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The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations Supports Calgary Students in MacEwan Hall Dispute
Ottawa, May 4, 2016 – The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) believes that strong and autonomous student associations are integral to Canada’s post-secondary education system. It’s this belief that has caused CASA to firmly condemn the actions of the University of Calgary in its attempt to take over the management of the MacEwan Student Centre, also known as MacHall – a building that has been financed and governed by students since its construction in 1968.
CASA strongly supports the University of Calgary Students’ Union (UofC SU) in defending its long-standing co-ownership of the building. Student unions across Canada play vital roles in advocating on behalf of their students and providing indispensable services, often funded in part through revenues generated by operating student centres. The actions being taken by the University of Calgary, under the leadership of President Elizabeth Cannon, jeopardize those critical services and are entirely unacceptable.
CASA strives to work collaboratively with post-secondary partners who value and respect student leadership. The decisions of the University of Calgary and Dr. Cannon are in direct conflict with CASA’s principles. These actions have far reaching implications and create a deeply concerning precedent regarding the relationships between universities and student associations across Canada.
CASA and its 21 student associations, which represent 250,000 students from across the country, will be actively watching these events unfold. CASA stands firmly behind the UofC SU and calls on Dr. Cannon and the University of Calgary to recognize the majority student ownership stake in the MacEwan Student Centre.