CSU Byelection Breakdown

Get the Low-down On the Candidates

Graphic Graeme Shorten Adams

Your Concordia Student Union council was starting to look a little bare—seven councillors resigned this semester in the span of two months. No students are running for fine arts seats, but arts and science, engineering and computer science and John Molson students have a choice ahead of them. Who will you support? To help you decide, here’s a little introduction to everyone running.

Arts and Sciences

Charles Bourassa
A student in Western society and culture, Bourassa also has experience as an ASFA councillor for the Liberal Arts College, and recently joined the Concordia Food Coalition. Bourassa says his first priority is to fix the library’s often-noisy blue zones, pointing to the $1 per-credit library service fund that students pay and calling it a “service that’s not being fulfilled.”

Justin Caruso
Caruso is a second-year student studying human relations who says he wants to ensure accountability and transparency within the CSU. He also says he’ll work to bridge the gap between faculties by holding more events on both campuses. Caruso added that because a lot of students aren’t aware of what events are going on, improving communication is key.

Shahzad Dal
Dal is an economics student focusing on environmental science. A major campaign point of his is advocating the responsible use of student funds—not surprising given Dal’s experience managing one of the CSU’s clubs. Another focus is the creation of workshops and programs that will make it easier for students to find jobs post-graduation.

Alexandre Hureau
Anthropology major and The Link photographer Hureau got involved with the CSU through the Concordia Food Coalition earlier this year, after realizing that involvement with the union could help improve the food situation on campus. Implementing more student-run initiatives on campus is a key priority for Hureau.

Youssef Ennajimi
Ennajimi did not respond to interview requests before press time.

Majed Jamous
Jamous got involved with council because he wants to help other students’ voices be heard. The human relations major is currently involved with the Muslim Students Association, where he serves as the VP External. If elected, he says he would try to stay on top of where student money goes.

Patricia Martone
Martone is a second-year psychology student who first got involved with the CSU over the summer and has previously worked with the Concordia Undergraduate Psychology Association. She says that because there are no psychology students currently on council, her presence would give science students a voice. Martone also says she would prefer to work with what council is already trying to implement, rather than bring preconceived ideas of change to the table.

Gabriel Velasco
Velasco is a student in the School of Community and Public Affairs, minoring in sustainability. He is running because he thinks the CSU council “is a good space to create positive change on campus.” Velasco told says his top priority as a councillor would be to “facilitate a positive transition, first of all, to a better food system at Concordia.” He is also a member of the Concordia Food Coalition, looking to supplant Chartwells as the university’s main food supplier.

Damian Skulic
Skulic is a biophysics major who studied sciences at Cégep de Saint-Laurent before coming to Concordia. In his candidate biography Skulic says he knows students in every science program, which he says can help inform the CSU on what those students need.

John Molson School of Business

Patrick Rivest
Rivest is in his final year at Concordia and says he decided to run for a JMSB councillor position to learn more about student politics. He says he believes he can help bridge the gap between the CSU and John Molson students by discussing common ground—fiscal accountability. He also says he isn’t above the CSU embracing a reputation that has them throwing more parties for students—and being proud of it.

Kabir Bindra
Bindra has been representing JMSB at the Jeux du Commerce for the last two years. He says there’s too much separation between faculties at Concordia, and that students “pay for a university experience that [should involve] more than a desk and a classroom.”

Maylen Cytryn
Cytryn is the CASA Board chair and vice-president of the John Molson Marketing Association. If elected, Cytryn says she will “ensure that proper business practices are followed” by bringing her knowledge of marketing, finance and management to council.

Virginia Law
Law is a finance major from Montreal, and studied at Marianopolis College before coming to Concordia. She writes in her candidate biography that her time at Marianopolis included planning a humanitarian trip to Nicaragua and being an executive of the school’s First Aid Team.

Michael Richardson
Richardson is a business major, the current VP External Affairs for CASA and also a self-proclaimed realist. “I will not sit here and say that by voting for me, we will change the world and the CSU will be 100,000 times more amazing,” he wrote in his candidate biography. “I’m not a fan of BS.” What Richardson says he’s a fan of are financial accountability and policy-making. He promises to read “EVERY policy and document” that reaches his desk.

Ahmed Mustafa
Mustafa is a second-year international student majoring in finance. He’s something of a globetrotter, too. Before moving to Montreal to study at Concordia, he lived in London, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Sana’a, Yemen. After graduation, he says he wants to become a financial analyst. He is the founder, vice-president and VP Communications of Ramadan Ghair, a charity project based in Sana’a.

Soufian El Malki
El Malki is in his last year of a degree in accounting. New to campus politics, he hopes to “bring new and fresh ideas to the CSU council.” If elected, he says he will “work with other faculty councillors to come up with solutions that will benefit not only JMSB students but the whole Concordia community.”

Mohammed Nasser
Nasser is a second-year economics major who moved to Montreal from Egypt via France. He founded the Darfur Club, a student-run charity to raise money and awareness for victims of the genocide in Darfur. He also worked as an accountant for an oilfield service company in Dubai and Iraq. He says he’s the right candidate for the job “due to his familiarity with the unique student atmosphere offered at Concordia University,” according to his candidate biography.

Engineering and Computer Sciences

Kyle Arseneau
Arseneau is a building engineering major and president of the department’s student association. He says he decided to run for an ENCS councillor position because he wanted someone to “step up” and represent the faculty, which currently only has a single seat representing it on council.

Alaa Ajam
Ajam is a 24-year-old Bachelor of Science in biochemistry who returned to Concordia to get a degree in building engineering. He says his long experience as a student can help him relate to the needs of students and better perform his duties as a CSU councillor.  

Ahmad Choukair
Choukair is in his first year at Concordia but has already made inroads as an executive of the Muslim Students Association. The electrical engineering major says he is “trying to get into the system ‘cause I think I can make a change.”

Having trouble wrapping your head around the referendum questions of the byelection? We broke them down for you.