On Campus

Deny, deny, deny

Student leaders from across the country have denied knowledge of the leaked CFS "war plans." If they really didn't know, they should probably consider a career change

Another student union has denied any knowledge of an internal CFS document that was leaked earlier this week. Carleton student prez Shelly Melanson says she had never heard of the document which appears to detail a war plan intended to stall a number of defederation votes in B.C. The document which focuses on the defederation vote at SFU suggests (among other things) that scores of CFS loyalists will be parachuted in from across the country. (See Coleman here and here.)

"I haven’t been contacted at all about going to B.C.," Melanson told the Charlatan student newspaper today.

But I find this hard to believe. Melanson was recently appointed as the CFS-Ontario chair for next year. A national campaign of this size is not something she would be kept in the dark about, at least one would assume. If she honestly has never heard of it, perhaps she should consider a career change.

Another bizarre denial came from the University of Manitoba Students Union (UMSU). Though she said she had never "seen" the doc, Rachel Heinrichs (vice-president advocacy) demonstrated her powers of deduction for the Manitoban: "It’s obviously their campaign plan or campaign strategy. I guess it could be a wish list." Really, she has no clue?

The campaign plan lists several people under a hiring column with names next to various CFS locals, suggesting loyalists will be rewarded with employment. Next to UMSU (Local 103) is the name Cathy Dawd. Is Heinrichs suggesting that she is unaware of plans to hire someone? Or the possibility that the CFS, and not the UMSU executive, is choosing staffers for the union? Did the architects of the plan make such decisions without consulting member unions?

Incidentally, CFS national chairperson Amanda Aziz is listed next to the CFS-BC office under the hiring column. Has she been recruited to quell further uprisings?

But there was some honesty this week, making Melanson and Heinrichs even less believable. Ryerson president Nora Loreto opted not to deny anything. She instead justified the plan: “For us to lose this number of schools would be a disaster.” Why would Ryerson be informed of the plans but not Carleton or the U of M?

If those like Melanson and Heinrichs are indeed telling the truth then the plan is much more troubling than originally thought. It is one thing to bring in people to campaign for the CFS, it is quite another to neglect to even tell CFS locals that they are expected in B.C. or who they will be hiring.

So which is it?