CSU to Suzuki: Produce the Post-Mortem

Council Demands Orientation Report From VP Student Life

  • VP Student Life Alexis Suzuki Photo Erin Sparks

The presidential vacancy wasn’t the only sore point at the last Concordia Student Union council meeting.

Though the meeting clocked in at approximately 10 hours, and despite the urgency of the points that followed, council dedicated a good chunk of the first half of the meeting to discussing the mandate and portfolio of one specific member of the executive.

VP Student Life Alexis Suzuki’s decision to create a “how-to guide” for future executives tasked with organizing Orientation sparked concerns from a variety of councillors.

Suzuki proposed the guide as an alternative, rather than a supplement to the traditional post-mortem report outlined in her job description.

At council, she expressed that she thought focusing on a post-mortem was “a big waste of time,” adding that she would rather create a document “that would actually help people.”

Suzuki’s decision came after several councillors voiced disappointments concerning her post-mortem report for the fall Orientation, noting that it was submitted weeks late, and that it neglected to appropriately address the event’s shortcomings.

“It’s great to gloat about how great things went, but [addressing] less successful or negative aspects [is] important to be accountable to students,” said councillor James Tyler Vaccaro. “It’s money that all students have contributed to the CSU so it’s something that has to be done.

“It’s great to log your achievements, but you also have to know when you’ve made mistakes.”

Suzuki originally proposed to have her how-to guide finished on June 1—one day after her mandate as VP Student Life ends.

At council, both executives and councillors voiced concerns that keeping the June 1 deadline would restrict them from being able to provide Suzuki feedback on the report—seeing as she would no longer be occupying her position as an executive.

“It’s problematic because [Suzuki] would have no responsibility to the work once she handed it in,” said CSU councillor Gonzo Nieto. “Then we would have to get someone who comes in after her to finish the work she didn’t complete.”

To address this, council passed a motion to move the deadline for Suzuki’s report from June 1 to May 1.

Additionally, multiple councillors at the meeting noted a general lack of communication within the union.

Councillor Melissa Kate Wheeler said she felt as though the lines of communication between council and the executives had been broken down for some time.

“I think that [Suzuki] doesn’t want to do it because she thinks it’s a waste of time, but I can’t help but feel that if she really understood why we were asking for the post-mortem […], she wouldn’t see it as that,” said Wheeler.

To make things explicitly clear, council mandated Suzuki to have the report in by next council meeting, specifying via a separate motion that it include both the strengths and weaknesses of winter Orientation.

Regardless of the quality of her next post-mortem, Nieto feels as though Suzuki is not the one who should be writing a how-to guide for future generations of the CSU—considering the way the two Orientations of this school year have gone.

“Everyone in the years before her has done it, it’s what her boss—council—is asking her to do and she thinks that it is a waste of time,” Nieto said. “If we ask her to do something, I would expect for it to get done.”

Despite numerous attempts to contact Suzuki for comment, The Link was unable to reach her by press time.

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