More York insanity
Old gov’t won’t leave
By Laura Katsirdakis
Administration at York University announced Wednesday that
they would be recognizing the results of the contested student
union election, dismissing complaints by some outgoing council
members that the election was flawed.
“The student government had become dysfunctional,” said
York spokesperson Nancy White, explaining that the university
felt the need to step in once the situation reached an impasse.
The new council of the York Federation of Students was elected
by students in late November, but it has yet to be ratified
due to a slew of fighting between the new and old government.
Many candidates within the new government campaigned within
a slate called “Progress Not Politics.” Some of
the losing candidates charged the PNP group with campaign overspending,
and stalled the ratification process by forcing the YFS to
debate the charge.
On Jan. 9, York’s administration froze the transfer
of student levies to the YFS because they had not yet ratified
the new government. When the fighting between the two groups
intensified, York administration said Wednesday they would
recognize the elected government, despite the fact they had
not yet been ratified, White confirmed.
“[The former YFS] was acting beyond their constitution,” she
said. “The university has a responsibility to ensure
that the constitution of the [YFS] be upheld.”
“We are very happy about this,” said Yaakov Roth,
campaign manager for PNP. “They stepped in [Wednesday]
and said they would work with us,” he said, adding this
meant the university was extending financial control of the
YFS to the newly elected students.
But Roth said logistical details have yet to be worked out,
given that the old council still retains control of the YFS
“We are very disappointed with the university’s
decision,” said Sandra Pierre, VP-quality and services
for the former YFS council, noting that the university’s
action does not stand legally as the student union is a separate
corporate entity. “We are going to continue doing everything
“We don’t know what [the university’s] recognition
means; we have yet to decide what we are going to do,” she
explained, adding that YFS lawyers are currently being consulted.
Roth was aware of the old council’s intention to speak
to the YFS lawyers. “We sent a letter to the YFS lawyers
saying we are not going to pay you for this,” he said,
explaining the lawyers work for the YFS and the new government
now has control of the YFS finances.
“We are clearly still in a state of limbo,” Roth
said. “We are not sure what will happen yet.”