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Laurentian students told to pay up

Students rejected from full-time studies owe school $38,000


 

Three students at Laurentian University will pay $38,000 to the school after losing an appeal in Ontario court. The students complained that they were unfairly barred from graduate studies in biology.

Bryce Mulligan, Mathew Hunter and Hsai-Pai Patrick Wu were rejected from grad studies because the school said that they didn’t meet the funding requirement that mandates each student to earn at least a $15,000 stipend in order that they “do not suffer from financial duress” during their studies.

Related: Carson Jerema’s comments on the Laurentian situation

The students raised money, but not through the proper methods. They filed a complaint and originally lost in a unanimous decision of the Ontario Superior Court last August.

The school did offer the students entrance into a part-time program, which they accepted. But PhD student Linda St. Pierre, who is working with the three students, told the Sudbury Star that she is a bit confused by the university’s actions because full-time students have more financial-aid options than part-timers.

“I don’t get how they logically explain why part time is OK and full time isn’t,” she said. “We have the e-mail from the chair saying it’s to make sure students can live comfortably. They are actually suffering more in the part-time status than they would under full-time status.”

Mulligan, Hunter and Wu were also three of 24 students who filed a $30-million lawsuit against Laurentian and 18 other individuals in 2006 after students and their professor, Michael Persinger, were banned from an animal-care facility on campus. 16 of those individuals have since been cleared of wrongdoing, and three of the student plaintiffs have withdrawn from the case.

Laurentian released a statement that hoped for a speedy conclusion to all legal proceedings between students and the school.

“The university hopes the Court of Appeal’s recent decision, as well as two other court decisions in favour of the university, will encourage the students to now consensually bring an end to all legal proceedings initiated by current and former students in the Behavioural Neuroscience program,” said Dr. Harley d’Entremont, vice-president academic francophone affairs and director of academic-staff relations.


 

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