#CSU12 Debate

A Better Concordia vs. Concordia Could Be

A Better Concordia presidential candidate Schubert Laforest answers a question at Thursdays debate. Photo Laura Beeston

After an extremely tame poster night by Concordia Student Union election standards, executive hopefuls from both A Better Concordia and Concordia Could Be held a debate Thursday and made their platforms public.

Held on the seventh floor CSU lounge, dozens of students came out to hear both affiliations speak about campaign promises and their views on current Concordia politics.

After “rock, paper, scissoring” for who would get to be the first to answer the opening question, the candidates touched on the relationship between the CSU and faculty associations, and how those ties could be strengthened.

The questions that followed touched on the dismal finances of CUSACorp—the for-profit wing of the CSU—and Reggie’s Bar, the ideal relationship with Concordia’s Board of Governors, student space and strike mobilization.

Presidential hopeful Schubert Laforest, who has since been disqualified from A Better Concordia said he believed the CSU needs to “rethink our strategy,” when dealing with oppositional administration and the provincial government on student-related issues and suggested more meetings between the two parties.

Presidential candidate for Concordia Could Be Melanie Hotchkiss stated that while she wants to work with the Board for the best interests of the university and students, their failure to follow Robert’s Rules of Order—as well as their own bylaws and standing regulations—needed to be addressed in the coming year.

She also promised to motion that the second undergraduate governor—who sits on the Board but doesn’t have voting rights—be given the power to second motions at the boardroom table.

While it was stressed during the debate that incoming council would only take office after the CSU’s five-day strike mandate—which was called in a controversial General Assembly on March 7 —members of the audience pressed candidates for their opinions on the planned student mobilization.

Laforest said he believed the GA created a “false dichotomy” between students on campus, and that students ought to have more “tact” when dealing with the myriad political views on the subject.

Concordia Could Be candidates stressed that every department hold a GA for themselves to have a more representative idea of where they stand and what they will contribute to the student actions.

“Every faculty association has the responsibility to hold a GA,” said VP Sustainable candidate Ian Meyer-Macaulay. “If departments don’t speak for themselves, no one will speak for them properly.”

As for platform points, Concordia Could Be discussed creating a CSU app, an online directory, and “overhauling the website” as part of a new communications strategy.

A Better Concordia, while light on the firm details, was keen on creating “institutional memory” to facilitate and communicate with students.

During the Q&A, both teams spoke to the possibility of a mixed executive next year.

Last November, new bylaws were passed to enforce a system where executives run “individually” and councillors and senators run “individually and independently.” This means executive candidates are able to band together in affiliations, without being elected as a team.

Both teams said they were committed to working together for the benefit of students.

Find out more about the slates at their websites: A Better Concordia and Concordia Could Be
Watch the debate online courtesy CUTV.