Council Follows Through

CSU Adopts Student Suggested Motions in Heated Council Meeting

Tempers flared during a debate between councillors Ethan Cox (left) and Steven Brown (right) but the CSU still adopted every student-suggested motion during Wednesday’s meeting. Photo Christopher Curtis

When the Concordia Student Union held an Informational General Meeting on Jan. 27, they promised that every motion adopted would be brought up and voted on at their next meeting.

True to their word, all six motions brought before them were passed, despite some moments of tension among those present.

The meeting got heated when CSU Councillor Ethan Cox moved that all six proposals be voted on as an omnibus motion, meaning that they would all be voted on at the same time. The motion failed, leading Cox to question the integrity of CSU Council.

“If you don’t adopt every motion that was passed by our students that elected us at the Informational General Meeting, I will resign from Council on the spot,” said Cox. “There is no question that we have an absolute obligation to pass what was put to us by our students.”

Councillor Menachem Freedman explained his opposition to the omnibus motion by expressing a desire to review each one individually before casting a vote.

“We’ve never seen these motions before,” he said. “I think it’s our responsibility to the students to hear each one individually so we understand what we’re voting on.”

The exchange kicked off a series of verbal volleys where various councillors accused each other of “belligerence” among other personal attacks.

Among the motions introduced at the IGM, the one calling for the resignation of all members-at-large of the Concordia Board of Governors was the most controversial. Even so, the motion passed.

Cox also proposed a motion requesting that council call for the resignation of any member of the Senate or Board of Governors who “does not comply with the wishes of students” in regard to disclosing the terms of all nondisclosure contracts the university is presently engaged in. The motion failed after it was argued that members of the Senate are elected officials and that the motion could be misconstrued as hostile.

“I don’t think the issue right now is whether they’re representing students,” said VP Sustainability and Promotions Morgan Pudwell. “[On] this particular issue students have asked them to do something specific.”

Among other motions introduced were various measures to repeal past tuition hikes and fight ones that may come in the future, including the establishment of a day of action on Feb. 14. The CSU also adopted measures that oppose the ability of credit card companies to distribute their products on campus, and the formal establishment of an
ad hoc student centre and space committee.

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