Editorial: A Diverse CSU for a Diverse Concordia

  • Graphic Graeme Shorten Adams

In sharp contrast to last year’s Concordia Student Union election, which saw most positions go uncontested, three full teams, in addition to independent candidates, are vying for the paid spots on this year’s union.

Two years ago the slate system was abolished in favour of candidates running on their own platforms. Executive candidates are still able to run in teams, like they have this year, but must be voted in individually. With at least three candidates running for each position, it’s unlikely that an entire team will be elected.

Instead, we will probably see a mixed executive—but that might not be a bad thing.

Concordia’s strength lies in its diversity. Our student union is one of the best tools we have to make use of this strength.

And even with an entire executive team being voted in last year, we still saw many points of disagreement between VPs.

Two of the candidates in this election—Community Matters presidential candidate Benjamin Prunty and Experience CSU VP Finance candidate Scott Carr, who both sat on the executive this past year as VP Sustainability and VP Finance respectively, butted heads over the management of funds for the Mezz Café space.

Construction delays and infighting have slowed progress on this year’s projects. Reggie’s is still closed and there are no solid plans for the Mezz café space. The next executive will need to learn quickly how to work together to continue these projects. A year is a short time frame, and concrete steps must be taken early on to ensure these undertakings are seen through.

But the best decisions will not be made in an echo chamber. With each presidential candidate and their team running on different strengths, working on what brings us together will likely be the most successful if we pull from different teams.

This year’s union had lots of big plans, but many of them got gummed up in the process. We need a union to continue working on these projects—especially those concerning student space—that will serve to bring all corners of the university to the table.

We’re set to have representatives from all four faculties on council for the first time in nearly two years. To keep this union moving forward, we need an executive that can reach all kinds of Concordia students.

We can’t agree on a single team that does that for all of us. So instead, we urge you to vote based on the candidate and not solely the team.

There’s another question that seeks to divide the student body that we can take a hard stance on—voting “no” in the per-faculty fee-levy referendum question.

Fee-levy groups provide services to all students, and breaking up their funding along faculty lines will create more impediments to having these groups be as accountable and accessible as possible. It will turn a decision made by the entire union—where everyone gets an equal say—into five separate decisions.

We don’t need another way to draw lines in the sand.

Budgeting for the long term becomes impossible when large percentages of funding are up for a vote. A “yes” to this question opens the door to future per-faculty opt-outs.

The CSU is a place where we should feel united. To do so, we need all present at the table—and stop trying to splinter our collective strength.

CORRECTION: This editorial originally stated that funds for the Hive café had yet to be acquired. Money has, however, been secured for the project. The Link regrets the error.

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