Your Student Representatives: Rude and Unrepresentative

With students crowding the gallery for the first time in years at a Concordia Student Union Council meeting, many councillors left their manners at the door on Feb. 9 and showed their true colours.

An arrogant and Byzantine aristocracy, the vocal minority of councillors led by Tamara Gordon, Alison Revine, Carlos Puerta and Tomer Shavit seemed to have forgotten—or perhaps never believed—that they were serving a democracy.

The students in attendance had a clear reason for being present: they had received almost no support from the student union or most of the representatives they had sent to Council, and they wanted to air their grievances.
The fact is Council didn’t do its job.

With a few select exceptions, most of Council never attended the Information General Meeting or any planning sessions for what would become the most successful assembly in Concordia history. With the exception of a few hours a month, many of them are non-entities in the community.

So it was no great surprise when students without privileges, titles or any aid, decided that enough was enough.
Cue Tamara Gordon, a representative from engineering.

“I really take great offence to being told that we didn’t do our jobs when we didn’t know about it, when no one asked us anything about it,” screamed Gordon at the students.

“Now I know what it is,” she continued, admitting complete ignorance about the Special General Meeting planned for the next month.

“Now you guys come here and tell us that we’re not doing our jobs, I take great offence.”

Here is a lesson to Gordon: that crowd of students that you abused was your boss. Your job is to serve them. When they tell you that you have failed, you accept it and act properly embarrassed.

Instead, the students had the sense of propriety to apologize to Gordon when they had no reason to do so. While heaping her abuse on students, Gordon was urged on by the encouraging nods of Alison Revine, a representative from Fine Arts.

Tomer Shavit, the president of Hillel Concordia, and Carlos Puerta, the president of the Latin American Student Organization of Concordia, made similar deflections of blame. They were not nearly as rude, but they should be reminded about how to conduct themselves with students.

If this were the September Council meeting, I would call on Gordon to rethink her place in the CSU. At this point, she has perhaps a meeting left in her as a representative. She should finish her short career of public service and disappear into the political wilderness.

—Justin Giovannetti,

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 23, published February 15, 2011.