Canada in brief: Nov. 25, 2009

Much of CASA survey cost came from legal settlement

HALIFAX (CUP) – Close to $30,000 being put towards a survey of Canadian students by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is coming from a settlement with a McGill University student association, it has been learned.

The national director of CASA explained the survey’s details at the alliance’s annual general meeting in Halifax last week.

The survey has been raising questions among some CASA members who were unclear of its details, including who made the decision to conduct the survey and where the money came from.

The “Canadian Student Survey” is a project co-initiated by CASA and the Canadian Education Project, a Toronto-based research group.

At the time of the AGM plenary – the meeting when a representative from each student union votes on the specific policy decisions up for debate – 20,000 students had completed the survey.

Due to confidentiality reasons, the association’s national director, Arati Sharma couldn’t disclose details of the settlement with the Students’ Society of McGill University, but said the issue regarded missed member payments.

Through an out-of-court settlement, CASA was awarded $37,500 in total – $28,575 in membership fee back-payments after the $8925 in legal fees was factored in.

McGill undergraduate students voted to exit CASA in 2005.

–Lucy Scholey, the Dalhousie Gazette