With the noble resignation of Concordia Student Union executive Morgan Pudwell, students are losing a rare voice of compassion and reason. Pudwell’s letter of resignation exposes serious faults within the CSU that merit immediate attention.
Namely, the CSU is not acting on behalf of the will of students. Pressing issues put forward by students “have not been upheld by the student representatives [at the Board of Governors],” according to Pudwell.
Even more troubling, Board student representative Amine Dabchy “has clearly disregarded the needs of students on multiple occasions and failed to report to council (as required by CSU bylaws) on his actions on the board.”
On this point alone, perhaps Dabchy should resign. His actions appear to contradict his mandate. Students need someone to represent their interests on the Board, particularly during this volatile stage in Concordia’s history.
But there are still more troubling points raised in Pudwell’s letter. “There have been attempts to police my work schedule, my whereabouts and my friendships,” Pudwell writes. “My presence at the CSU has been met with very little support from the executive. I have often been silenced under the guise of ‘executive solidarity;’ the executive was expected to always send a single message and to never speak out of line.”
This autocratic way of running a student union is deeply troubling. No student representative should be treated with such a level of disrespect and mistreatment by their coworkers. Moreover, student organizations should be a model of democracy, not a symbol of everything that is wrong with politics today.
These are just a few points raised by Pudwell in her remarkably frank letter of resignation. All of them merit due consideration. One can also expect Pudwell’s arguments and name to be dragged through a tangled web of distortion and deceit. As she states in her letter, however, “I know students are smart enough to recognize these sorts of accusations for what they are.”
My deepest respect, support and admiration goes out to Pudwell in what has, and will continue to be, a very difficult and brave decision. Thank you, Morgan.I trust that students will hold their union accountable. More importantly, I truly hope that students will put in hard work and develop the kind of friendships necessary “for a better campus, a better union, and a better community.”
MA Political Science
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 25, published March 8, 2011.