Universities have, on occasion, intervened and exercised their power to withhold money from student unions acting against the wishes of their membership. Student union executives typically respond with a sad attempt to take the moral high ground, repeating variations of the following: "student unions should have autonomy over their own affairs." A novel idea: How about returning power to the students?
At the University of Waterloo last week, Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth was scheduled to speak to a group of students at an event organized by the Students for Life campus club. Unfortunately, a group of students shut down Mr. Woodworth's speech by shouting him down, until he was left with no choice but to cancel the event.
The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), a national organization composed of campus student unions, purports to organize students on a "democratic, co-operative basis." When Guelph students wanted to hold a referendum to exit the CFS, they served the CFS with a petition asking for a referendum to be held to decertify. However, the CFS refused to schedule a referendum. Guelph's Central Student Association (CSA) took the CFS to court.