Accountability and transparency: two words heard so frequently in politics.
Of course, student politics at Concordia are no exception. But while those two words are fairly easy to throw around during a campaign, following through on those promises and executing the concept of actually being accountable and transparent, well, that can be a little more difficult.
With few exceptions, this year’s student union executive 8212; the group of people we all pay to look out for our best interests and provide necessary services 8212; has successfully maintained an air of transparency.
A key component to maintaining this appearance lies in maintaining a healthy relationship with media 8212; the group of people we all pay to keep abreast of news and help maintain an informed student body.
This year, which marks the 30th anniversary of the Concordia Student Union, student media and union executives have thus far managed to respect this relationship. It’s a shame we couldn’t make it through the whole year.
In celebration of its 30 years in operation, the CSU held a reunion last weekend. The event had been in talks since the beginning of this school year.
Throughout all the talk 8212; heard primarily at CSU council meetings 8212; it never once crossed our minds that the media would be shut out. The history of student press at Concordia stretches back almost as far as does the union’s history. The Concordian has been publishing since 1982; the other campus paper, which has been publishing since 1980, is only one year younger than the CSU. The student press is indisputably as much a part of the union’s history as its former executives.
We discovered the media was shut out of this event when we made a call to the current president of the CSU after he neglected to answer an email query about the night’s details. President Amine Dabchy casually said the media would not be included in an effort to keep the evening “intimate.”
While Dabchy later explained some former executives requested media not be present, it remains a mystery to us why the current executive, who we work with, would pander to those requests.
When staff members of both campus newspapers confronted Dabchy, plainly telling him we were insulted, he said he’d try to help. And to his credit, he did. Sort of. He said we could attend the first hour of the evening, but that when all other guests were being seated for dinner, we would likely have to leave because there was not going to be enough room to accommodate us.
Thanks, CSU. But no thanks.