CSU election debate featured missing councillors and one contested executive team position

Candidate later resigned leaving all executive positions unopposed

The CSU election debate saw many missing councillors and only one true debate between sustainability coordinator candidates. File Photo Ireland Compton

The Concordia Student Union election season is now in full swing, with March 11’s debate being the student body’s first glimpse at their candidates.

Arts and science

Of the 13 students running for a seat as an Arts and science councillor, only three candidates showed up. There are 12 seats up for grabs.

Alina Murad, a fourth-year political science and immigration studies student, focused on increasing diversity within the CSU and holding professors more accountable—especially with students feeling neglected while studying online. 

Third-year neuroscience student Boutaïna Chafi hopes to work on creating diplomatic relations between faculties. “I have the interests of students at heart,” she said. For Chafi, properly representing Arts and Science means letting students voice their concerns. She stressed the importance of having cohesive demands as a student body.

Ikrame Housni, also a neuroscience student, wants to alleviate students’ workload, focus on mental health, bring more diversity to council, and bridge the gap between different Concordia communities. 

Gina Cody School of Engineering

Four students are running for one of eight seats reserved for Gina Cody School of Engineering students. Two of the four candidates were present at the debate. 

Kayla Charky, a third-year software engineering student, wants to “add more representation at the CSU level for engineers.” Charky aims to be an advocate for women in engineering, and create events to appeal to women in the male-dominated field. “I want to help in any way possible,” she said. 

Second-year electrical engineering student Marissa Profetto shared views similar to Charky, emphasizing the importance of diversity in engineering. Profetto also wants to focus on securing more funding for initiatives spearheaded by engineering students so they can continue projects they’re passionate about.  

John Molson School of Business

There are six seats open for John Molson School of Business students, and seven people running in the election. Of those seven, two attended the debate. 

Returning councillor and marketing student Lauren Perozek reminded attendees of her work on the CSU, like the sponsorship committee—which opens up the CSU budget so it doesn’t always need to rely on student money. With a year on council under her belt, she explained how she’d be an asset to incoming councillors to help teach them the ropes. 

Emmanuel Gaisie, second-year finance student and member of the Black Student Union, wants to be a liaison for JMSB students and bring their voices to the forefront. He would also serve as an advocate for minorities and the Black Lives Matter movement. Ultimately, his goal is to make the union relevant to business students.

Both the Fine arts and Independent studies candidates did not attend the debate. They’re all running uncontested.

Executive team

At the time of the debate, the Sustainability executive position was the only contested seat. Since then, however, JMSB student David Desjardins resigned from the race, leaving environmental science student Faye Sun unopposed.  

At the debate, Desjardins mentioned a few of his proposed initiatives like a textbook buy-back program and putting free menstrual products in every bathroom on campus. Both him and Sun agreed there’s no time left for small actions—systemic change is the only solution to climate change.

Sun, running with the Brick by Brick slate, put a spotlight on environmental justice and human rights. As a science student, her research relates to migration, climate change, and colonial borders. Sun plans on taking a more humanitarian approach to sustainability, focusing on BIPOC because they’re most affected by climate change. “I want to push the admin to change policies and make big changes happen,” she added.  

Following the only debate of the evening, students were introduced to the entire Brick by Brick team. Headed by current Student Life Coordinator Eduardo Malorni, now running for General Coordinator, the slate is made up of some new and familiar faces.

S Shivaane, running for Loyola Coordinator, is currently a CSU councillor. Her focus is making the Loyola campus more accessible to students, which includes pushing the administration to improve shuttle services. Shivaane also wants to bring more career focused and interdisciplinary events to the campus.

Finance Coordinator candidate, Aria Khaksar, hopes to lower the cost of the international student healthcare plan and get better coverage for international students.

Councillor Harrison Kirshner, running for Internal Affairs coordinator, wants to bring more anti-discrimination practices to Concordia’s clubs. He also discussed creating incentives for clubs with sustainability and diversity initiatives. 

External Affairs & Mobilization coordinator candidate, Camina Harrison-Chéry, explained how her life’s journey gained her experience community building and in creating spaces for the BIPOC community.

Former councillor Hannah Jamet-Lange, running for Academic & Advocacy coordinator, wants to focus on helping students in terms of proctoring, increased work load, mental health, and accessibility while studying remotely. She wants to create guidelines for professors to follow and urge the university’s Senate to expand the pass/fail to more classes and keep it in place until the pandemic is over.

Loyola Coordinator Malcolm Asselin is now running for Student Life Coordinator. His primary goal is to centralize the CSU’s forms of communication and make CSU activities more accessible to the student body. He’s already started to do so through The Yellow Curtain podcast, hosted by himself and Malorni.

“This is a team of all-stars,” said Malorni, the one at the helm of the Brick by Brick ship. The slate’s primary goal is to support students when they come back to campus and reinvigorating lost support groups and networks students had in the past.

The CSU election polling period lasts from March 16 to March 18.

With files from Parker Sherry.

This article has been updated to more accurately reflect Faye Sun's quotes. The Link regrets this error.

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