoping for a showdown with Concordia’s Board of Governors were let down when the Feb. 10 meeting was canceled after four student representatives walked out to break quorum.
Students walked out moments before a vote to ban any filming of the meeting was to take place. Without quorum, Concordia’s highest governing body was forced to cancel the meeting.
The student representatives, frustrated that the motion was discussed before the audience was allowed in, felt a walk-out was their only option.
Student representative AJ West planned a protest of the meeting wherein he encouraged all concerned students and members of the media to film the meeting despite how other Board members feel.
“I don’t feel comfortable passing anything in closed sessions regarding transparency,” said graduate student representative Erik Chevrier. “If [the Board is] not willing to discuss it, I’m not going to sit around and have this rubber-stamped.”
Chevrier had previously attempted to pass a series of motions regarding transparency, including broadcasting the meeting online. All of his motions were voted down during the Jan. 12 BoG meeting.
But the motion discussed Friday went too far, according to Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill. While Chevrier’s original motion proposed an official live stream of the meeting, the discussed motion suggested preventing any audience member from bringing personal recording equipment.
“The open session of Board meetings has historically been recorded,” said a visibly shaken Gill, noting that members of the press frequently record the sessions. “That has always been a right.
“[…] Nobody is asking for some sort of radical transparency. No one is asking for that. We’re asking that the things the public can ordinarily walk in and see can also be seen by people who are not physically there.”
Despite ending the meeting before the public was even allowed in, the representatives felt their point had been made.
“Hopefully a precedent is set today,” said undergraduate representative Cameron Monagle. “There will be new BoG members soon and hopefully they will be more open to adopting measures of transparency.”
With files from Adam Kovac