By Jen Gerson
The administration at York University has frozen the funding for its student government and Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse said the same situation could potentially happen here.
“Nothing prevents it except that I believe we have a lot of goodwill here,” said Lajeunesse of his administration’s relationship with RyeSAC.
Administration started to withhold funding towards the York Federation of Students starting Friday, after its standing government refused to acknowledge the winners of last year’s election.
York administration will now take full control of student group funding and the university’s health plan.
A group called Progress Not Politics won the YFS election in late November, but the losing council accused the group of exceeding campaign spending limits.
The accusation was brought before York’s election committee and the PNP was cleared of the overspending charges.
However, members of the defeated council ignored the finding and refused to allow the PNP to take office.
Yaakov Roth, PNP’s former campaign manager, is glad the administration froze the student government’s funding, but wishes the university had been more strict wit the YFS, a government he considers illegal.
“This is a group that has been completely and utterly dysfunctional … if the university had not frozen the funds, they could have been liable for misappropriating funds.”
It was Middle East politics that first sparked the election drama.
PNP ran on a platform denouncing the YSF’s perceived support of pro-Palestinian causes. To complicate matters, president-elect Paul Cooper is a member of York’s Young Zionist Partnership, a pro-Israel group.
The PNP draws much of its support from the student groups.
After another heated debate on Monday, the YFS again refused to ratify the electees.
In protest, the PNP took over the student union’s offices and is now demanding the administration recognize them.
Roth suspects the administration is ready to scrap YFS altogether and says his group is preparing to either take the YFS to court or start a new student government.