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What the hell is a CSU?

by Archives September 22, 2009

The Concordia Student Union’s mandate is to represent you and all your undergrad friends.
The CSU has been around for 30 years, and so, has a long and storied history. We won’t get into the nitty-gritty of it, but the CSU has been governed both by conservatives and radicals. While some executives were known to try to pass their own agenda during their days of glory, the CSU is really there to represent the roughly 30,000 undergraduate students at Concordia. It is supposed to represent the interests of its members and act in favour of them, whether that means supplying students with a health plan, offering them a free meal or ensuring that the university stays “green.”

The CSU is governed by its executive and council of representatives. At the end of every school year, undergraduate students elect the representatives for the following year. The executives, who don’t have voting privileges, are elected as a slate, or a group. Each member of the slate runs for a specific executive position like president, VP communications, VP external or VP student life.
Last year, students voted for the eight-member “Vision” slate. The runners-up, Change, tried to call shenanigans and have the whole election thrown out the window. But their cries fell short, the results were declared valid, and Vision took office.
Representation on the council of representatives is set and adjusted annually to reflect enrolment at the university. Students who run for council typically attach themselves to a slate.
At the polls last year, 27 councillors were elected; 12 from Arts and Science, six from John Molson School of Business, three from Engineering, three from Fine Arts and three Independent students.
Two councillors – one from Arts and Science, and one Independent – have since resigned.

Councillors and the executive hold regular meetings at either Loyola or SGW campus. These meetings are where motions are presented and decisions are made. These meetings are also where you, as a member of the Union, can voice the concerns you have about a given topic. For the most part, council meetings are open to the public. But they will kick you out of the room when they want to talk about stuff in private. Don’t take it personally.

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