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Rabih Sebaaly


Rabih Sebaaly, this year's president of CASA, the Commerce and Administration Students' Association, wants to put his Faculty on the map.

"I have one idea in mind — to make a degree from Commerce at Concordia worth more than when I started," said the 21-year-old Finance major from behind his desk in the CASA office during the summer.

"We have six or seven quality events and it's really important to have media coverage of them so that we can show them to the world." Sebaaly explained that it's CASA's job to offer services that complement what the university offers. CASA has tutorials, a job placement centre for students, and a Web site where Sebaaly plans to set up a used-book section.

Where do student fees go?

Like the Engineering and Computer Science Students' Association (ECA), CASA operates autonomously, and there has been an ongoing battle with the Concordia Student Union (CSU) over student fees.

CASA and ECA maintain that they serve the needs of students in their Faculty better than the CSU, and several years ago, stopped paying fees to the CSU altogether. Those fees fund student groups and initiatives, computer labs and used-book sales.

CASA began offering parallel services that cater specifically to Commerce students, as did ECA. Sebaaly says he is tired of watching administrations fight with each other over the same issues every year, "when that energy could be better focused elsewhere."

He says he's open to discussions with the CSU about fees, but "we're not going to pay for a service that three Commerce students use." He added that since 1997, there has been a mechanism for student clubs to appeal to the CASA board of directors to reinstate funding to specific groups. "Funds are available if the CASA board decides a service or club is used by Commerce students."

The CSU is planning an accreditation drive for the last two weeks of September, to try to force CASA and ECA to start paying fees to the CSU again. If quorum is reached and accreditation is passed by students, the CSU will become an umbrella association for all students.

Regardless of the outcome of the accreditation drive, Sebaaly says it is going to be a great year at CASA. "Any student is welcome to get involved. We need all kinds of help." CASA's offices are in GM 218-7. Phone 848-7464, and at www.casa-ecentre.com

- Jane Shulman










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