CSU Council Denies Latest Attempt to Annul Per-Faculty Fee-Levy Question

Fee-Levy Groups Had Sought to Overturn Judicial Board Verdict

A motion to annul the Judicial Board’s decision to put the per-faculty fee-levy question to a referendum failed at a special Concordia Student Union council meeting Wednesday evening, despite the referendum question already being put to voters as of Tuesday.

Christina Xydous, Volunteer and Administrative coordinator of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia, presented the request to council on behalf of QPIRG as well as the Centre for Gender Advocacy and the Concordia Greenhouse, on the grounds that the decision was “manifestly” unreasonable.

Xydous asserted that the question on the ballot had been taken out of context, consequently affecting the undergraduate opinion. “[This referendum question] was one of two that was brought to council, and that gives us the context to which this referendum question even ever made it to the ballots,” she explained to The Link.

“The purpose was in order to allow one of the faculties to opt out of the fee levies, so acting as if this was just an innocuous question about fee-levy votes versus CSU-wide membership in voting is facetious. We all know what the purpose of this question is,” she said.

Xydous said that, additionally, the referendum question “isn’t legal under The Quebec Companies Act, The Accreditation Act, [or] The Quebec Civil Code,” and that “[the fee-levy groups] don’t believe it’s legal under even the CSU’s own documents including the letters of the CSU by-laws and standing regulations.”

One of those regulations was standing regulation 93, which requires council to give student groups five days notice of any motion that would affect their funding. Gene Morrow,VP Academic and Advocacy, agreed with the fee levies’ argument that the bylaw had not been properly applied.

“We did break this regulation,” he told council. “There was a procedural error on the part of council…[that was] clearly unreasonable.”

Arts and science councillor Wendy Kraus-Heitmann motioned to seal the results of the referendum question until the CSU had sought legal advice.

VP Sustainability Benjamin Prunty said “The [referendum] question was rushed from the beginning.”

Judicial Board Chairperson Zach Braman said of the option “It would just be unreasonable for the CSU to hire lawyers to address every single one of those concerns [raised by QPIRG].”

“Whether [the referendum question] passes or fails, we’re going to have to address it,” said CSU VP Finance Scott Carr.

Both the motion to seal the results and the motion to annul the decision to put forward the referendum question subsequently failed, and the councillors moved to adjourn.