Students say no to CFS

Saturday, April 10, 2010

  • University of Guelph students overwhelmingly rejected continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students, according to

    University of Guelph students overwhelmingly rejected continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students, according to

Written by Greg Beneteau

After a week of high profile campaigning, University of Guelph students overwhelmingly rejected continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students, according to results leaked to thecannon.

Two seperate sources, speaking on condition on anonymity, said the final tally for the referendum asking if undergrads wanted to remain part of the CFS was 5388 votes for No (73.5 per cent), versus 1675 vote for Yes (22.85 per cent).

A further 267 votes abstained from the question, while 12 votes provided no answer.

Turnout for the referendum was high for a campus election, with 7330 undergrads casting ballots - nearly 40 per cent of the population.

Quorum was set for 20 per cent of undergrads, or around 3900.

"I think what's striking isn't just the result itself, but just how many people decided to vote on this issue," one source said.

CSA Communications and Corporate Affairs Commissionner Gavin Armstron would neither comfirm nor deny the results, saying they would be released "in due time" by the Referendum Oversight Committee.

The ROC would also need to review alleged violations of rules prohibiting campaigning during the vote, Armstrong said.

In recent days, the referendum has divided student representatives on campus, with opposing camps trying to sway voters with endorsements.

Despite a heated debate, the CSA Board of Directors voted to endorse the No campaign last Wednesday.

On the morning of the election the CSA also sent out a mass email signed by college government presidents, student senators and other officials, encouraging students to vote No.

On Thurday, the C.J Munford Centre sent out its own letter, encourgaing students to vote Yes.

"The CFS helps to unite us with students across Canada to fight for student rights," the email read. "Voting yes is your way of saying that you support the work of this organization and that you believe that Guelph students should stay involved in this work."

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  1. Posted by: Brian Poel on Apr 10, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    The votes are in, but something tells me this battle is far from over.

  2. Posted by: on Apr 10, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    The CFS will refuse to acknowledge the voting despite the clear outcome. We'll be dragged back into court but it will all be worth it. Congratulations UoGuelph! :D

  3. Posted by: D.L Newton on Apr 10, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    A few questions for D'Arcy.
    How will it be worth it?
    Why are you congratulating Guelph?
    How is the outcome clear?

  4. Posted by: on Apr 10, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    Newton, did you read the article? Move along...

  5. Posted by: on Apr 10, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    This results are unofficial so we can't come to any conclusion what ever the outcome is. The referendum committee has their hands full, there has been a lot of complaints made on both sides!

  6. Posted by: Cassarek on Apr 11, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    I agree with D'Arcy and Brian - though the common democratic methods are complete, I can't see the organization (which refused to follow democratic means in the first place) giving up this easily. If I were them, however, I would probably just cut my losses considering that, if you do take this campus to court, you'd only be spending MORE student funds from other schools, prompting them to want to defederate once they find out what they're doing with the money that they pay them...

    It's really quite a pickle they've got themselves into. However, in the end, democracy decides the ultimate victor. If I'm a member of the CFS next year for some ridiculous reason, I'd probably just sue the organization myself.

  7. Posted by: Trev on Apr 11, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    73.5% say NO: that's a huge majority. I always believed there were good points on each side, and the No side had the stronger argument ion the end. But I did not forsee such a strong response, with a 40% turnout to go with it.

    At the end of the day, the CFS can't be splitting hairs here. This is loud and clear.

  8. Posted by: on Apr 12, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    I wonder if they [the CFS] get bulk discounts on legal expenses...however, it's not just up to them, but also up to the incoming CSA executive and the Board of Directors to keep pushing this! Let's all hope that the three executives that decided to be a part of the YES Campaign will finally put their personal idelogies aside.

  9. Posted by: Brian Poel on Apr 12, 2010 @ 8:08pm

    I was surprised how little campaigning I actually saw. I heard reports that there were people all over campus. The only people I saw were distributing ISIC cards and I just chalked that up to "too little, too late."

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