January 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 59  

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More York insanity
Old gov’t won’t leave

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

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 office.

“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 normally.”

“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.”



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