Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CFS losing their grip: UoG has all party support for a Referendum on representation by the CFS

It just shows you what our youth can do when they put their heads together, set aside their differences, and take a stand on an issue... TOGETHER.

In last week's "The Ontarion", the University of Guelph's student newspaper, there was a "Letter to the Editor" signed by the political campus clubs of three of the four major parties, calling in part for a referendum on whether or not the CFS will continue to represent the students at the University of Guelph.

Here's the letter:
We the undersigned, as students of the University of Guelph, support democracy. We believe that Students should be allowed to speak and have their voices heard. As such, we have come together to call for a referendum so Students can choose their representation. We demand, in order to gain the support of Students, that the Canadian Federation of Students:

1. Advocate effectively on the issues that matter to Students.
2. Decentralize power.
3. Demonstrate financial and administrative transparency.
4. Take a non-partisan stance during elections.
5. Acknowledge Students’ right to choose through a referendum.
6. Cease unjust litigation of your own Students.

Let Students choose the movement! Let Students Speak!

Guelph Campus Conservatives
University of Guelph Young Liberals
Guelph Campus Greens
I have it on good authority that the NDP campus club had also signed on to the letter, but withdrew their name and support at the last minute before the paper went to print.* I'm thinking someone from the CFS got wind of the letter and "got to them", pressuring them to withdraw their support, or else. (* NOTE: See UPDATE II below)

Here's hoping that this is a start to a real democratic movement in student politics at the University of Guelph... and that the leftist stranglehold will be broken, so that ALL voices can be genuinely heard, and so that REAL debate of the issues can happen in an unrepressive environment of learning.

UPDATE: Turns out that the CFS is attempting to stonewall this referendum on a technicallity... the required paperwork wasn't sent to the CFS by "Registered Mail", and therefore no referendum will be held.
According to CFS-O bylaws, the federation must receive a petition initiating a referendum process six months in advance of the referendum date.

The Ontarion confirmed in October that a process server delivered a package to CFS Ontario on Sept. 29, including the petition and a letter from the University registrar verifying the signatures of 10 per cent of the undergraduate student body, a CFS-Ontario de-federating requirement.

But CFS-O bylaws stipulate that petitions must be delivered by registered mail.

Shelly Melanson, CFS-O chairperson, told the Ontarion on Tuesday that the Guelph petitions had arrived by registered mail on Nov. 9.

“Any petition that is going to initiate a referendum process must be received six months prior to the date of the referendum. Because this petition failed to meet the notice provision under Article 5 bylaw 2, the petition is not in order,” said Melanson.

Looks like they're seriously worried about losing access to all that funding... they see that their losing their grip on the UofG, and are desperately trying to hold on.

Stay tuned, more info as I get it...

UPDATE II: As for the NDP's support, I've been corrected by a source. It turns out that the UofG's NDP did not in fact withdraw because they didn't support the letter, but because they didn't want an endorsement of the letter to be confused with support for withdrawing from the CFS. While they advocate remaining within the CFS and will campaign to that effect in any refurendum, they DO apparently support the idea of allowing the student body to make their determination for themselves. As such, the letter apparently DOES have all party support within the UofG, while they differ on the merits of membership within the CFS itself.

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