Hillel files suit against the CSU

12.21.02

A declaration filed by 10 plaintiffs from Hillel has been filed, demanding Hillel’s full and unconditional reinstatement, the unfreezing of its funding, and $100,000 in punative damages.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bill 12.22.02 at 4:33 AM

$100,000 seems a little low to me for
punitive damages. Is there a reason why
they are not asking more?

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2 Sandy 12.23.02 at 1:56 AM

I read somewhere (can someone confirm this?) that the Concordia University Students’ was also demanding that Hillel not distribute or advocate anything contrary to the political policies of the Students Union. IF this is true (and I cannot say for sure) then this is disgustingly dictatorial, and the Students’ Union should be disbanded.

Something else I read, from a trusted source: that, when the Students’ Union was hit with the lawsuit, they tried to get Concordia’s administration to rescind the Students’ Union decision — so it would look like it was coming from the School Authorities, and not the Union rescinding its own rediculous decision. To the Admin’s credit, they refused to do so… criticizing the Students Union for damning the Admin when they interfered in other kinds of circumstances, and now, only wanting the Admin’s involvement so the Students’ Union would not have to take responsiblity for its own actions.

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3 segacs 12.23.02 at 4:54 AM

Sandy – both are true. The document that the CSU wants Hillel (and all clubs) to sign is essentially a propaganda statement, supporting obvious things as no racism and also not-so-general things like a commitment to “not promote war”.

As for the second point, yes, the CSU tried to pass the buck to the administration. I linked to an article in the Montreal Muslim news where the CSU members were quoted as saying:

The other loophole is that Hillel’s club privileges are suspended, not permanently, but just until the university administration investigates and clears them. Slater explains the reasoning, “CSU has a reputation for being hostile to Hillel. We wanted the final decision to be in someone else’s hands.” McIntosh adds, “The university could clear Hillel tomorrow and we’d restore everything. Of course, that would make the university an accessory to the crime and that suits us just fine.”

Slater agrees, “The university will have trouble with the Arab and Muslim students if they clear Hillel and trouble with Bnai Brith if they don’t.

If you read the press release from the admin, you’ll see a few choice jabs at the CSU. And you’re right, to their credit, the admin refused to take the bait.

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4 Hanthala 12.24.02 at 7:21 AM

Segacs, you’re wrong about the CSU statement of principles. It does include anti-racism, but does not have anything to say about “promoting war.” That clause, which came from the administration, was removed at the last CSU Council. Councillors felt that it was an attack on free speech.

As for Hillel having to abide by the CSU’s constitution (ratified democratically), that’s as true for Hillel as any other club since it gets its funding from the CSU–students should have a say and they’ve voted in the past for that constitution.

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5 Patrice 12.24.02 at 8:52 AM

For Bill: When you launch a civil suit and you claim above $100,000 if your action is dismissed or rejected you need to pay a compensation to the defending party.

This is a potential reason while you think twice about trying for above $100,000

Pat

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6 Yetzer 01.02.03 at 12:05 AM

No matter what Hillel says or does, the CSU will be against them as long as they support Israel. For all of their high-minded talk, the truth comes down to this.

This will always be true because the CSU is convinced that the founding principle of Israel – that Jews as well as Arabs have a right to a homeland in the place of their ancestors – is inherently racist. Also, they will always be against Hillel as long as the CSU is run by a group of grandstanding political opportunists, who do not care a bit about stepping on a minority group if it helps their causes – Palestinian nationalism, and the battle against corporate globalization.

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