Continuing series on the Bosnitch Era
Retrieved From the Daily Gleaner
Originally Published on Friday, September 28, 1984
By MARK ESTILL
Funds for the University of New Brunswick Student Union remain frozen but Student Union president John Bosnitch is optimistic that the impasse will be broken soon.
UNB president Dr. James Downey has been withholding more than $200,000 in Student Union funds until the university receives the remaining of $50,000 it gave to the Student Union for student rebates last spring.
“By next week, all the funds will be transferred,” Student Union president John Bosnitch said this morning.
Mr. Bosnitch said he met with university comptroller John O’Brien on Wednesday and the Student Union will be presenting a proposal to the university to guarantee that the union funds will be turned over to the Student Union Coming years.
Dr. Downey said this morning that the university is still waiting for a written proposal from Mr. Bosnitch. “We have seen nothing in writing yet and we will wait and see what his proposal is.” Dr. Downey said.
Mr. Bosnitch said he expected to present the university with his proposal either today or Monday.
The freezing of Student Union funds came after the university demanded money it gave to the Student Union last April to rebate students who did not wish to donate to the university’s Third Century Fund. The $10 fee had been automatically charged to registering students.
Mr. Bosnitch said about $40,000 will be returned to the university.
Meanwhile, Dr. Downey has sent a letter to Mr. Bosnitch threatening the Student Union president with either suspension or expulsion. Mr. Bosnitch said he was threatened with this if “there are any more improprieties.”
Dr. Downey declined to comment on the letter saying it was a personal letter between himself and Mr. Bosnitch.
“I think Dr. Downey believes that my behaviour in his opinion is unacceptable,” Mr. Bosnitch said of the official reason for the president’s letter. “But the real reason reveals a simple truth about UNB, that virtually all power has been concentrated in the hands of the administration since the beginning of UNB. Now that the students are asking for the right to participate in decision-making, the administration has become defensive.”
One of the bones of contention between the administration and the Student Union is the operation of the Campus Services Exchange, a small store operated by the Student Union.
“That is one of our concerns,” Dr. Downey said. “Because it is breaking our contract with Beaver Foods to supply food services on the campus.” Beaver Foods has not launched legal action against the university but in a formal complaint has been made, the university president said.
Mr. Bosnitch said Dr. Downey was also concerned with what the UNB president referred to as harassment of university employees after the death of a child who fell seven floors from MacLead House during the summer. Mr. Bosnitch said he was attempting to question university authorities on the death.
Mr. Bosnitch said he has not decided whether he will seek a third term as Student Union president when elections are held within the next month.
“Tn a real sense I many not even have the right to make a choice if Dr. Downey goes forward with his threat to expel me,” Mr. Bosnitch said. No date has been set for the Student Union elections.