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Letters to the editor:

by Archives April 11, 2007

Dear editor,

On behalf of the UNITY slate we wanted to congratulate Concordia on achieving the highest voter turnout ever, in this year’s CSU election! Last week we were elected as the new CSU executive with a margin of over 1,000 votes and we want to thank Concordia’s students for giving us this strong of a mandate. Running an election is not possible on your own and we are also very thankful to the many students who came out and helped us over the past three weeks.

Starting June 1 we will be spending most of our time in the CSU offices, working towards building a better Concordia. We want to create a CSU that is open, accessible and friendly, so please feel free to stop by and share your thoughts or ideas.

We firmly believe that opposition is what makes us strive to do our best and are very happy that in this year’s election there were three strong teams.

In the end next year’s CSU Council was split almost evenly between Unity and Go and we look forward to working with every councilor towards a productive year.

Thank you again Concordia, for your support and the mandate you have given us. We promise you will not be disappointed.


Angelica Novoa, CSU President-elect
Fauve Castagna, CSU VP Finance-elect
Noah Stewart, CSU VP Communications-elect
Erica Jabouin, CSU VP External-elect
Leah Del Vecchio, CSU VP Student life-elect
Shandell Jack, CSU VP University Affairs-elect
Ruirui Zhu, CSU VP Clubs & Projects-elect
Mat Perron, CSU VP Loyola and Sustainability-elect

—–

Of “Of Bananas, Empanadas and Missing Links”

This article’s cute name belies flaws I cannot ignore. First and foremost, let me set the record straight: I mistook enchiladas for empanadas. I’m sorry, but they sound alike. This error was latched onto as a significant detail which negated the truth of The Link story. If The Link had called Mesa 14, found my error and revised my story, would that have been the more honest, ‘journalistic’ route? Instead, they printed my personal account as I gave it. I have recently discovered that an empanada is like a Mexican samosa. Cool, huh? It’s funny that The Concordian never contacted me to check and see if my words had been manipulated, or if I had made a mistake, in an article about the importance of fact-checking.

However, the aspect of last week’s Concordian that dismayed me the most was not the attack on my story (I told the same Rosenshein “big guy” story to The Concordian – they chose not to print it), but was the attack on the election coverage. I have said it once and I’ll say it again: Where was The Concordian? In The Link, Go had a nice stack of anti-Unity material to circulate. That’s not to say the stories weren’t true. However, The Link’s coverage of the elections, if found to be one-sided, should have been balanced by Concordia’s other news voice (there is one, right?). Instead The Concordian was silent, either muzzled or speechless by the election proceedings, and not one article during the main campaign period was devoted to elections. There was no shortage of news to salivate over (anti-Go and Impact stories too, if that gets you hot). But nothing. “Bare minimum coverage,” were Melissa Gendron’s words to me. Well then we should care the bare minimum about what The Concordian has to say after the elections.

Concordia deserves more than silence. A fair and balanced viewpoint, if it was seen to be lacking, was The Concordian’s responsibility to provide. Shame on them for not doing so.

That being said, The Link, once handed out by politically-affiliated peoples, lost its autonomy and became election material. If I were CEO, I would have sanctioned this. There is absolutely no campaigning allowed after the opening of polls. But this also includes the orange and green “where to vote” flyers and t-shirted volunteers still harassing escalator chattel. However, I am not the CEO- Jason Druker ‘is’.

There are things that must be done for Concordia’s democratic system. If Concordians want to know that their votes count, there must be an external CEO appointed. This is not an easy thing to accomplish. It means that the Standing Regulations and By-laws of this school must be overhauled.

They have very little concrete, concise information in them and what they do contain is ignored. For example, donations are not allowed (SR 189-191), the Judicial board is autonomous and its rulings are sacrosanct (SR 207) and there is a strict $750 maximum campaign budget for slates (SR 192). If sustainability is important, then why are thousands of posters and flyers spewed around school? If the high cost of tuition matters, then how can we justify grandiose election expenditures? We simply cannot. There needs to be a solidification of these rules, perhaps in the form of an Elections Act, voted in by the students in the next November by-election.

On Feb. 14, council took my job away, and in that same act took away my ability to keep quiet about the deep flaws in our school. Change needs to come. I have been told I’m an idealist. Damn right I am. We go to a university where free thought is unrivalled. We can and should affect change and make an impact on our surroundings. That’s what I’m trying to do.

What can you do? Go to http://csu.qc.ca and download the By-laws and Standing Regulations. You will be in great company, with 173 other students downloading them since September 1999. Then it’s simple: ask questions, participate, and educate yourselves and hopefully next year I won’t have to write a letter like this.


Beisan Zubi

Editor’s response:

The Concordian didn’t contact Ms. Zubi because regardless of what she had told The Link, it was still the paper’s responsibility to check the accuracy of her claims. The Canadian Association of Journalists states this in its Statement of Principles:

“Reporters are responsible for the accuracy of their work. Editors must confirm the accuracy of stories before publication or broadcast.”

The point of my opinion piece was not to attack Ms. Zubi’s credibility but rather to denounce The Link’s shoddy reporting. To respond to another of Ms. Zubi’s comments, it is absolutely NOT The Concordian’s job to “balance” The Link’s election coverage. The Concordian’s main duty when it comes to news is to report the truth.

Furthermore, The Concordian did not ignore the Concordia’s elections. We covered them in a way that was fair to all parties and we gave them the space we judged was appropriate.

We feel confident that our coverage provided students with the information necessary to make an educated vote and took great care not to mislead them in any way.

If any student has suggestions on how we can improve our election coverage in the future, they are encouraged to share their ideas at concordianeditors@hotmail.com.

Melissa Gendron
Editor-in-Chief

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