Disappointed with Lowy

Dear Dr. Lowy,

We, the undersigned, are students who were, at the request of our respective associations, present at the Board of Governors meeting, held Feb. 17.

We wish to express our profound disappointment with your comments regarding the resolutions from all major unions, expressing either a loss of confidence in the Board of Governors or calling for the resignation of the Board’s Chair Peter Kruyt.

Many unions and departments have also called for the resignation of the Executive Committee and/or of the community-at-large members of the Board. They’ve suggested that new members be appointed through a more democratic process. 

The Graduate Students’ Association held a general assembly this week at which the general membership voted for the resignation of both Mr. Kruyt and the executive committee, with replacements to be chosen by a committee divided equally between Senate and Board members.

Many graduate students left their labs, studies and exam preparations to vote on this issue, and many students spent a great deal of time preparing the event.

The council of the Concordia Student Union passed a similar resolution, resulting from an open meeting with students. To dismiss resolutions from both official student organizations as being caused by poor communication, “feelings of victimization,” and “perceptions” is disrespectful, unfounded and not your judgment to make. Nor is it Mr. Kruyt’s.

Regardless of whether Mr. Kruyt considers the current universal rejection of his leadership a “challenge,” or whether you feel the situation can be remedied with improved perceptions—Mr. Kruyt has not been the Board’s legitimate Chair since these resolutions were passed, and nothing will make him so again.

You have called for better communication and more interaction between groups, but not for accompanying substantive changes. We came to this meeting and listened carefully to everything that was said. We have emerged from it with an even more of a negative opinion of decision-making processes at the Board of Governors, and of the humility and commitment to student concerns of certain community-at-large members, than we had before.

Finally, we feel that your calls for calm and communication were rather unevenly applied. You failed to comment on community-at-large member Mr. Charles Cavell’s shameful threat of working to reduce union representation in governance at Concordia in response to these discussions.

—Holly Nazar, Rushdia Mehreen,
Erik Chevrier, Louise Birdsell Bauer

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 25, published March 8, 2011.

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