A few months into its term, the new Concordia Student Union Executive is experiencing something the old CSU knew all too well: controversy. The Executive has been accused of poor decision making and nepotism in the hiring of Stuart Letovsky as head organizer of this year’s orientation.
“It looks like this Executive is bringing in their friends, and on top of it, they’re bringing in friends that have bad track records.” said Arts and Sciences councillor Ralph Lee.
In 1990, Letovsky was co-president of the Concordia University Students Association (CUSA), the predecessor of the CSU, when he organized a benefit concert for Friends of the Earth called EnviroRock. The concert, which Letovsky hoped would raise $20,000, was a financial disaster, losing more than $40,000 of CUSA’s money. In the end Letovsky gave Friends of the Earth $50 out of his own pocket. Letovsky and his defenders blamed poor weather and lackluster ticket sales for the huge loss, but he was eventually impeached amidst allegations of financial mismanagement involving EnviroRock and other matters.
In a strange move, Letovsky then “unilaterally” decided to sit on the Board of Governors (BoG) as a CUSA representative. In an equally strange move, he was then forced to resign from his self-appointed seat, only to be re-appointed to his old position by his CUSA co-President Tammy Powell in a much disputed decision.
“In my opinion, the executive is taking a very big risk on behalf of students and their money,” Lee said, adding that he warned the Executive of the potential for problems with Letovsky’s hiring.
Letovsky is a friend and fraternity brother of CSU Executive Justin Ibel, prompting charges that he was hired because of his relationship to Ibel.
Ibel defended Letovsky and laughed off allegations of nepotism.
“They obviously haven’t read the collective agreement.” said Ibel. “The fact that I do know him is irrelevant, because I wasn’t part of the hiring committee.”