Students may be forced to take legal action after institutions threaten operations of student association

OSHAWA, ON, Nov. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The Student Association of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College may be forced to take legal action after UOIT and Durham College have taken steps to threaten the operations and autonomy of the association. In September, UOIT and Durham College abruptly announced they would not remit membership fees to the Student Association at Durham College and UOIT. Despite numerous attempts by the Student Association to negotiate, the institutions have refused.

"The institutions collected these membership fees from students on behalf of the Student Association and has no basis for withholding them," said Peter Chinweuba, President of the Student Association. "Membership fees are our main source of operating revenue. Without these fees, we won't be able to offer student-run services like the campus food bank and campus recreation programs and may be forced to close our businesses."

The Student Association is the autonomous, representative body of students at Durham College and UOIT. Its operations are managed by an executive committee and board composed of elected students, with support from professional staff. The Student Association budget and audited financial statements are reviewed regularly by students at the annual general meeting.

On November 4, Durham College and UOIT sent an email to students that attempted to influence the decisions at the Annual General Meeting of the Student Association. The email demanded greater control over the Student Association that would jeopardize the Association's autonomy.

"It's concerning that the institutions have forced the Student Association to resort to legal action to access the membership fees the institutions are obligated to collect and remit, rather than negotiate," said Chinweuba. "Students expect the institution to discuss these matters in good faith, not through bullying tactics."

SOURCE: The Student Association at Durham College & UOIT

For further information:

Peter Chinweuba, President
Office: 905-721-0457 ext. 228
Cell: 416-770-0179

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The Student Association at Durham College & UOIT

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