C4 Club Detonated Without a Sound

Don’t Let the Little Things Slide, CSU

  • Graphic Flora Hammond

The first question I asked Julien Fortuna, ad designer for The Link and one of the presidents of the now-defunct Concordia Case Competition and Consultancy Club (or C4 for short), was what the conversation he had with the CSU prior to the revocation of the club’s status was. He seemed confused. “What conversation?” he asked. “There was no conversation.”

On Aug. 7, the CSU held a special council meeting that, among other things, included a presentation by the Clubs and Space committee, the group in charge of reviewing each club at Concordia. Approved clubs are granted access to club space and are given a budget depending on their needs and how much funding is available. The committee reviews the documents each club submits and decides, based on the information they are provided, whether or not they will recommend that council approve or deny the club. In the case of the C4 club, the committee found that the documentation provided by the club was ambiguous. During that Aug. 7 meeting, council voted to have the club’s status revoked, and Fortuna received an email two weeks after the meeting informing him of what had happened.

The C4 club aims to give students business experience—regardless of whether or not they are in JMSB—through participation in case competitions, something already done by multiple clubs at the school.

But according to Fortuna, the C4 club has no intention of using the reputation of other case competition clubs to boost the club.

In an interview with The Link, VP Clubs and Internal James Tyler Vaccaro noted that one of the major reasons the club’s status was revoked was the fact that the Clubs and Space committee expressed concern that there was no proof the club had even been approved in the first place.

“There’s no documentation that a committee approved them, and a club can only be approved through a committee, so the [current] Clubs and Space committee felt that the due process hadn’t been followed,” Vaccaro said. Given this lack of information, the committee recommended that the C4 Club have its status revoked.

The club has only been around since last year, meaning that they were approved for the first time under former VP Clubs and Internal Nadine Atallah. Despite the fact that the lack of documentation showing the club’s initial approval was one of the major deciding factors in annulling the club, and despite the fact that nobody was able to get a hold of Atallah until it was too late for an explanation on why the club had been approved in the first place, the C4 Club ceased to be recognized by the CSU, following a meeting they had not even been invited to.

What is clear is that Atallah played a significant role in allowing this club to proceed, and the fact that nobody has been able to contact her regarding the situation means that revoking the status of the club without consulting the former executive was not the right decision.

Communication Breakdown

The problems with the procedure for revoking the C4’s status do not end there. While it is possible for a club to register at any point during the year, if they want to receive the most possible funding they have to submit their documents before­ Sept. 15. This means that, despite the fact that the deadline had not even passed and the C4 Club technically would have been able to supplement their documentation, and that Atallah would likely have been able to answer any questions about the legitimacy of their initial approval, the club was unceremoniously booted out the door.

While, as Vaccaro pointed out, it does not necessarily make sense to have the club in question present at such a meeting—as it’s ultimately not about how well they can argue their case but about the content of their supporting documents—it seems odd that the club presidents were not given a chance to resubmit or clarify their focus. It also seems odd that the club’s status was revoked before anyone had a chance to speak to Atallah, who was largely responsible for granting club status in the first place.

Fortuna claims to have emailed the CSU multiple times in an attempt to discuss the situation, but ultimately nothing came from it, and the complete lack of communication between the CSU and Fortuna meant that there was no middle ground between the club having status and not.

It may not make sense to have the club present to argue their case, but it would stand to reason that at some point, club members should have been consulted—or at the very least warned. Both Fortuna and Vaccaro have confirmed that there were no C4 Club representatives present at the meeting, and that fact is troubling.

It simply isn’t the procedure—but perhaps it should be.

There is no reason that Concordia clubs should not be contacted prior to their status being taken away; there is nothing to suggest that a club cannot reapply after their status is revoked, but there is no reason things should get to that point if there is a chance to resolve things.

Concordia is not the sort of place where issues disappear over the summer. It’s never a blank slate come September, and the CSU executives (and students) would be well served to keep that in mind. Problems that carry over from the previous academic year, especially ones that relate to questionable policies, will only become further entrenched as they continue to be enacted without question. The C4 club is only one example of a communication breakdown that ends up hurting the students the CSU is supposed to represent, and it is imperative that things change.

The current CSU executive has inherited a laundry list of problems from the former executive, and it should be made clear that they are not being blamed for the poorly managed union that A Better Concordia left behind. But the fact remains that the CSU’s website is in shambles, with many pages not being updated for at least a few years; the student union has a history of gross financial mismanagement; and The Hive project is still incomplete. Simply because the current executive was not responsible for shoddy policy, like that which relates to clubs, does not mean it should continue.

There are huge problems that the executive has to grapple during their term, but it is critical that they do not let the little things slip through the cracks.

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