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Don’t waste your rights

by Archives September 26, 2001
The Concordia Student Union (CSU), proud defenders of student rights and free speech, will be engaging in its ritual general assembly on Sept. 26. While all three topics on the agenda are issues that are likely to provoke lively discussion, the question about barring certain transnational corporations from Concordia might have the most impact on students at large.
These companies are accused of supplying equipment or material for conflicts that have taken place overseas, or benefiting in some way from those conflicts.
A ban – or perhaps the threat of a ban – may sour their relationship with
Concordia when it comes to job offers and recruiting campaigns. The end result may be the loss of potential employment for Concordia graduates. There are signs this might already be starting. Last week, the Concordian reported that some companies skipped job fairs organized by Commerce and Engineering student associations.
Those who were affected by the job fair fiasco did the rounds at local media to get the story out. Now, maybe it’s time to do some extra work on the home front.
Those who’ve attended past CSU general assemblies may have noticed that the debates are often one-sided, with the queue for one microphone outnumbering the opponents’ line-up by 10-to-one, and sometimes even more. The student union has many critics – but where are they?
People who are opposed to Concordia’s relationships with certain transnational corporations will likely be taking full advantage of their right to speak at the general assembly. So should their opponents. The usual parade of activists will step up to the microphone and plead with the audience to vote their way. The other side must be present with the same fervour, forcefulness and determination.
All undergraduate students are fee-paying members of the Concordia Student Union, therefore all undergrads should be telling the union what to do.
It’s time to reverse the trend and reflect the true diversity of public opinion at Concordia. Do what you can to attend the general assembly on Sept. 26, no matter what your point of view is. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the responsible thing to do.

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