Students Vote to Increase CSU Budget

Low Turnout, High Favourability in CSU Fall By-Elections

Only five per cent of eligible students voted in the fall by-election. Photo Dorothy Mombrun

The road to election day was not easy for Ikjot Singh.

Thrown into the chaotic, last-minute scramble to the finish line that was the Concordia Student Union’s Fall 2022 by-elections, Singh managed to get through his first run as chief electoral officer.

“I was brought in pretty late—the elections were already supposed to have started by the time I was voted in,” Singh said. “Everyone on the [executive] team has really helped me get this election moving, and I think we’re doing pretty good.” He will get a moment to rest during winter break before the general election season kicks off in less than three months.

The CSU held its by-elections from Nov. 29 to Dec.1, and nearly six per cent of the electorate cast ballots. This marks a stark drop from the Fall 2021 by-elections, which saw a student turnout rate of 21 per cent.

How did students vote in this election? Graphic Adam Gibbard and Zachary Fortier

Students had a hybrid voting option, casting their ballots at an in-person location on both campuses or online via a platform called SimplyVoting. In total, 1725 students voted in the election.

The bulk of the questions students voted on were amendments to the CSU’s by-laws. Following lots of internal restructuring since the beginning of the academic year, 14 sections and subsections of the by-laws were amended during the election. Each amendment passed with overwhelming support.

Besides policy changes, students voted to increase the finances of every fee-levy group on the ballot. The CSU’s operating budget went up by $0.25 and the union’s mental health services got an initial round of funding approved. The Sustainability Action Fund’s fee-levy was increased by $0.25, and Le Frigo Vert’s fee-levy increased by $0.13.

According to Donald, a collective member of Le Frigo Vert, this increase will be immensely beneficial. “It’s a big sense of relief and we’re really appreciative of the students’ support,” he said.

This is the first fee-levy increase Le Frigo Vert has in 15 years, he said.

On the CSU’s council, Lily Charette, Liam Doran, Adam Bouguila, Riley Cooke, Alexandre Degardin-Sagnier, and Zeinah El-Bitar were appointed to fill arts and science seats. Annabel Zecchel, Kerry Kinyuy, Mohamad Abdallah, and Mert Kaan Kaseler were appointed to represent engineering students.

With files from Sophie Dufresne.  

This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 8, published December 6, 2022.