March 7, 2012
Internal conflict plagues CESAR
CESAR executives are keeping quiet about the sudden resignation of four executive members andinternal harassment claims inside the union’s doors.
New Edr Rebe Brn
In just over one month, the sud-den resignation of four executiveshas landed the Continuing Educa-tion Students’ Association of Ryer-son (CESAR) in turmoil.Of the ve newly elected execu-tives at the Nov. 15 board meeting,four resigned over a four-weekperiod in late January and Febru-ary. The members included formerpresident and director of member-ship and communication Domi-nic Wong, director of events andworkshops Sanjid Anik, and direc-tor of campaigns and equity KaylaAltman. Wong’s replacement, Ja-son Harman, was also gone beforethe month’s end.The remaining executives arekeeping tight-lipped on the sub- ject as they claim the reasons arepersonal and decline to commenton specics. But internal minutesshow evidence of conict includ-ing harassment claims amongmembers. The claims target twoexecutives still a part of CESAR:Ugochukwu Asagwara, director ofacademics and policy and ShinaeKim, director of nance.Yet no clear evidence hasemerged to explain why four mainexecutives suddenly left.“We don’t necessarily make ita habit of leing the world knowwhat’s going on within the organi-zation,” said Asagwara.In most recent years the organi-zation fell short as it tried to repairits operating decit. The organiza-tion received $608,180 in studentsfees last year, $418,612 of whichwent towards salaries and ben-ets. Last year’s executives imple-mented a set of new by-laws thatdissolved the current board of di-rectors and instituted a ve-personexecutive with no president.Wong was among the rst to re-sign, but remains involved in the board. “As far as my resignation, Iam just trying to stay out of it alland move on,” said Wong.Internal conict is evident in theminutes from a Jan. 18, 2011 boardmeeting, when Wong expressesconcern about a lack of eort in re-cruiting new members.Altman oers a response by say-ing she has spoken to two studentsso far. But Asagwara replies with,“we’re all grown ups here. Dom’spresenting his report, you (Alt-man) do not have to respond, thequestion was not asked to you.”Asagwara had a motion putagainst him to decide on disciplin-ary action for displaying unprofes-sional behaviour and workplaceviolence against another execu-tive at the previous Nov. 18 boardmeeting. He was also given a one-year warning for inappropriateconduct in the oce for raising hisvoice.“There was a miscommunicationwith the oce that led the board tomandate certain training for cer-tain executives and for the boardat large,” said Asagwara. “We cansay the miscommunication was be-tween Shinae [Kim] and I.”Minutes highlight that onlyAsagwara and fellow executiveKim were specically required toaend mediation training.Kim and Asagwara would alsoaend a mediated discussion witha neutral third party. A total of$1,500 was allocated toward work-place harassment training, a newgure that had not appeared in thelast three years.Asagwara admits that traininghas still not happened.“At this time I wouldn’t feel safeor secure talking about my experi-ence there,” said Altman, anotherexecutive to resign since assumingher position in November.Kim submied a motion for dis-ciplinary action to be taken againstAltman during a Jan. 18 meeting for“displaying unprofessional behav-iour in the oce and contradictingsections of the by-laws.” But themotion was never approved. Alt-man has since been banned fromentering the CESAR oces.“I wasn’t really given the optionto stay,” said Altman.Anik was the last of the threedirectors to resign, but he was un-available for comment.After Wong’s resignation, theposition was assumed by JasonHarman. Harman has since re-signed as well.In an initial meeting with Ortiz,he responded to Harman’s resig-nation by saying, “there have beensome issues going on with himtoo.” Ortiz later denied he indicat-ed there were issues with Harman.CESAR is currently aemptingto draw in new political members.and hopes to have the names ofnext year’s executive by April 15.“Financial policies have been putin place so there is no nancial mis-management within the organiza-tion,” said Asagwara. “It’s a workin progress but we hope to get there before we make a transition at thenext election.”
By DIANA HALL
Ryerson is taking a closer look atwhat Bill C-30, Protecting Childrenfrom Internet Predators Act, couldmean for its own privacy obliga-tions and students.The federal public safety minis-ter Vic Toews’s controversial legalaccess bill would grant extendedpolice surveillance powers to ac-quire personal user informationfrom providers, like Rogers, uponrequest. In some cases, online hab-its and information could be ob-tained without a judicial warrant, but the bill is still under review.The bill identies post-second-ary institutions as being exemptfrom these extensive provisions,unless subjected to comply undercourt order.However, Avner Levin, directorof the Privacy and Cyber CrimeInstitute at Ryerson University,doesn’t believe there will be a realexemption for universities in the“convoluted” bill.“There’s a lot of ambiguity here,”Levin admied. “This whole legis-lation is about completely otherissues. Regardless of its name, it’sabout making [information access]easier for law enforcement agen-cies.”Heather Driscoll, special assis-tant to the General Counsel andinformation and privacy coordi-nator, said “What (Bill C-30) issuggesting is that we as citizensof Canada should be okay aboutgiving up our privacy rights in thename of protecting children frominternet predators.”“And there are already lots ofgood methods available to dothat,” she said.Students feel the new bill is in-fringing on their privacy rights.“If it were to be eective I’d bewilling to sacrice the privacy, butI don’t think it will be eective inthe end,” said Elise Ashley, rst-year criminal justice.Concern that Ryerson’s legal ob-ligations and policies could changeas a result of its recent partnershipwith Google was a cause for fur-ther caution.“Just because we’re using Gmailand using their products, we don’twant to sort of be stuck all of a sud-den with a lower level of protec-tion,” said Levin.From his understanding of the bill, Brian Lesser, director of com-puting and communications ser-vices said there will be minimumto low impact.“I don’t see why Ryerson as aservice provider would have to of-fer up personal information,” hesaid.Ryerson is currently subject toOntario’s Freedom of Informationand Protection of Privacy Act (FIP-PA), as well as the university’s ownInformation Protection and AccessPol-icy.Bothidentify a legalobligation to secure personal infor-mation, such as personal addressesand telephone numbers, and relat-ed information revealing the sex,age, religion or marital status of anindividual.However, the responsibilityfor looking into the consequencesof Bill C-30 doesn’t rest solely onthe university, Driscoll argued.Understanding privacy policiesshould be a shared responsibilityand subject to individual risk as-sessment.
photo couRtEsy of BRiaN lEssER
Securitybreach inEric Palin
By TArA LINDemANN
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Two o the remaining CESAR executives, Ugochukwu Asagwara and Sergio Ortiz, work in their ofce in the SCC.
photo: MohaMED oMaR
I wasn’t really giventhe option to stay
— Kayla Altman,former CESAR executive
Rye concerned about web privacy