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April 12, 2001 Green out, Access in, as CSU election is held for next year



by David Weatherall

In an election that saw the second highest turnout ever in CSU history—albeit only 1,800 students out of 21,000—the Access slate edged their closest rival, Chris Schultz’s Executive slate, by just under 300 votes.

Ralph Lee’s Students 4 Students, Hammad Baig’s Unionists and Paul Backman’s Concordia Students Party rounded out the voting with 188, 99 and 66 votes respectively. The new slate will take over in September from the current CSU administration, headed by Rob Green.

Access campaign promises were plastered all over the walls of both campuses, and now that the initial challenge of being elected is behind them, the Access slate faces an even bigger challenge to live up to such lofty promises as abolishing Audio Visual fees and establishing a student co-op bookstore.

President-elect Sabrina Stea is confident they can. “We’ve already been in contact with the people who run the daycare services on Mackay St., and we feel that we can lobby for those services to be expanded to serve more students and children,” she said.

As for the AV fees, Stea feels that the current fee may restrict certain student clubs from staging events. “Any barrier that obstructs active student involvement is a barrier I would like to work towards removing.”

One of the most audacious plans is to turn the Concordia Bookstore, presently owned and run by the administration, into a student-run co-op.

“I’m in contact with the federation of student co-ops and they are willing to fully support our initiative,” said vice-president-elect Geneviève Paiement. Paiement graduated from de Maisonneuve College, which had a student-run co-op, and said that she has never seen lower prices for books.

Stea and Paiement said that they “realize that the bookstore makes a lot of money for the university, but we don’t agree that it should be on the backs of students.”

Although plans are in motion on behalf of the CSU for these projects, before any such plans are actually implemented they must be negotiated with the university administration.
Over the past two years, that relationship has been strained, but Stea is confident that they can work with the administration for the benefit of all students.

“We know they’re here for the students and so are we, so I hope they can live up to that,” she said.

Besides electing new CSU representatives, students also decided on a number of issues in 15 referendum questions. All questions passed except for the 60-cent independent fee proposed for the Arts and Science Faculty, which was rejected by fewer than 20 votes.

Two referendum questions are being frozen until the CSU’s judiciary board has ruled regarding complaints raised about them. These concern the adoption of the Student Bill of Democratic Rights and the increase in fee from seven cents to 10 cents for The Concordian newspaper.