Chaos Continues on Council

Procedural Setbacks Shut Down Progress at CSU

CSU President Schubert Laforest, head in hands before council at a meeting last semester. Photo Corey Pool

On Jan. 9, starting more than half an hour late—due to the delayed arrival of pizza—the Concordia Student Union met for the first time this year.

Despite several comments from councillors and the chair indicating that they had reviewed Robert’s Rules over the break, procedural issues proceeded to plague the majority of the meeting.

Chair Jean-François Ouellet began by announcing that councillors were only permitted to speak twice per motion. Once enforced, this new regulation was met with earnest opposition.

“I feel as though I am being censored,” said councillor Melissa Kate Wheeler, after Ouellet—on grounds that she had exhausted her speaking rights on a subject—had silenced her.

The meeting eventually erupted into disarray, separating into clustered conversations, as the chair left in order to verify that he was, in fact, correct.

Ouellet returned, clarifying that Robert’s Rules states councillors are only allowed to speak twice per motion, though this limit could be extended by a two-thirds majority vote from council.

Councillor Gonzo Nieto took advantage of this rule to motion to extend the number of speaking rights to twenty per motion; the motion passed.

The meeting was further bogged down by council’s dissatisfaction with certain executive reports, a lengthy debate over the necessity of a job posting that was ultimately left open and the need to revisit and rectify a motion passed erroneously at council’s last meeting.

Furthermore, on Jan. 13, the CSU’s chief electoral officer, Justin Holland, resigned from his position, as he said he will not be a student next semester.

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In more productive terms, VP Student Life Alexis Suzuki outlined the upcoming Winter Orientation, citing mulled wine, an ice bar, DJs and line dancing as things to look forward to.

Councillor Patrick Lefebvre discussed the creation of a fund to ensure that disabled students have access to the CSU services they pay for, just like everyone else, and council moved to bring this issue to the financial committee for further discussion and research.

Another issue raised was the hiring of the Judicial Board’s legal advisor and budget. It was revealed by councillor James Tyler Vaccaro that the union’s standing regulations put the JB’s budget at $5,000, though it is currently receiving $500—one-tenth the amount.

This issue was sent to the financial committee and the policy committee for further investigation.

Council appointed Vaccaro to Concordia’s Senate, Caroline Bourbonnière to the CSU’s sustainability committee, and Anja Rajaonarivelo to its events committee.