The Students’ Union is moving forward on plans to create a replacement organization for the disbanded Lister Hall Students’ Association.
After a hazing incident involved with Skulk festivities, the Lister Hall Students’ Association (LHSA) was suspended from registering as a student group as of May 1, 2014. A two-year suspension will be up after the next academic year, around August 2017. In the interim, the SU is creating a new organization to take the place of the LHSA.
According to Students’ Union President Navneet Khinda at a students’ council forum on Tuesday, Oct. 27, the university doesn’t agree with the creation of a new group. Khinda said the SU “doesn’t need permission” from the university to create the new group, and cited their right as per the Post-Secondary Learning Act (PSLA). Despite concerns that the current nameless students’ association will become a “shadow group” of the LHSA, the new group will be the sole representative student body for Lister Hall, Khinda said.
Although the Dean of Students may not approve of it, Khinda said that the SU is well within their rights to create a new organization.
“The SU believes a two-year suspension is punitive,” Khinda said. “Right now, there’s no voice for students (in Lister).”
Despite the disagreement about the LHSA, Khinda said that relations between the SU and the Dean of Students’ remain neutral.
As the groundwork for this new organization is only now being laid, SU is consulting with several leaders within Lister to create the new body. Leila Raye-Crofton, the winner of the last LHSA presidential election, will liaise between the SU and Lister students.
“We already had several initiatives on the go last summer,” Raye-Crofton said at Students’ Council. “We were a fully functional group at the point we were shut down.”
Since that point, LHSA coffers have been cleared out and, according to Khinda, “there is no organization left.” Khinda made sure to insist that the new organization would not be a “rebrand” of the LHSA.
“This is an entirely new thing,” Khinda said. “I’m not so sure the LHSA will come back in the same format after two years.”
Now that the SU has assumed responsibility for the role and finances of the LHSA, Khinda said that a new organization would mean fewer hours spent by the SU on these issues.
“It doesn’t have a lot of financial implication with us,” Khinda said. “But we spend a lot of time on this. The issues span a lot of portfolios.”