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November 12th, 2010 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues

I am a graduate of Carleton University. I am married to a Carleton grad. I am the child of two Carleton grads, the sister of three others and if I started counting all my relatives that have Carleton in their history (cousins, second cousins, brother-in-law…) the list goes on and on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Baby Girl ended up as a Carleton student in 17 years time.

In my three years spent completing my BA at Carleton, I worked at the student paper (where I met a lot of my current friends, as well as the man I ended up marrying). The Charlatan has a history of, well, an interesting relationship with the students’ association. In the past, I have had issues with decisions CUSA has made, and I generally hold them under a microscope.

This morning I was listening to CBC Radio and I heard the current president of CUSA speaking about a law suit recently filed by CUSA and the Graduate Students’ Association against the university administration. I was surprised to find that in this case I completely agree with CUSA.

The university administration has decided to withhold fees that it collects for the students’ associations until they give admin access to audited financial statements (and until they sign a lease that CUSA has objections to, depending on which side is telling the more truth).

When I was a student, the CUSA amounted to almost $200 on my tuition bill.

That is $200 that administration has collected to have over to the students’ association so that association can provide services – including employment – to students. And they’re not handing it over.

If I were a Carleton student right now, I would call administration and demand that they give me back my $200 if they are not going to use it for its intended purpose.

It is not the place of administration to hold CUSA accountable, it is the job of the students. In essence, admin is now telling CUSA that they don’t trust Carleton’s students to elect appropriate representatives, they don’t trust those representatives to do the jobs they were elected to, and they don’t trust the students to ask questions and demand accountability.

Now CUSA and the GSA are using more of students money – their only source of income – to sue the university for money that is rightfully theirs.

Administration is wrong in this case, and they need to find some other way to get the students to bend to their will.

I hope that the students at Carleton realize what is going on here and protest the actions of the university, but I’m not optimistic that will happen.

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