The board of governors of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario is refusing to disburse some three million dollars in student money as negotiations with the university’s graduate and undergraduate student associations over financial control and accountability issues have broken down.

While the university claims that they are merely requesting access to audited financial statements from the two associations, student leaders say that administrators have for more than a year been pressing for sweeping changes in the student groups’ relationship to the university, and that the withheld fees are being held hostage to those negotiations.

The audited financial statements, they say, are available to any student who requests them.

The associations filed a court petition last week seeking to force the university to hand over the cash.