Former U of Windsor president takes student association to court

The past two years have seen two Ontario university students take their student associations to court, one being the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), and more recently, the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance (UWSA).    UWSA president Larissa Howlett was removed from her position in May, after allegedly breaching the student alliance’s bylaws and policies by firing its general manager, Nicole Morell, and hiring an interim manager. According to a public statement by the UWSA, Howlett did not have the proper authority to fire Morell. The UWSA’s Board of Directors unanimously passed a motion to remove Howlett after an eight-hour meeting, citing a lack of transparency on her part and committing multiple violations of their bylaws and policies.  Howlett disputed […]

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Letter: The CFS undermines student democracy

Not only is the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) painfully ineffective, politically divisive, and self-motivated—they may also be subverting the democratic will of students across the country. A recent article from the University of Toronto’s student newspaper The Varsity outlined allegations of CFS interference in student union elections. Former CFS national chairperson, Bilan Arte, is accused of allegedly using CFS resources improperly to support a failed bid for president of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union. She denies the allegations. There are other allegations from various student unions that pro-CFS student union slates at the University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, and Selkirk College received direct CFS assistance in their student campaigns. These are only the reported cases. There could be […]

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UPDATED: CUSA, GSA settle UniCentre fee lawsuit

The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) have reached an agreement settling the ongoing lawsuit over unpaid University Centre fees. Statements released Sept. 10 by the GSA and CUSA said both parties are satisfied with the new agreement going forward. This settlement resolves a three-year dispute between the two associations regarding the payment of the Unicentre fee by the GSA to CUSA. The GSA previously paid a substantial levy to CUSA for graduate student use of CUSA-run service centres. The GSA began withholding the Unicentre fee under claims of financial mismanagement and refusal of service to graduate students, which prompted CUSA to sue the GSA in January 2013 over the unpaid fees.   The new […]

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Editorial: One lawsuit down, but there’s another to go

The Carleton University Students Association (CUSA) and the Graduate Students Association (GSA) recently settled a three-year lawsuit over the Unicentre fees usually paid by the GSA to CUSA. The fees were withheld by the GSA over disagreements between the two associations about service standards and financial transparency. While settling this lawsuit is a great first step for this year’s executives, we need to remember there is another ongoing lawsuit between these two campus groups over the student health plan. The GSA launched legal action against CUSA in 2012, when CUSA terminated their joint health plan agreement and signed with a new provider. Student associations frequently pledge to put students first, but spending time in mediation and money on legal fees […]

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GSA expected to release statement on lawsuits

The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) will be releasing a statement in early March on the settlements the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) put forward four months ago regarding two ongoing lawsuits. The GSA filed a lawsuit against CUSA in October 2012 after the undergraduate student union withdrew from a joint health plan between the two student associations. In January 2013, CUSA sued the GSA over three years of unpaid student service centre fees, also known as the Unicentre fee. CUSA received $105,000 from the GSA in payment for Unicentre use from 2011-12. The amounts from 2012-13 and 2013-14 are still owed. CUSA did not include the fee in its 2014-15 budget. On Oct. 23, 2014, CUSA offered two settlements to […]

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