Editorial: A New CSU Concentrated on Sustaining Communities
The excitement of this year’s Concordia Student Union general elections has finally settled down. With one of the most controversial referendum questions in years and with over three times as many candidates as last year, this election has been one for the ages.
With the highest voter turnout in three years, Community Matters swept the CSU election, winning every spot on the executive.
While the estimated voter turnout of between 3,000 and 3,100 students only represents about 8.4 per cent of the undergraduate student body, it’s more than double the amount of undergrads that voted in last year’s election.
It’s clear that students care more about the issues raised this year. In addition, with most Community Matters candidates earning almost double the votes of the runners-up, it’s clear students trust them to make the right decisions.
But Community Matters has promised a lot. Constructing a greenhouse at Loyola, on top of figuring out the Hive café, the Hall mezzanine café and everything else listed on their platform will not be easily-accomplished tasks.
It’s not that we don’t trust our new union. Members of Community Matters have proven themselves capable a great number of times—the laundry list of accomplishments on their website is a testament to that.
A new greenhouse and more student-run food options at Concordia would be welcome additions and we want these projects seen through as much as Community Matters does. We’re just hoping they haven’t made false promises—a problem we’ve seen far too many times with the CSU.
Although the outgoing CSU undoubtedly did a better job than the 2012-2013 team, many projects were still left unrealized. Continuing this upward trend to accomplish Community Matters’ goals is exactly the direction we need to be heading, and the renewed interest in student politics by undergraduate students can only help.
But as interested as we are in the many food projects Community Matters has proposed, we’re worried some of the other points of the platform will be left behind for the flashier projects.
As their name implies, Community Matters should be focusing on the community in other ways as well. They have pledged support for campus groups and fee-levy organizations, but tangible action will need to be taken.
The referendum question that suggested voting on fee levies by faculty didn’t come out of nowhere; even though the referendum failed, the fact that it was presented shows there is a dissatisfaction that needs to be addressed.
We also hope that students become more involved with council this year. There seems to have been a lack of communication between council and students the past couple of years, but with the high voter turnout—and high number of Community Matters patches we’ve seen pinned to bags and jackets—we’re hoping students stay involved past Orientation.
Grievances like the fee-levy fiasco can—and should—be solved as a group rather than as a fragmented body.
The Concordia community needs work from both the union and students to turn it into the vibrant group we know it can be, and we’re hopeful Community Matters will be able to lead us there.