Fine Arts Students Oppose Action Candidate

Petition Against Tomer Shavit Signed by 150

Tomer Shavit in action on Poster Night photo erin sparks

A student is circulating a petition opposing the candidacy of Tomer Shavit, who is running to represent fine arts students on Senate in this year’s Concordia Student Union election.

Michael Mercer, also a fine arts student, said he first considered starting the petition after a CSU meeting that degenerated into a shouting match that pitted students against their elected representatives.

That night, Shavit was among the 25 councillors who voted to take the meeting into closed session to discuss the resignation of former CSU VP Promotions & Sustainability Morgan Pudwell. The decision to exclude students from the conversation sparked a debate on accountability and democracy that continued well after council adjourned.

A few hours after the meeting, Shavit began posting a series of comments on The Link’s website attacking Pudwell personally and calling students that attended Council a “mob” designed to “cause a ruckus.”

“Shavit is entitled to express his opinion,” Mercer wrote in the petition. “However, we find it wildly hypocritical, not to mention embarrassing to his constituents, that he voted to go into closed session to receive ‘privacy to discuss personnel issues surrounding Pudwell’s resignation,’ only to spread malicious rumors about his colleague (and constituent) mere hours later through a public open forum on the Internet.”

Action presidential candidate Khalil Haddad has come to Shavit’s defence, questioning the motive behind Mercer’s petition.

“Obviously this is politically motivated,” said Haddad. “Tomer is vocal, but he is a concerned student and it’s his right to speak out. He’s doing a great job and I think some people are getting desperate realizing we’re winning fine arts students over.”

Mercer contends that Action has overlooked fine arts students by not including any on the slate’s executive.
“They haven’t campaigned much around the dance and theatre departments,” he said. “We don’t feel represented by Action at all.”

While Action is not running any fine arts students for CSU executive, Fine Arts Student Alliance President Paisley Simm is one of the slate’s council candidates.

Mercer has been circulating the petition since Wednesday, and has garnered 150 signatures from fellow fine arts students.

Shavit did not return phone calls from The Link before the newspaper went to press.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 28, published March 29, 2011.