Lakehead student union challenges board on bylaw change

April 26, 2012

The Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) plans to challenge the institution's board of governors in court over a recent bylaw revision LUSU's president says muzzles the 3 student representatives on the board. He says the board now considers it a conflict of interest for students to vote on student matters such as tuition fees. "It means that if any issue pertaining to students as a whole comes up...these three members must leave the room, (and) cannot discuss the issue and cannot vote for or against the issue," LUSU's president says. A spokeswoman for the Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario chapter says Lakehead's attempt to make it a conflict of interest for students to vote on student issues is going to upset a lot of people, including student unions, across Canada. "If Lakehead University doesn't back down, or if the government doesn't step in to say, 'look, students deserve equal representation in terms of their capacity to perform as a board member,' I think we're going to see a pretty massive fight," she says. CBC

Postcript: May 1, 2012

On Friday, Lakehead University's board of governors unanimously passed a motion to allow students to remain at the table for a discussion and vote on tuition fees. The motion followed notice from Lakehead's student union that it would challenge the board in court over a conflict-of-interest bylaw that barred student representatives on the board from voting on student matters such as tuition fees. The board suspended the bylaw so student governors could both debate and vote on tuition fees at Friday's meeting. Lakehead News | Orillia Packet & Times

Postscript: Feb 5, 2013

Students sitting on Lakehead University’s board of governors will once again be allowed to vote on tuition matters. A Lakehead spokesperson says the board agreed to amend its bylaws at a meeting Friday. The move reverses a bylaw change made last year. In April 2012, the board chair at the time said it would be a conflict of interest for student members to vote on tuition rates. Lakehead’s student union said at the time that it would challenge the decision in court. CBC