Student politicians speak out

CBC Radio’s “As It Happens” host Mary Lou Finlay interviewed two York University student politicians Jan. 13 about the lack of agreement over who won the student council elections. Finlay talked to Nick Freedman, a member of the old student council who does not wish to ratify the Nov. 27 election results, and Paul Cooper, who won the vote for student council president but whose win has not been ratified. Freedman denied allegations that the old council was full of pro-Palestinian sympathizers. He said the old council rarely discussed Middle Eastern politics, and Cooper said only a small minority of the Progress Not Politics (PNP) candidates who won seats had Zionist links.

In continuing coverage of the impasse, Canadian Jewish News reported Jan. 15 that York had suspended funding to the York Federation of Students last Friday and a University staff member was appointed to monitor the group’s finances. Although the PNP slate, headed by Cooper, had won the bulk of the seats, the results had not been ratified, said the newspaper. “This is the epitome of undemocratic, pathetic, sour-grapes illegal politics,” Cooper told CJN. “It’s a renegade council that’s gone against the wishes of all students of York and the principles of democracy that it’s meant to uphold,” he said, adding that “the administration has been supportive of doing what’s right.” Outgoing YFS president Mike Novak told CJN last Friday he was “distraught” over the council’s behaviour and its “undemocratic nature.”

York stadium ‘out of reach’

In his Globe and Mail column Jan. 14, sports writer Stephen Brunt said a downtown stadium could be the answer for everyone. At York University, he argued, the Toronto Argonauts football team would be out of sight, out of mind – and effectively out of reach of mass transit. It’s the potential of attracting new customers that’s the key to this enterprise and ample parking isn’t going to be much of a sales pitch, he said. Brunt observed that Larry Tanenbaum, key shareholder in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which has proposed a stadium at the University of Toronto that would include the Argonauts, usually gets what he wants. Writers in the Toronto Star and National Post also hashed over the stadium proposals, noting that while Argo owners Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon have expressed strong interest in York, as well as Woodbine racetrack and the Exhibition grounds, it was useful to have a strong negotiating position in talks with Tanenbaum.

On air

  • Brendan Quine, a space physicist in York’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, talked about NASA and the pictures of Mars taken by the Spirit Rover, on ROB-TV’s “Michael Vaughan Live” Jan. 12.
  • Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, commented on the discovery of marijuana grow operation found inside a former Molson brewery in Barrie, the biggest find in Canada, on Toronto 1’s “Toronto Today” Jan. 13.
  • Theo Peridis, policy professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, discussed a report that detailed the long list of charges which now have to be detailed on airline ticket purchases, on Global TV’s “Moneywise” Jan. 13.