Editorial: Back to Reality

Graphic Graeme Shorten Adams

Orientation week is winding down and reality is setting in whether you like it or not. You probably need to figure out if you’re going to commit to that early-morning class at Loyola, or that ECON course you joined “for the experience.”

You might be reading this in the never-ending bookstore line, still a little dazed from Orientation shenanigans.

Anyone who was around last year would call this year’s Orientation a resounding success by comparison. The events were announced ahead of time. The agendas were available during the first week of classes. We had a headlining act at the concert that was apparently a big deal, at least in JMSB circles—though many of us are still scratching our heads about who the hell Dada Life is.

With last year as a reference, this year’s Orientation was a success, because it wasn’t a series of snafus.

The bar was set so low last year that it didn’t really take much to impress anyone. When your predecessor’s legacy is doing the worst job out of anyone we can remember, coasting looks like a pretty easy option.

But when you’re spending more money than it cost to get Snoop Lion (or Snoop Dogg, if you’re not a fan of change) to Orientation a few years ago, you’d think we could snag a household name—or at least not have a concert which only appeals to the Piknic Electronik crowd.

Just because the CSU executives are picking up the phone when we call doesn’t mean we’re ready to give them a standing ovation. They made some very ambitious promises to get into office, and only two weeks into classes, the reality is setting in for these lofty goals too.

The most tangible, and maybe the most ambitious campaign promise, has already suffered from back-pedalling.

While CSYou campaigned on a fully functional Hive Café by the time students returned to class, that project is far from completion. And when it does open, it won’t have the full menu promised either. With the setbacks amounting to the same problems previous unions have grappled with, we must question the sincerity of the initial promise.

This executive also promised a sexual assault centre during their term, but they already knew that was on the way due to work by the Centre for Gender Advocacy and Concordia’s administration. The plans went through after heavy campaigning initiatives by the Centre.

Just because it is happening during their time in office doesn’t mean the CSU gets credit for it. We’re happy that project is moving along, but it doesn’t really count as a promise kept.

The CSU executive campaigned on invigorating a student body that’s becoming increasingly disinterested in student politics, if voting numbers are any indication. Fulfilling this task is a huge undertaking in itself, and will take some serious creativity—especially after what a blow the CSU took to its credibility last year.

And as flashy as the Orientation website may be, the CSU still doesn’t have a fully functioning website itself.

We’re excited to see what comes of CSU-backed initiatives, like the new divestment campaign and the Concordia Food Coalition. It’s not uncommon for our union to make symbolic political gestures, but mobilizing students is an art of its own.

We’ve heard promises of bringing the CSU’s financial house in order, and only time will tell if that’s going to happen during the CSYou tenure. While last year’s executive may have made a mess, it’s a mess the new team needs to own up to.

It’s our job to be hard on the CSU, and throwing a good party won’t have us singing their praises. This team was elected on big promises. We’ll be here keeping track of how many will actually be fulfilled.

If faith in our union has any hope of being restored, there’s much work to be done.