Letter to the Editor: Denouncing Council Candidates

Many Councillors are deeply troubled by the current state of the Concordia Student Union elections and would like to address the student populace for them to make an informed decision on who/what to vote for.

Accountability

Two former Cut the Crap candidates—one who was disqualified for cheating and one who resigned before facing impeachment for neglecting their duties since the beginning of their mandate—are now running for Council. After previously running on a slate of transparency, both of them failed to mention these things while campaigning.

Due to the lack of transparency, a group of Councillors wrote up a motion to be implemented in upcoming elections demanding that previously cheated, disqualified or discharged members wishing to run for any CSU position must include a disclosure on their candidate/slate ballot about their offense(s), and the date(s) of the violation for any and all elections concerning the CSU.

The motion will be voted on Wednesday, Nov. 13 and although it won’t be applicable to the current elections, it is an electoral reform that will be put in place going forward. The CSU receives funding from students, who entrust the people they voted for to best represent their interests.

We believe all students should have the right to participate in student life. However, being transparent and assuming responsibility for their actions is a good start towards accountability—something we value as councillors.

Council Change

It isn’t simply the lack of accountability that’s troubling Council. The Faculty Equality, which was recently changed to “Council Change,” referendum question is incredibly misleading to the student population.

Currently, the seats on council are split proportionately according to the relative size of each faculty. Fact of the matter is, not enough faculties choose to run in CSU Elections and that’s due to a number of factors which have festered a culture of inter-faculty tensions.

Rather than bridging that gap or implementing mass outreach on campus to promote student involvement, this referendum question implies that conflict within faculties lays at the heart of the so-called issue. Not only does this create internal conflict, it assumes that Arts and Science students are a monolithic group devoid of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and opinions.

Ultimately, this “Council Change” would mean fewer councillors and unfair distribution of power. This is inherently counterproductive to proper representation of student interests.

This change would also give students less opportunity to get involved in student politics. It would cut approximately 10 students from getting involved in their community, ultimately resulting in a lack of diverse opinions. It also means students’ money will be handled by fewer people.

The work done by the CSU will not be as efficient as there will be fewer students able to sit on committees. This is immensely detrimental for students as these committees provide funding and services to the undergraduate body.

A change in the composition of Council will risk a lack of accountability on behalf of the executive team. In fact, the Council Change only stands to benefit certain executive members—that’s why it has been posted about through their personal accounts and not on the CSU or Cut the Crap page because not all executives agree.

Certain executive members are trying to stack Council—the only body in place to keep them accountable for their actions—by getting their friends on Council. They are trying to gerrymander Council and make it seem socially acceptable by adding the word “equality” to the question, misleading students about whose interests this actually serves.

Equality does not always mean equity, and this is something the General Coordinator seems to forget by putting this question to ballot.

We encourage you to take these aspects into consideration when casting your ballot in the by-elections this week.

Signed,
A group of concerned Councillors

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