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LHSA to be suspended following hazing investigation

Michelle Mark
News Editor
Mar 12, 2014

The Lister Hall Students’ Association has been found guilty of breaching the university’s code of student behaviour, and will be suspended from registering as a student group for a year, effective May 1, 2014.

The Office of Student Judicial Affairs launched an investigation in January into complaints of hazing, stemming from incidents that occurred during the opening ceremonies of Henday tower’s annual Skulk event. The LHSA will have an opportunity to appeal the decision.

LHSA President Samuel Wright said he couldn’t comment on the details of the incidents, but he said the LHSA immediately cancelled Skulk and fired and evicted the person responsible once allegations were made.

“It came down to one person’s actions,” he said. “No matter what, the LHSA is strongly against hazing. We want to nip anything that could be associated with that in the bud.”

Students’ Union President Petros Kusmu said the SU will be speaking with the LHSA and the university administration to ensure a fair process exists for the LHSA’s appeal. He noted that the SU absolutely does not condone hazing, but its role in this incident is to ensure justice exists in university governance.

“We believe it is unbelievably important for students to have an elected representative body and the LHSA plays an unbelievably strong role in that,” he said.

But Wright said he’s unsure how long the appeals process will take. The university has placed sanctions on the LHSA, requiring its executives to turn over their assets, hand in their keys and refrain from holding elections until the appeals process is over, which Wright said could extend well into the summer.

“We’re basically being told we can’t function,” he said.

These events follow a long history of difficulties between the LHSA and the university. In July, 2012, the administration announced major changes to the residence, citing urgent health and safety concerns. The changes included a new alcohol policy and structural changes to Lister’s staffing, which led to nearly a year of heated negotiations between the two parties.

The SU eventually filed a judicial review against the university, whi-ch culminated in an out-of-court settlement last May. Wright said the LHSA has been working ever since to repair its relationship with the administration and ensure the LHSA’s presence on campus and in Lister is rebranded.

“With all of the amazing steps we’ve made this year, we’ve proven through the other three tower events that we can run these huge, amazing events,” he said.

“Not having an elected representative of peers within Lister for these residents is shameful. It would be a huge mistake to remove student representation from a place like this.”

Wright added that he’s concerned about a stigma surrounding Lister after decades of difficulties, but he said the LHSA has recently displayed leadership in preventing such incidents from occurring.

“The university without the LHSA would be a much worse place, in my opinion,” he said. “We’re going to keep fighting this and we’re going to spend the next two months (doing so), until we are forced to hand in our keys.”

The Office of Student Judicial Affairs refused to comment on the specifics of the case.



Comments

And nothing of value was lost. The University could do a better job than the LHSA anyway, plus there would be less of this hazing frat-type bullshit. As an ex-Listserite I have no sympathy for the LHSA and neither should you.



Posted by They got what they deserve on Mar 11, 2014

oh yeahhh the bias. you could fill a book with the things not mentioned in this article…the University’s definition of hazing is very broad. Any action that makes people feel uncomfortable is deemed ‘hazing,’ even if they were given the chance to opt out of said action. but it does make for an eye-catching title. gotta sell the papers somehow. 

The Exec took huge measures to prevent even this very loose definition of hazing. In the end, this is the fault of one person who acted on their own.

The fact that this person was immediately fired, and Skulk was immediately cancelled, should have stood in the LHSA’s favour. apparently not.

And you could fill several books with the good things that the LHSA does for its residents. This is a sad day for me, a current Listerite, and for all of the almost-2000 people that live here.

Long Live the LHSA



Posted by Leeroy Jenkins on Mar 12, 2014

Wow, that comment from ‘They got what they deserve’ sparked a deep anger in me. How can you have no appreciation for the LHSA. They put on loads of great events and fully contribute to improving the Lister experience. They obviously say they don’t condone this ‘hazing frat-type bullshit’ as you like to call it. It’s a shame one person’s actions have lead to this. If you can’t appreciate what the LHSA means to Lister, and how it improves everyone’s experience, you need to open your eyes.



Posted by LHSAmuststay on Mar 12, 2014

My experience with the LHSA was been nothing but positive. They provided good services for the students along with, fun events without which, I wouldn’t have met many of my peers. Moreover, the LHSA provides student leaders to each residence that, in my opinion and experience, are much better and much more qualified to care for, encourage and provide a positive living environment for students than the Resident Services have.

I cannot speak for this person’s displeasure for the LHSA but I can say that myself and numerous others like me have experienced no “frat-type bullshit,” nor do I believe the university could do a better job at helping students who live in Lister than people who have lived there previously have and wish to continue to reside there and offer their services.

You should have sympathy for the student leaders and members of the LHSA who potentially could lose their positions within the organization. You should not listen to outspoken and uninformed people whose intelligence rivals that of dirt… and not just regular dirt but like dirt that’s pretty stupid to begin with.



Posted by Lister Fan 69. on Mar 12, 2014

To be fair lister did this to itself. I lived in lister for 4 years and was twice a floor coordinator. These actions by the university isn’t because of this one event, it’s because of the last few years starting in 2005.

The average residential building receives maybe one ambulance call a year for something serious. In my second year lister got 14 ambulance calls in 8 months all related to alcohol poisoning.

If you were the Dean of the school, walking into classic lister you’d see alcohol cans everywhere in the lounges. Watch some of the skulk events and you’ll see most people have fun but a lot of things “appear” humilating and degrading. Dealing with drunk kids at 2am in the morning isn’t a pleasant thing either. If you were the UofA, you’d do everything to dismantle the lister community from the ground up for the sake of reputation at least.

I’ve fought against the University in this issue for a while but the LHSA and lister in general has been walking on egg shells the last few years and sadly the university has decided on extreme measures.

Lister is a source of income for the UofA, its a business. They don’t have to let you do anything. They can have the exact same polices at a hotel. Its our responsibility as listerites to maintain a level of sanity because we cant demand anything from them.

As far as they are concerned, every student has the SU as their governing body…they don’t need to let the LHSA exist as a separate body just for 1,800 students out of 40,000 students we have here.

I think lister need to realize that the UofA could treat lister like any other rental building you would go to for an apartment.

Hopefully when the LHSA returns they can stay permanently and be wiser as a result of this.



Posted by No Name on Mar 12, 2014

This isn’t because of one person. The Gateway did a ton of investigation into what prompted last year’s changes and found things, as No Name says, dating back to 2005. This is the end result of the university trying to solve things less drastically and being absolutely publically resisted every step by the SU and LHSA.

Seriously, go read this and the 200 pages with it.

http://thegatewayonline.ca/article/view/four_towers



Posted by For Fuck's Sake on Mar 12, 2014

everyone here is wrong its an obvious miscarriage of justice. no name, if that even is his or her real name, is obviously lying and has never once served as an FC OR even LIVED in lister. typical right wing media. everything he or she says is incorrect and should have no merit in this discussion.
I didnt bother to read for fuck sake’s comment or article because i believe they too are a big liar and probably have some secret agenda. lister has been nothing but rainbows and happiness from 2005 until now.



Posted by Everyone here is wrong on Mar 12, 2014

I disagree with the University’s actions with regards to the LHSA, but I do see its merits. In the case of this year specifically, I think the blame falls solely on VP Henday and the FCs responsible for the ‘hazing’ incident. This year the LHSA has finally been turning itself around (for the better), and a couple of rogue employees ruin it all for everyone.

In addition, the residents are practically brainwashed into thinking that the University is the enemy, and are responsible for everything that happens to Lister. At the end of the day the University’s definition of hazing doesn’t change, the residents need to understand that they must submit to the University’s rules. Just because you think it’s unfair doesn’t make it void.

With this being said I would hope that the LHSA relooks and rethinks its hiring policies, because let’s be honest, residents are more likely to vote for a popular FC/VP who drinks or parties with them regularly. As opposed to a same responsible figure who also has the LHSA’s interests at heart.



Posted by Honest Words on Mar 12, 2014

I did live in lister and was FC. Lived in mackenIe in my first and second years. Lived in Schaffer the last two years. I was there when the first skulk video was brought to our attention. I was FC in Mac when we had to cancel spy vs spy because a girl got tackled into the elevator on 2 Mac. I was also an FC when a chair got thrown out of 9 Mac. We manage to solve stuff like this internally. But it’s an accumulation of little things like this that drives the UofA nuts.

The LHSA is an amazing organization. They only done good. But the lister residents do stupid stuff some times and the university has decide to punish the LHSA for it since they organize some of the events.

Seriously. Find that 2005 skulk video…the fact that the university didn’t ban everything in lister after that is shocking.

I don’t blame the LHSA…like I said it’s lister that does it. Individual people take things way too far in lister and it’s a shame that the LHSA takes the downfall. But I can’t blame the university for this…



Posted by No Name on Mar 12, 2014

Obviously Honest words is just a big nerd and is upset that they didnt get FC/VP because they are bad at campaigning. and is also a big nerd.



Posted by this person is just mad that they are a nerd on Mar 12, 2014

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