Editorials / October 25, 2011
The suit against Reduce All Fees party members has been dismissed, and students should tell president Bassi how they feel about it.
By The Runner
On Friday, Oct. 14, KSA council voted to dismiss a civil suit against five former members of the Reduce All Fees (RAF) party, including the onetime director of finance, executive adviser and group leader Aaron Takhar. Council voted to dismiss the default judgment and settle for zero cost to either party.
In August, after the KSA had decided to freeze the case, The Runner reported that two directors at the time were related to Takhar: Justine Franson, Takhar’s sister, and Nina Sandhu, their cousin. Franson resigned Aug. 13, while Sandhu still serves as director of finance. Even though Sandhu’s abstentions are regularly noted on all-things RAF (although trying to erase a conflict after the fact accomplishes nothing), many things are still unclear at this time, especially the decision to dismiss the case so far along in its lifetime.
It is clear, however, that students should be outraged.
In a presidential update on the KSA’s website, Harman “Prince Sean Penn Connery Diddy Birdman” (did we get that right?) wrote in a presidential update on the KSA’s website that, “this lawsuit has been a five-year process with absolutely no finish line in sight. Kwantlen students have already funded the battle to the tune of $800,000 in legal fees and staff time, and there was a very low probability that our council would be victorious in the case to recoup the monies that went into it.”
It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter that there was uncertainty in collecting the owed money. It doesn’t matter that thousands of dollars had been poured into this case over five years – five long years of which most of the delays can be attributed to Mr. Takhar’s stalling tactics. And it apparently doesn’t matter that default judgments had already been found and that the only thing left to do for the KSA was to go to court to tally up the damages.
The finish line had already been crossed, Mr. Bassi – the Kwantlen community, the tireless runner, was waiting anxiously to hear the results of the marathon.
This case had long passed the notion of being about money. This case was about justice, about holding former directors to account for their questionable practices – it was about students’ rights for accountable student government.
Kwantlen students – past and present – should be outraged that the RAF suit was settled. Accountability and students’ sense of closure has been spit on, and somewhere, Mr. Takhar is laughing.