Concordia admin: De-certify the CSU

04.02.03

And in an interesting twist: the Concordia administration has asked the Quebec government to de-certify the CSU:

[Lowy] said Concordia has approached the ministries of education and justice to strip the CSU of its certification because it has not acted in the interests of the undergraduates it represents.

[ . . . ]

Quebec, he said, is the only province that permits student governments to be certified like labour unions. This status allows the CSU a great deal of autonomy, he said. It obliges the university to collect dues from students and turn them over to the CSU to use as it wishes. Currently, the CSU has $1.3 million at its disposal.

With Evolution’s victory in the CSU electons last Friday, this point may be seemingly moot. After all, a moderate slate has been elected, that will likely protect the interests of students without imposing a radical agenda like the past four years’ CFS-backed executives. So why bother trying to de-certify?

Well, the simple answer is that this is just one election. A year of peace will be very nice at Concordia, but there’s nothing to stop the Left from gearing up and getting right back into power next year. I’m sure they’re already strategizing as we speak. A CSU with drastically-reduced power may reduce Evolution’s power this year – but it would also ensure that the system was a lot less prone to abuse in the future. So hey, sounds like a good idea to me!

Sure, the Left will cry foul as it always does, and accuse the administration of trying to strip students of their legitimate rights to representation. But I bet that, with the exception of the radicals, nobody would ever miss the CSU and its ridiculous amount of power. When a union does more harm than good for its members, then what exactly is the point?

Update – 04/20/03: These reports appear to be erroneous as Lowy now claims he did not, in fact, ask the government to de-certify the CSU:

“The administration has not asked the government to de-certify the union,” he said. “Two years ago, when we were having trouble with the union, we put in a request that the four ministries responsible for accreditation look at the CSU. We felt [the CSU] were going beyond their mandate. We never asked them to de-certify.” Lowy maintains that the Quebec government decided against investigating the CSU two years ago, and the administration has never asked again.

That’s really too bad. At the very least, the government ought to review the expansive amounts of power given to student unions to ensure that, ultimately, they are accountable to someone.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meryl Yourish 04.02.03 at 4:20 PM

At the risk of being an ageist, it’s patently absurd to let a bunch of children have the same autonomy that labor unions–staffed by people who actually work for a living–have.

These are students at a college. They should not have the ultimate authority. Checks and balances are necessary.

The last few years of the CSU have shown what happens when you let the students have the reins.

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2 mr_b2b2 04.02.03 at 6:20 PM

As long as Hillel gets the money it is owed from last year, then sure, it’s a good idea to de-certify the CSU. Although, I think in the future CSU membership should be an option, not a requirement, meaning that students should not have to pay to support a student union they are against. It’s like forcing Newark, New Jersey residents to pay taxes to support that sick Islamic Poet Laureate who blamed the Jews for 9/11 and stated in a poem that the Mossad told Jews to stay home that day. It’s just not right to do so. Personally, I think all members of Hillel should have their dues refunded for last year or have Hillel’s budget tripled as part of compensation for the crimes of the current CSU.

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3 segacs 04.02.03 at 6:38 PM

There’s complications though. If you allow students to opt out of their union dues, while it still holds that kind of power over the university, then those students would also lose the right to vote in union elections.

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4 mr_b2b2 04.03.03 at 7:08 AM

Segacs, I understand what you mean about allowing students to opt out of their union dues, unless the students are specifically targeted as Hillel Students were, in which case I believe it would be in the rights of every Jewish student interested in Hillel to boycott payment of dues as a protest to the University, which should have power to waive the dues if it deems the circumstances regarding the request merit such action.

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