Graduating councillor Desirée Blizzard resigns from CSU council

Claims toxic environment exacerbated by shift to online meetings

Councillor Desirée Blizzard resigned from the CSU as she is finishing her degree this semester—but she also described a difficult work environment during her mandate. File Photo Ireland Compton

Councillor Desirée Blizzard has resigned effective Nov. 1, as confirmed by Concordia Student Union chair Caitlin Robinson. Blizzard resigned as she is finishing her degree this semester—however she also described a difficult work environment during her mandate.

“Council has always been a tense and toxic environment—virtual meetings just increased those tensions,” Blizzard said.

She confided that she learned from the experience but was glad to leave, overall. 

“In the past, you had to face the people you were arguing with—so a semblance of dignity and politeness was held,” she explained. “You could debrief after a meeting, clean up the room, whatever.”

Blizzard believes the digital shift of CSU meetings after the onset of the pandemic has contributed to a sense of lesser accountability.

“Now, people yell behind screens and say things they would never have the audacity to say in real life, absolutely.”

A moment was cited where former councillor Christopher Kalafatidis inferred general coordinator Isaiah Joyner didn’t want to condemn the KKK, when Joyner had simply argued a wider anti-racism stance was needed. 

Blizzard found this shocking, describing Joyner as an “outspoken Black man.”

“I know for a fact [Kalafatidis] never would have said that to Isaiah’s face,” she said. “Behind closed doors maybe, but never in the middle of a council meeting.”

Blizzard added that without the toxic environment, the union would be more productive.

“It will be much easier to focus on students’ needs instead of working against [the] current.”