Editorial: CSU council must promote inclusion

Graphic Carl Bindman

Last week, we applauded We Got You, the Concordia Student Union’s executive team, for holding the university accountable on its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative.

By being critical of the university’s recommendations and demanding a more fulsome process, the CSU exec signalled a readiness to represent all Concordia students when compared to last year’s team.

However, the culture at council continues to be exclusionary.

This week, councillor Tzvi Hersh Filler opposed a motion that would bring more diversity to the CSU’s committees by adding an extra seat—which council is well within its legal right to do. Given how most committee seats are occupied by white people, a motion for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or gender minorities to have access to representation is not only in order, but desperately needed.

This is only a taste of the absolute mess that is currently going on at nearly every council meeting—leaving out the most recent one.

From microaggressions to overtly racist comments, this council has created a toxic environment that is causing some of its more progressive councillors to resign. The same councillors that have worked tirelessly to improve both the CSU and student life are being pushed by race-baiting, gaslighting, and constant interruptions that force meetings to drag on endlessly.

Those who comprise organizations such as council need to do what it takes to cultivate inclusivity. Otherwise, these groups remain domains of privilege where talented and passionate people are excluded from the opportunity to leverage institutional power.

Student council is there to represent all students, but it can only do so effectively when it is a safe environment.

This executive team coming into its role was indeed a significant step forward for the CSU, but—like most governing bodies—you’re only as progressive as your biggest bigot.