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October 24, 2002 Assembly votes for inquiry; CSU, students prepare for elections



The protest against the threatened attack on Iraq marched to the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre on Bishop and Ste. Catherine Sts.

Photos by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by Colin Bateman

Assembly votes for inquiry

A general assembly called by the Concordia Student Union on March 5 drew an estimated 600 to 700 students. The assembly passed a resolution calling for a public inquiry into racism at Concordia.

Two amendments to the motion were proposed. The first called on the CSU to investigate itself regarding racism before asking the university to do the same. This amendment was voted down by only four votes. A second amendment called on the CSU to remove itself from any public inquiry because they were racist. This was voted down by a large majority.

The original motion passed by a large majority.

A second resolution dealt with the war against Iraq, and while a vote could not be taken because quorum had been lost, the remaining participants left the hall to take part in a demonstration against the war.

A general election for the Concordia Student Union is scheduled for March 25 to 27.

Student voters wary of future CSU as elections loom at end of March

CTR interviewed students at random about their hopes for the outcome of the Concordia Student Union (CSU) election, set for March 25-27. While many of those interviewed were indifferent to student politics, it became clear that the next executive will have their work cut out for them, because potential voters are visibly wary — and weary.

“My hope is that the incoming union will be less political and more impartial,” said Kyle Gervais, a first-year political science student.

While he waited for the CSU general assembly to get underway on March 5, Gervais pointed out that the union had a clear views regarding both questions up for debate at the assembly: one on racism at the university, and the other on the war in Iraq. He felt it was inappropriate for student leaders to take sides on these issues.

Gillian Street, a theatre student, voiced the same concerns as she contemplated whether or not to attend. “It doesn’t look like a democratic process is being followed because both sides aren’t being given an equal chance to voice their opinions. It looks like a very biased environment.”

Eve Thomas, a student in communications and journalism, defended the current executive, pointing out that the job is stressful and it is impossible to please everyone all the time.

“The campus media criticizes them and that contributes to a bad reputation the CSU does not necessarily deserve. People like to bash them and sound like they know what they’re talking about, but usually those very people know little about who they’re criticizing.”

Valerie Baron, president of the Journalism Student Association (JSA), said ruefully, “People don’t trust the CSU, so even if the people who get in are genuinely honest and want to make a difference for the better, it won’t matter. Besides, this campus [Loyola] is ignored during campaigning, like it’s not part of the university, so I probably won’t vote.”
Gervais says he will vote in the election, but hopes that the incoming party will fulfill thei promises. “The CanDo slate said [last year] that they would fix the clocks in the school so they would all read the same time. Last time I checked, they were still out of sync.”

Voicing an opinion representative of many students on campus, Rachel Dhawan, a second-year fine arts student, said, “I’ll try and put in the effort to look at the slates and vote if it’s convenient, but I won’t go out of my way.”

But would anyone want the most stressful student job at Concordia, that of CSU president? No one interviewed was up for the challenge, but several expressed interest in a political position.

“I actually ran for the Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) last year to try and bring an unbiased unity to the university,” said Street. “Right now, I don’t think I would have the time or commitment to do the job justice.”

“I believe in debating without infuriating,” Gervais said. “I don’t know that I would want the position of president, but I will run for the CSU in the near future.”

Thomas shot down the notion she would ever take a political position, but argued that the current CSU became sidetracked due to the Netanyahu protests.

“I think everyone has good intentions when they run for CSU; it’s easy to say what you’ll do and mean it,” she said. “It’s the decisions you make during your term that count. I hope the incoming slate strives for objectivity.”

Who would like to be responsible for representing the interests of 30,000 students in one of the most culturally diverse universities in Canada? At least four brave souls will undertake that task when the current CanDo slate transfers power to them at midnight on May 31, and a new era begins.

As of publication, here are slates of candidates in contention for the CSU executive:

Clean Slate

Youri Cormier
Fiona Becker
Bilal Hamideh
Maya Johnson
Maiko Ishii
Malinka Lubenskyi
Rob Maguire

New Vision
Joseph Burchill
Amine Afailal
Warda Amrani
Wendy Avalos
Adi Derkson
Sameer Leghari
Xavier Albare

Aspiring Students Promoting Educational Responsibility (ASPER)
Justin Levine
(note: this slate list is incomplete)
Free Thinker Parliament
Simon Reader
Alli Blakely
Nic Boshart
Ben Reed
Allison Trumble
(note: this slate list is incomplete)

Natalie Pomerleau
Brent Farrington
Vi Hoang
Justin Ible
John Michael Toews
Tyler Woodsworth

Renaissance Concordia
Marc St. Martin
Melissa Bellerose
Alex Kenjeev
Leah Quimby
Elena Willis

Candidates for the CSU Council of Representatives

Arts and Science (15 seats):

Nour Al Hammoud, Ashraf Azar, Nancy Beaton, Alyson Beck, Emily Bitting, Marie-Josée Breault, Romy Capatelli, Katharine Childs, Kealia Curtis, Stefano Da Fre,
Luis Diaz, Annie Dumont, Yves Engler, Sabine Friesinger, Brent Gerichoff, Samantha Goldwater-Adler, John Gravel, Rachel Guy, Kristin Jones, Omar Lansari, Ralph Lee, Marie-Claire MacPhee, Laith Marouf, Nic McGinnis, Trish McIntosh, Arielle Reid, Mathieu Rioux,
Levi Riven, Steven Rosenshein, Naomi Sarna, Noah Sarna, Peter Schiefke, Philippe Siponen, Ezra Winton, Sameer Zuberi, Carolyn Zwicky-Perez.

Fine Arts (three seats):

Nathaniel Amranian, Elizabeth Dunlop, Christine Ghawi, Aaron Réaume, Lara Wolfe, Shirin Yaish.

Engineering and Computer Science (four seats):

Mazin Ali, Chae Dickie-Clark, Diane Guay, Imran Khan, Arieh Rossdeutcher,
Shimmy Shahnaj, Anas Sibaii, Saad Uddin.

John Molson School of Business (five seats):

Douglas Bastien, Ammar Herzallah, Jason Langdale-Chiasson, Hytham Morsy,
Maria Perugini, Raelynn Pluecks, Alexis Robin, Jad Sabaii, Julie St-Germain, Zohra Waheed, Michael Wou.

Independent (three seats):

Omar Elmenyawi, Junaid Mannan, Patrice Blais, Bouchar Sabbar.

Board of Governors (two seats):

Tiffanie Caracassis, Noah Joseph, Louis-Eric Simard, Adam Slater, Richard Trottier, Lawrence Tsang, Sobia Virk, Stacey Vos.

Senate (one seat per faculty):

Arts and Science: Basel Al-Ken, Farouk Janmohammed, Lawrence Tsang

Fine Arts: Declan O'Driscoll

Engineering and Computer Science: Paul Figura, Muhammed Sale

John Molson School of Business: Nour Eltibi, Louis-Éric Simard, Adam Spiro.

Independent: no candidates.

Dean of Students:

Nayef Abdullah, Abdullah Chaer, Umer Elahi, Yves Engler, Varea Kahani, Yasser Malik, Sameh Raslan, Syed Saffari, Sina Tabrizi, (and by resolution of the Council) Charles Bertrand, Patrice Blais, Donald Boisvert.