CFS results released

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OK, it's finally happened. Here's a letter from the CFS that the Carillon received Friday afternoon:

Re: CFS membership referendum at the University of Regina
 
This letter is written in response to an e-mail entitled ʻTiming of CFS results release convenient and suspicious” circulated yesterday by the University of Regina Students'  Union (URSU). This release comes following months of the Executive of the URSU refusing attempts by our Federation to release the results of a referendum held In October 2010, amongst the individual members of the Canadian Federation of Students at the University of Regina on membership in our Federation.

In the referendum, students at the University of Regina voted to remain members of the Federation. The results were as follows:

In favour of continued membership: 1,414
Opposed to continued membership: 1,326

Following the close of polls, results were embargoed until the eligibility of a small number of voters could be determined. This included URSU members studying at the First Nations University of Canada who the URSU Executive sought to disenfranchise. The remaining ballots were counted on December 17, at which point the URSU and the Federation agreed to release the results in a timely manner. 

In the nearly three months since, the Executive of the URSU has refused to allow its members to be informed of the results, instead making its consent contingent on the Federation paying URSU legal bills and agreeing to various unrelated demands being made by the URSU.

The Federation's members at the University of Regina and across the country have a right to know the results and the Federation will not allow the Executive of the URSU to impede the release of the results. While the Federation encouraged the Executive of the URSU to agree to a joint release, the URSU refused, leaving the Federation with no choice but to release the results on its own. 
 
The attempt to prevent the release of the results are another inappropriate intrusion by the URSU Executive into the Federation's democratic processes, and a not particularly subtle way to divert attention from the fact that, despite spending significant resources opposing membership, its member students voted for unity.
 
Finally, the URSU Executive's accusation that the timing of the results is politically motivated is baseless and a continuation of its campaign to prevent students at the University of Regina from learning the results of the referendum before the conclusion of the current academic year.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.
 
In solidarity,
David Molenhuis
National Chairperson   

This certainly sounds a little, ahem, different from what URSU has been saying. We'll update as more information comes in.

You can read the original PDF here.

UPDATE: URSU's Mike Staines has linked a response from URSU below; we'll reprint it here, as it was also sent to our inbox:

The University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) is pleased the students at the University of Regina have the results from the referendum on Local 9’s continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).  “As happy as we are that our members finally have the results, were disappointed by CFS’s tactics of refusing to work with us” states URSU President Kyle Addison, “We’ve been contacting CFS to try and work with them to resolve the outstanding issues since December when we counted the final ballots.”

In the end 51.6% of students voted to remain members, 48.4% voted to leave CFS.    A motion will be presented to the URSU Board of Directors on March 21st, 2011 to ratify the results, the URSU executive will be encouraging to the board to accept them and vote to remain members of the Canadian Federation of Students.  Addison worries now that the results are public, after the CFS broke the agreement they forced on URSU, they will not work with URSU or commit to repairing the relationship.  As the results indicate, this was a very divisive issue amongst the student population.  “We communicated to them the campus was very split and even though they can claim victory the margin indicates there are a large number of students who are unhappy with the level of service they receive for their membership fees” he added, “URSU’s communication to CFS contained requests which we believed would help repair the relationship and demonstrate it’s willingness to win over the people who opposed their presence on campus.  The CFS never responded to our repeated requests to work together and resolve the issues.”

URSU continues to assert the results being released less than a week before voting for the general elections is a deliberate attempt by CFS to interfere in the democratic process at the University of Regina.   According to the documentation (which URSU has made public) delivered to URSU by the consul for CFS, CFS has asserted they have been in a position to release the results since they were counted on Dec 17th 2010 but didn’t not attempt release the results until March 9th 2011.  URSU believes based on paragraph 3 of the Dec 15th 2010 agreement the parties agreed to not release results until determination of FNUC provisional ballots was agreed to by both organizations.  The CFS has refused repeated attempts by URSU to bring this matter to a close.  

Because of CFS’s reluctance to return and count the provisional ballots, in December of 2010 URSU filed an injunction that helped force CFS back to Saskatchewan to determine the final outcome.  With the results now public, URSU will be instructing it’s consul to immediately stop the notice of motion.

In October of 2010 the URSU Board of Directors took an official stance to not continue membership in the CFS due to the poor level of service being provided to students at the University of Regina.  It is the organization’s hope that both parties are prepared to move forward and work together to ensure the fees paid by the University of Regina students are rewarded with the quality of service CFS is capable of offering.
 

26 comments

  1. Terrain Temple 11 March, 2011 at 16:54

    It is a slim margin. However, the YES votes were mostly INFORMED decisions … not knee-jerk reactions like the NO votes who were basing their vote on the ignorant slogans of the NO campaign..
     
    this means that over a thousand people on campus are now aware of the issues at hand. YAY!

  2. Mike Burton 12 March, 2011 at 06:03

    Terrain,
     Informed?  Like the International students who were told that they had to vote yes in order to get their ISIC cards?  That's your idea of informed?  You are a hack who doesn't have the courage to put your real name on your posts.  You were clearly intimately involved in the campaign and therefore know the motivations of all voters. 
    And Paul both the CFS and URSU signed an agreement that said that results would not be released until a determination of FNUniv students eligibility was made either via an agreement or by the courts.  The CFS refused to talk to URSU about this issue and then unillaterally released the results.  You can read the agreement on URSU website. 
     
     

  3. Jessica 12 March, 2011 at 10:50

    I was a no voter and I was very informed of what was going on. I stopped and listened to both sides of the argument and made a decision based on what each side told me.
    There were a lot of people who didn't even both to listen to both sides. A lot of them picked the Yes side because it sounded good. They try to do this or that for us, but none of it ever actually happened. I'm disappointed in the results. People were manipulated to get these results. 

  4. Matt Borkovick 12 March, 2011 at 13:12

    So glad that UR students chose to work with the CFS. I'm really not sure how saying "we're better off going it alone" is an excuse to ignore all of the awesome work and victories we've already accomplished through it. I mean, the No Means No campaign? National initiatives to restore education funding? I'm so excited to continue being a part of this work. And keep my free ISIC.

    Heck yes, CFS!

  5. Steve 12 March, 2011 at 13:19

    @Mike – but it's pretty clear that the FNUniv results didn't impact the results. Look at this line:
    "This included URSU members studying at the First Nations University of Canada who the URSU Executive sought to disenfranchise. The remaining ballots were counted on December 17, at which point the URSU and the Federation agreed to release the results in a timely manner."
    If the votes had been counted by December 17, then URSU and CFS knew what the results were and whether they made any difference or not, so clearly there were other motives for holding up the release of the results. Maybe it was because URSU lost?
    @Jessica – so what part of the "No" campaign informed you? The fat suits? The "WTF are they doing with our money shirts?" The many, many plainly untrue things that the No side said, and the faulty logic they used to back up their arguments?? Please, fill me in.

  6. Mike Burton 12 March, 2011 at 13:50

    @Steve But that is not what the agreement reached said.  They said if the FNUniv ballots did not make a difference, there were fifty of them meaning the margin between the two sides was less then fifty either way, then the two sides would attempt to come to an agreement about the eligibility of FNUniv students voting.  So why did the CFS not work with URSU to come to an agreement on those votes.  To be fair, I do not care if the yes or no side wins but I think process is important and I think obeying your agreements is important.  As someone who knew the results on December 17th, if I knew how this was going to turn out I would have released the results.  And if the CFS maintains the position it put forward in its spin doctored letter, why didn't they release the results on the 18th of December.  If they felt it was so important that their members knew why did they wait until March?

  7. Jesse Leontowicz 12 March, 2011 at 22:02

    Well I'm glad the results are out now. But I'm concerned of how smug the CFS letter is…Is this the future of the UofR and CFS relationship? Bitterness and an unwillingless to cooperate with the UofR due to..you know, us trying to leave it? I hope that CFS realizes that compared to before this referendum, many more students know about CFS and are watching them. Here's hoping they do many positive things for UofR now that they are in the spotlight.

  8. David 14 March, 2011 at 06:55

    Clearly, students at the University of Regina voted to remain members of the CFS! I am very happy with the results. 

    URSU executive clearly do not have the best interests of students in mind, they have spent 10's of thousands of dollars on this campaign, and on legal fees.  Lets put a stop to this now, and work to reduce tuition fees, and better represent students.

    URSU executives should all resign in shame!

  9. brandie 14 March, 2011 at 09:23

    I would just like to point out that whether we voted yes or no, we were aloud to vote for whoever we wanted. There is no need to be rude about it! Whether the WTF shirts were inappropriate or not, I can assure you I did not just vote a blind “NO” to the CFS, I looked into it and did my own research. I felt that voting NO was my best choice personally. I didn’t vote for all the things they could be doing, or can do. The truth is thethey weren’t aiding me. If the CFS is so great, why were so many schools trying to leave? Its clear the CFS could/can do great things for the U of R, but they haven’t been doing it! So I am somewhat glad the votes were close because now they realize that what they are doing is not enough, maybe its for the better!

  10. Mike Burton 14 March, 2011 at 11:26

    @ David And by your logic the CFS does not have the best interest of the 1326 students who are members of CFS who voted to leave the organisation. 

  11. addison must go 14 March, 2011 at 11:47

    addison has wasted students money on a referendum and on free food for himself and his minions.
     
    i also believe it was racist of them to try to disenfranchise FNUniv students!

  12. Josh 14 March, 2011 at 14:45

    Whoa there "addison must go". Though they have done things, such as the food at the owl, which I am not thrilled with, you cannot just go around calling someone racist because you are rightfully angry. There were reasons behind attempting to not allow FNUniv student their vote in the referendum, though I also disagree with them. They were not, however, racially motivated and assuming they were is a very slippery slope.

  13. Mike Burton 14 March, 2011 at 15:09

    @ Addison must go Another brave person calling out people when they won't even use their own name.  First off, there are First Nations, Metis and Inuit students who attend the University of Regina, Campion and Luther and were therefore eligible to vote.  Second off, their are non Aboriginal students who attend First Nation University and whose right to vote was questioned.  So you would have to point out to me what this issue has to do with race?
    What underlined URSU position was the concept that if the result of the referendum was No, First Nations University students would remain members of the CFS.  They have their own local and the CFS bylaws are unclear on this matter. 

  14. Joshua 15 March, 2011 at 06:08

    @addison must go:

    It does seem strange that Addison and the URSU attempted to disenfranchise FNUniv.  Perhaps, they were happy with the Saskatchewan Party and Conservatives moved to shut down the school?

    It is very problematic that Addison and those on the URSU get free food, when members of URSU are struggling to pay tuition and get a decent meal.

    I believe there needs to be change at URSU, 2 years of Addison is enough!

  15. Joel 15 March, 2011 at 12:41

    Everyone needs to drop the URSU food thing. Every employee of URSU gets half-price (not free!) meals at The Owl, including bartenders, cooks, cleaners, bouncers and office staff. There are many of other things to complain about URSU from the last two years other than the completely legitimate staff discount they receive. 

  16. Joey 16 March, 2011 at 00:17

    @Joel

    The issue of the discount is when the URSU Exec exploits this when they buy booze from the Owl. How responsible can they be when they go to the Owl to get smashed using a discount? Effectively the students' fees are paying for their drunkeness. Even if this statement if not true and just a rumour (and possibly a slanderish one), Kyle has a reputation of just being a 'party animal' that stems from his high school days. I don't trust him as President for this reason alone, and by guilty of association, along with the rest of the For Students slate.

  17. Jason 16 March, 2011 at 10:27

    @ Joey:
    What?! URSU execs get drunk off my students' union dues? This is totally corrupt.  These people really need to go!
    I am voting Kyle and his company out, I am voting "Voice of Students"

  18. Diana Burton 16 March, 2011 at 11:40

    URSU Staff and Executive DO NOT receive a discount on booze…ONLY food…if they drink at the Owl, they pay the same price as anyone else for their drinks. How about being informed and not spreading malicious falsehoods?

  19. Joel Yeomans 16 March, 2011 at 17:01

    @Joey
    Once again, that is a staff discount that all URSU employees get. I will admit to literally not siding with Addison on anything, but it's not fair to bring up the point that he drinks at the Owl with his discount. The discount, specifically the drink discount, is designed for employees to drink and enjoy themselves at the Owl during their off hours. Are you next going to complain that Kyle gets free pop, like every other person who works for URSU? I am a former Owl employee, and I will freely admit that I took advantage of that staff drink discount as much as every other employee.
    @Diana Burton
    Follow your own advice.

  20. TylerW 17 March, 2011 at 00:27

    Every comment "Terrain Temple" produces is extremely ignorant. This individual has a personal issue with the executive and is extremely narrow minded in their approach to the issues.

Comments are closed.

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