Concordia Student-Protester Tribunals Suspended
Parties Including Students, Mediator, Faculty and Admin to Enter Mediations
Tribunal hearings for student protesters involved in last semester’s strikes have been suspended after all parties agreed to enter mediation, according to Concordia University spokesperson Chris Mota.
An external mediator has been hired to lead the process, Mota told The Link. Three professors charged over 25 students for separate incidents of class disruptions during strike mandates last semester. After initially stating they wouldn’t get involved, the university became co-complainants.
Five student association presidents are representing their constituents in the upcoming mediation, according to Katie Nelson, President of Students of Philosophy Association (SoPhiA).
Including SoPhiA, the presidents from the five student associations entering mediation are Political Science, Women’s Studies, Liberal Arts and the Fine Arts Student Alliance—the only association representing an entire faculty.
She says that entering negotiations is legitimate because the presidents can act as representatives for the charged students who were only enforcing a democratically voted strike mandate.
“The people to be complained against are the associations, not the students,” Nelson said.
University President Alan Shepard hired the mediator, according to Nelson. “I hope there will be a degree of neutrality,” she commented.
She expects the talks to be focused on last semester’s strikes and the democratic processes that led to them, and not on how future ones will be handled.
“I hope the university doesn’t put on the table any requests on how we can act in future strikes,” Nelson said.
The other parties involved in the upcoming mediation include the three professors who filed the complaints, a representative for Shepard, another professor who experienced a class disruption but didn’t file complaints, a Concordia Student Union Advocacy Centre representative, a faculty tribunal pool member and a student tribunal pool member, according to Nelson.
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