It’s a crime

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The embezzlement of $700 in student money is a crime and must be dealt with appropriately

When the word “embezzlement” gets mentioned, the first image that comes to mind is of a slick Gordon Gekko-type yuppie, cackling maniacally into a brick-sized cellular phone, taking the time to occasionally wipe his ass with a hundred dollar bill just to see the look on Sir Robert Borden’s face. Embezzlement is perpetrated by greedy businessmen, and happens behind the closed doors of boardrooms as thunderstorms rage in the distance. That doesn’t happen in sweet, innocent, Regina.

Yet that’s exactly what happened. Embezzlement occurred right here at the University of Regina. It was caught on more than one occasion, and do you know what happened? Fucking nothing. That is what happened.

As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, former URSU president Haanim Nur stepped down from her position in the summer. Only recently were the details of her resignation made public knowledge. CFS Saskatchewan said in a statement that she later admitted to forging two cheques totalling $700. And again, what happened? You got ‘er: Nothing happened.

CFS Saskatchewan was adamant that they could not proceed legally until they had Nur’s admission of guilt, which coincidentally, was published in this newspaper. Let me ask a rhetorical question; if someone broke into your house and you caught them in the act of stealing your television, would you stand there with your hands on your hips and tap your foot impatiently and wait for the burglar to admit what they were doing before you did anything about it? Does anyone realize how fundamentally and dangerously stupid this defence is?

The fact is, embezzlement occurred on campus. Embezzlement is a crime that people have gone and continue to go to jail for. Seven-hundred dollars may be a mere drop in the bucket, but this outstanding display of apathy by CFS Saskatchewan, and even URSU itself, is setting a dangerous precedent, my friends. I don’t care if the blame ends up falling squarely on Nur, or if it turns out the whole URSU or CFS executive was involved, and nor do I care if it was $700 or seven cents. The fact of the matter is that embezzling is still fucking embezzling.

Take this humble opinion piece and reflect on this situation. Even if you’re operating on a single brain cell – and bravo if that’s the case –  you’ll realize what a black eye this whole situation really is. We simply cannot allow someone who breaches the public trust and takes from public funds to eke by with a simple apology and a promise to return the funds in full. Would anyone allow me to escape justice if I beat someone to death with a baseball bat, but said that I was sorry and promised to have a child to repay the life I took? Same dumbass fucking argument. Kent Peterson finally went to the police on Oct. 3, stating that he just received copies of the two forged cheques the day before. This whole situation is just weird.

Of course, I highly doubt anything is going to come of this, and everyone is going to go along their merry way, and the student populous at large is going to have a healthy distrust of their student government from now on. Say, maybe university does more to prepare you for the real world than I’d originally thought.

Kyle Leitch
A&C Writer

1 comment

  1. Jonathan Simard 18 October, 2012 at 17:00

    I believe you have hit the nail on the head in conceptualizing the concept of theft/embezzlement as categorically and by definition, the essential matter at hand which needs to be addressed. Although in this case the actually dollar value is relatively insignificant the act was a breach of trust, and the funds were taken from students who, at least in my experience, have at times questioned the student union fee on their U of R bills as a relatively symbolic expense when already having difficulty financing education. The least students expect is that their democratically elected advocates can act in a manner worthy of respect and provide a reasonable value for their investment in the union. Although it is true, that this individual, has now been publicly shamed and their name is no longer synonymous with moral fortitude all we have to do is look at the path these individuals take in life (U.S. mortgage crisis anyone) to realize that consequences for illegal (or questionably legal) acts need to be addressed early on through our judicial system and political bodies- not only to provide a strong deterrent for the individual, but to restore faith in the very bodies that supposedly serve us. I cannot agree more with the author.

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