York announces sanctions against four student clubs over Vari Hall disruptions

York University yesterday announced sanctions against four student organizations for their part in recent activities which disrupted classes adjacent to the Vari Hall Rotunda.

Student clubs at York are signatories to a contract under which they agree not to disrupt the academic activity of the University. Each club has a signatory who signs the contract on the club’s behalf.

The four clubs and the sanctions imposed were the following:

  • Hasbara Fellowship – suspended for 30 days; fined $1,000; signatory fined $250.
  • Students Against Israeli Apartheid – suspended for 30 days; fined $1,000; signatory fined $250.
  • Tamil Students Association – suspended for 15 days; fined $500; signatory fined $150.
  • Hillel – fined $500; signatory fined $150.

“One of the key agreements these clubs made was not to disrupt classes with their activities. In recent weeks, all of the clubs named have gone back on those agreements," said York Vice-President Students Rob Tiffin. "York’s 50,000 students have a right to learn without their classes being interrupted by the activities of other students.”

The clubs were warned in advance not to disrupt classes and gave undertakings not to disrupt classes; they were then given an opportunity to respond prior to the sanctions being imposed yesterday. Suspended clubs are not allowed to book University facilities for the period of their suspension.

“These sanctions have nothing whatsoever to do with the opinions of these groups and everything to do with the behaviour of these groups," Tiffin said.

February 11 incident in the Student Centre

Given the very serious allegations of intimidation that have been received by the University, three separate investigations are underway against the individuals identified in three complaints. These investigations are being conducted through a local adjudicator under the processes identified in the Student Code of Conduct.

“The University views the allegations of intimidation of students by students with the utmost gravity. Given the very serious nature of these complaints against individuals under the Student Code of Conduct, it is imperative that due process be followed,” said Tiffin.

In a recent speech to the York University Senate, York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri spelled out the University’s position: “Intimidation, bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated here, and we are taking action to protect the rights and the safety of all students and staff.”