Concordia Student Union Elections 2018: Referendum Questions

Student Spaces, Library Services Fund and More Money to the Co-op Bookstore On the Ballot

  • From Tuesday to Thursday, Concordia’s more than 35,000 undergraduate students will be asked to vote in the Concordia Student Union’s annual election. In addition to electing a new executive team and council, students will also be asked to vote on four questions. Quorum for the election is 450 votes. Archive Tristan D’Amours

From Tuesday to Thursday, Concordia’s more than 35,000 undergraduate students will be asked to vote in the Concordia Student Union’s annual election.

In addition to electing a new executive team and council, students will also be asked to vote on four questions. Quorum for the election is 450 votes.

Here’s what you need to know.

Question One: Do you agree to contribute $1 per credit to the CSU for the Library Services Fund for the next ten years (2019-2029), in order to maintain and increase existing services funded through the Library Services Fund? The contribution would be collected in accordance with the university’s tuition and refund policy.

This question is being brought to referendum since the CSU’s contract with the library is ending and the CSU wants to renew the contract. In order to reinstate the fee collection for the library the CSU needs to ask students again through referendum.

“It’s part of the contract we originally had in 2009, I believe, where students were interested in having augmented services and in order to accomodate that a 10-year contract was entered into,” explained Mustaq.

Voting down the question could see a decrease in services already provided by the library, such as study rooms, and would prohibit them from increasing services, such as live-plants to be installed for better air quality.

The fee-levy amount has always been $1 per credit and will not increase if approved. The fund has allowed for services such as loanable laptops and tablets and recent opening of the Technology Sandbox. Without this fund, the library may also no longer be able to remain open 24/7.

Question Two: Do you as a CSU member agree with adding by-law 7.3.2 such that the Concordia Student Union Council establish an internal Two-Round Electoral System when voting on vacant executive seats?

The CSU wants to implement a two round voting system on council, meaning if an executive seat is empty, a candidate must get more than 50 per cent of the vote to win.

If there are three candidates running and no one gets a majority, then the candidate with the lowest amount of votes is dropped while a vote is held between the remaining two candidates.

The CSU council currently uses a first past the post electoral system, where a candidate can secure the seat with a simple majority rather than an absolute majority which is more than 50 per cent.

The CSU’s current by-laws state that the general coordinator takes the role of any vacant executive seat until a new executive is appointed by council.

Question Three: Do you agree to increase the fee levy of the Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore by $0.05 per credit to a total of $0.14 per credit, effective Fall 2018?

The Co-op Bookstore, located on 2150 Bishop St. right behind the Hall building, was first conceived as an idea by the CSU’s council in 2001. Just over two years later, in October 2003, it opened its doors full-time to act as “a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores.” It sells both new and used books, and first received its $0.09 per credit fee levy in 2009.

Nine years later, worker-member Mariam Saleh said they want to increase their fee levy to provide students with more services, and to improve the ones they already have. She said that their website needs updating, and would like to provide students with the option to order books from the store “from the convenience of their own home.”

They would also like to expand the consignment service, but that would require extra space for consignment books. With a fee levy increase, they would be able to rent a storage space outside of the bookstore, Saleh explained.

Do you support the CSU expanding and improving student spaces for clubs on campus?

Many club’s at the university don’t have offices for themselves, while other clubs are located at Loyola, said General Coordinator Omar Riaz.

“They feel like they’re far from the student body,” he said.

The CSU wants to create a building for students clubs and events, so students interested in engaging with the campus don’t have to constantly switch between the two campuses. There is no budget for the project yet, said Riaz. He added that the cost of such projects could reach up to $40 or $50 million.

Since the CSU only has about $10 million in their Student Space, Accessible Education, and Legal Contingency fund, Riaz said they’d need to find other ways to fundraise for the project.

In June of 2017 the CSU attempted to buy the building which formerly house Burritoville, but the proposal was later rejected by their council.

As of now, there are currently no other concrete locations to which the CSU wants to build these spaces, according to Riaz, but Concordia has “some spaces” that they would like to be considered.

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