The student papers at Concordia are leading with an incredible story based on an affidavit from the head of the Quebec Student Health Alliance (ASEQ) accusing former Concordia Student Union vice-president Steven Rosenshein of asking for a $25,000 bribe (to finance an upcoming student election campaign) for his company to remain the CSU’s health and dental plan insurance broker.
The bribe attempt was allegedly made in May 2008. It is becoming public now only because the CSU has decided to switch insurance brokers, and ASEQ believes it is because they did not allow themselves to be blackmailed.
The CSU health plan is the student association’s largest single expense, and $25,000 represents only a fraction of its yearly budget.
But still, to ask for a direct, illegal campaign contribution and threaten to cut off a multi-million-dollar deal if it’s not received is pretty insane.
To be clear, the Concordia Student Union denies the claim (though Rosenshein hasn’t spoken publicly yet UPDATE (March 3): Rosenshein emerges do deny it as well), and says its decision to switch insurance brokers without even opening it up to bids was unrelated to any alleged bribe.
The letter from ASEQ executive director Lev Bukhman to Concordia University asking it to take charge of the student health plan is here (PDF).