Rep, Rep for the Home Team

Ghasemi Wants More CSU Representation for Stingers

  • Photos by David Murphy

Rugby player and Concordia Student Union Councillor Emran Ghasemi was left frustrated after several councillors brushed aside his idea for more representation in the CSU.

Rugby player and Concordia Student Union Councillor Emran Ghasemi was left frustrated after several councillors brushed aside his idea for more representation in the CSU.

Ghasemi spoke to Council at the CSU meeting Wednesday, the first since the winter break, about sacrifices made by student athletes. He feels that more representation would allow Concordia to grow as a more reputable school both academically and athletically.

“This is one thing [the CSU] doesn’t see,” said Ghasemi. “Because athletes have this impact outside of Concordia, this makes everyone talk about Concordia.”

“Once we start winning games, which we are doing, people will want to be associated with Concordia, and they will want to apply to Concordia.”

About 10 members of Council opposed the idea of having a seat specifically allocated to Concordia athletes. They expressed concerns that having an athletics seat would mean other student groups requiring one as well, and that creating an athletics seat might be over-representation of one specific group.

“Always having one seat for an athletic person creates a situation where there’s this athletic vote, as opposed to running as a student,” said senate member Andy Filipowich at the meeting. “And I’m really against segregation of students in any way.”

But Ghasemi believes this representation is worth it, given the potentially far-reaching effects of a strong Stingers presence. As Concordia’s squads travel around the province, nation and the globe, their success could help bring in more students, which would lead to a higher population at the school—and thus a better standard of education.

“It sounds like a small thing that affects something big, but it’s true,” said Ghasemi. “It’s the little things in the world that get the ball rolling.”

The CSU being on the same page as Concordia’s athletes is something Ghasemi is very concerned about, citing an instance that occurred last semester at the football home opener where a CSU mascot dressed up in opposing team’s colours—bright blue—instead of the Stingers’ maroon and gold.

“In terms of school spirit, we definitely have a disconnect and there should be a change,” said Councillor Melanie Hotchkiss. “There should be a collaboration between athletes and the CSU about what alternatives there should be.”

Ultimately, the Council didn’t officially vote down Ghasemi’s motion for an athletic seat, but the issue will be referred to a policy committee, taking place sometime in the next couple weeks. Student athletes are invited to speak at the meeting.

According to Jackie Titley, former Concordia rugby player and ex-Team Canada rugby player, the important part is that the conversation about more representation has started.

“A lot of people shot it down, but they were talking about it. And they realize it’s an important issue and not something to be set aside, but something to be talked about,” said Titley, who gave a speech in front of Council on behalf of student athletes.

She said the benefit of acknowledging the importance of athletics would be bringing together a divided university.

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