January 23, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 63  

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New student union at York to take office after ugly battle

By Ben Fine
Gazette Staff

The York Federation of Students met last night to determine the fate of its new student government. Representatives from both the incoming and outgoing governments said they were confident that an end to the YFS saga was in sight, as the government elected in November was expected to finally be ratified.

Last night, the outgoing government and the government-elect met to hear the conclusions of a report commissioned by the Constituency Committee. Ratification of the new government was expected by both sides.

The committee, composed of the presidents of the nine affiliated York University colleges, was empowered with YFS trusteeship last Thursday, according to Paul Cooper, president-elect of YFS and leader of Progress Not Politics. “I’m eager to start the job,” he said of last night’s predicted transfer of power.

The majority of elected officials set to be ratified ran as members of Cooper’s PNP, a group of candidates that sought to de-politicize the student government.

“We are moving forward and [are] working with that group (PNP),” said York spokesperson Nancy White.

According to Sandra Pierre, the outgoing YFS VP-equality and services, the previous government decided to accept the recommendations of the committee. “[The outgoing government] is not planning to change or argue anything,” she said.

The past few months have been mired in controversy as outgoing members battled with the incoming PNP slate over political differences pertaining to the Middle East conflict.

During that time, student clubs and services have been unable to receive proper funding, Pierre said. The outgoing government is therefore looking forward to the student government getting down to students’ business, she added.

“It is imperative that clubs and services continue to function and students’ needs are respected,” she said. “I wish them the best of luck.”

Cooper said the new YFS is looking forward to acting on campaign promises.

PNP spokesperson Yaakov Roth said the government has pledged to improve lighting and security on campus, and reduce costs. The government also intends to rewrite election bylaws which, Roth said, have proven “obviously ineffective.”



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