CSU council prepares for upcoming academic year

In their last regular council meeting before the fall, members sorted out their responsibilities

Council members took steps towards a relatively smooth transition into the fall 2022 semester. File Photo Ireland Compton

The Concordia Student Union’s executive team and council of representatives met on June 8 for their final regular council meeting until September.

Members discussed the prospects of the upcoming academic year, especially in relation to the CSU’s lower bodies whose seats have yet to be filled. These are the different committees operated by both executives and councillors, including committees on racial minorities and student group financing.

The meeting lasted nearly four hours. By its conclusion at 10 p.m., most attendees were out of energy. The team managed to make it through the most of the agenda, leaving a few tasks to be addressed at a later date.

Election of new chairperson

After interviewing a multitude of candidates for the recently opened position, the council selected Nicholas Dundorf to be its new chairperson. This role entails overseeing regular and special council meetings, ensuring that order is maintained and procedure is followed. 

Caitlin Robinson, who had held the position for six years, stepped down at the end of the former CSU team’s mandate. Dundorf will begin the training process and will most likely chair the upcoming special council meeting.

Board of Governors seats

Of the meeting’s many bullet points, few tasks were as contentious as the appointment of seats to Concordia’s Board of Governors. As per the CSU’s agreement with the university, the union has two seats at the BoG—one for a councillor and one for an executive.

Though the general coordinator is usually the executive with a seat at the Board, this will not be the case in the upcoming academic year.

General Coordinator Elijah Olise lost to Internal Affairs Coordinator Fawaz Halloum in a secret vote. The last time the general coordinator was not present at the Board was in 2018, when Student Life Coordinator Leyla Sutherland defeated Omar Riaz. 

Halloum will represent the student body alongside councillor Nassim Boutalbi, who was selected without any opposition by his fellow councillors. 

Appointments and missing seats

Council members were anything but quick to jump on opportunities to fill committee vacancies during the meeting. “Going once, going twice, sold—to nobody,” joked Olise.

As of the end of the meeting, the CSU had yet to fill seats in the following committees: Fee-Levy Review Committee, Student Life Committee, BIPOC Committee, Loyola Committee, and one remaining union spot on the university’s Senate.

Academic and Advocacy Coordinator Asli Isaaq stressed the importance for council members to fill each committee. She singled out the committee dealing with issues relating to Black, Indigenous, and other students of colour on campus because she saw the need to prioritize filling those seats.

“A lot of work is done in the summer,” Isaaq said. “The workload will either fall on BIPOC Committee or it’ll fall on me.” She explained how a lack of support in that committee could place disproportionate burdens on the union’s executives and councillors of colour.

The CSU also appointed Caleb Woolcott as chair of the Student Space, Accessible Education, and Legal Contingency Fund. The purpose of the SSAELC Fund is for “students to invest [and] support projects and student spaces, such as the Student Centre,” Olise said.

Delay in operations budget

Wednesday’s meeting was supposed to include the presentation of the CSU’s 2022-2023 Operations Budget, but its release has been postponed.

Finance Coordinator Meryem Benallal stated her need for supplementary time to finalize the budget. An upcoming special council meeting will likely take place in the next two weeks, in which Benallal will present the report.

External affairs problems

Tensions broke out between council members when the time came to discuss filling the external affairs position. Beniel Dube, who has not yet been formally elected, has been acting as a quasi-interim External Affairs Coordinator for the time being.

Concerns regarding Dube’s unofficial appointment to the CSU were raised. Sustainability Coordinator Sean Levis pointed out that the union had not  “conducted an equal and fair interview process for the position.” Following a heated debate the issue was left alone.

Mural festival motion passed

Near the end of the meeting, Loyola Coordinator Sabrina Morena introduced a motion that would allocate funds for the creation of a mural in the G-Lounge at the Loyola campus. Morena said the initiative was geared towards funding artists of colour.

The CSU will spend $8,000 on this upcoming art installation. “We would be able to reclaim the space at Loyola because it is neglected,” Morena added. The motion passed unanimously.

This article has been updated to correct an error regarding a misspelling of Asli Isaaq's name and details of the mural motion. The Link regrets these errors.