This article originally appeared in The Fulcrum, the University of Ottawa’s student newspaper. The original article can be viewed here.
By: Anchal Sharma and Marissa Phul
In a statement released on Sept. 25, the University of Ottawa announced that they have given the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) official notice of termination of the contract held between the SFUO and the university administration.
This comes following a letter addressed to the student union on Sept. 10 wherein the administration warned the SFUO of this possibility in the absence of “notable and rapid progress” in the implementation of a series of recommendations put forth by the university, including the resignation of the three SFUO executives named in the fraud allegations.
According to the statement released this morning, “on December 24, 2018, following termination of the agreement, the University will no longer recognize the SFUO as the exclusive association representing undergraduate students and will no longer collect fees from students on behalf of the Federation.”
The university has not been satisfied with the SFUO’s progress in restoring trust stating their loss of “confidence in the SFUO’s ability to represent our students and to supply the services that students pay for,” as the reason the contract was terminated.
Measures have been put in place to ensure the continuity of financial operations until the results of the audit become available and, the university will maintain current services “deemed essential,” including the student U-Pass and services relating to “student safety, security, and wellness.” Health and dental insurance will continue to be covered under the current period which ends Aug. 31, 2019. However, students will not be charged SFUO fees in the winter semester.
The university has stated that a new undergraduate student government may be formed in the indeterminate future and is encouraging students to be involved in its development.
While the termination of the university’s agreement dictates that the SFUO will no longer be recognized as the exclusive student association representing students and will therefore no longer receive fees from the university, the SFUO may continue to exist as an independent body.
The status of clubs, student associations, and SFUO business such as Pivik, Cafe Alt, and Agora, is currently unknown as the university is not involved with the processes governing their management.
Student media will not be affected.
The university is not involved with the police investigation, but has stated their full cooperation if necessary.
To see how the SFUO has responded to this situation, click here.
Photo by: Stephen Brown