Wake Up Call
It’s been quite the week here for Concordia University. It’s been the kind of week that makes you stop and wonder, what the hell is going on here?
First, Concordia Student Union VP Sustainability & Promotions Morgan Pudwell resigned and in her pointed letter of resignation, she accused her fellow CSU executives of a variety of transgressions—including collaborating with the school on pushing a student centre building that has been rejected by the students on multiple occasions and shady financial maneuvering that has resulted in the CSU going way over budget.
Just weeks after their greatest political triumph, the WHALE protest against impending tuition increases, the CSU has lost the executive that was overwhelmingly perceived as being the driving force behind it.
Since Pudwell stepped down, the CSU has also refused to answer questions about her departure, their spending on a pro-student centre campaign, and remained vague on the rationale of two groups being struck from asking for an increased fee levy in the upcoming byelection.And all this culminated in a half-hearted protest outside the doors of this very newspaper—ironically calling for a free press, despite the fact that none of the protesters would identify themselves or answer any questions as to what, exactly, they were protesting and who organized the gathering.
Even if only half of Pudwell’s accusations are true, and even if the CSU has an explanation for their barrage of “no comments,” there is something very wrong happening here.
In her letter of resignation, Pudwell charges former CSU president and current student representative on the Board of Governors Amine Dabchy of playing puppet master—controlling the political scene, despite no longer being an elected CSU official.
A source who Dabchy has denied ever meeting or knowing in any capacity, has also come forward with allegations that Dabchy attempted to recruit him to run on a new slate.In short, this entire mess has been an unacceptable bypassing of the democratic principles upon which student government should be based, and something is seriously wrong with the state of student politics at Concordia. When repeatedly asked for comment on the condition of transparency currently upheld at this university, CSU VP Loyola & Advocacy Hassan Abdullahi told an editor of The Link that “our responsibility is to the students, not to The Link or anyone else.”
But everyone on this masthead happens to be a Concordia student, and we deserve an explanation.
What we have instead is a complete breakdown in discourse between the students and the CSU. It seems that they have completely lost perspective on who they are there to represent, and the proper way to do so.
Faced with a crisis of confidence in the wake of Pudwell’s resignation, rather than face the music, they have cancelled two press conferences and refused to offer any explanation.
On Wednesday, the CSU will be holding their monthly council meeting. It promises to be a fiery one, if students show up to demand accountability. The Link will see you there.
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 25, published March 8, 2011.
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