Students at Selkirk College have become embroiled in a legal battle for the right to vote about their membership in a national student group, according to Selkirk College Students’ Union Director at-Large Santanna Hernandez.
“Students submitted a valid petition for a referendum on membership in the Canadian Federation of Students, but instead of holding a vote this semester, the Federation sued us to stop the process,” she said.
“Selkirk College students have been demanding greater financial transparency and more effective campaigns from the Federation for years, but we have been ignored.”
The Canadian Federation of Students, known to most as CFS, is a national student organisation that claims a membership of 650,000 college and university students across Canada.
A legal application filed on March 21 from the Canadian Federation of Students lists both the Selkirk College Students’ Union and the Students’ Union’s Executive Director, Zachary Crispin, as co-defendants. The contention in the application is that the process didn’t meet the Federation’s bylaw requirements, and that Crispin should be disallowed from acting as a referendum official.
“While I’m not worried about Mr. Crispin, he is a man of steel, it is frustrating that the CFS feels it is acceptable to spend student money suing people who are just doing the job we ask them to do,” said Hernandez. “Mr. Crispin is a hardworking advocate for students.”
“We don’t need to spend students’ money in court, we need to give students an opportunity to say if they want to be a part of the Canadian Federation of Students or not.”
The Students’ Union agreed not to hold the vote this month in order to avoid being taken to court, leaving the future of the referendum process unclear.