In the past two months, I have never seen the Concordia Student Union this occupied. Ever since you entrusted our team with the responsibility to serve you and your fellow undergraduates with a vision to get our student union back on the rails of progress it deserves. One thank you was not enough. This has been an incredible year to date, with an unprecedented amount of events circulating on campus, groundbreaking progressive and sustainable campaigns, and previously unmatched student involvement in campus affairs.
The achievements of the CSU this year are noteworthy. Hosting over 40 activities since the start of the winter semester, the student health plan costing $25 less, a line of world-class speakers wanting to come share their thoughts with you, and keeping the spirit alive at Loyola with coffee breaks and the Loyola Luncheon. With your trust and faith, we’ve taken a giant leap towards taking the CSU to greater heights, once again. We can call it a success.
I have to admit, a year’s work wasn’t easy. We were given the task to rebuild what the CSU is all about: you. Dealing with a non-receptive past executive, our first months were focused on re-establishing broken ties with major contributors, reconstructing bridges with other student unions, getting our voice heard regarding scholarship concerns and becoming receptive towards your needs as students, by presenting you with a transparent budget, keeping an open mind behind open doors.
Over the next weeks, through the rigorous CSU election campaigns that will be conducted, you will be given the opportunity to discuss and debate issues and ideas that speak to the future of our student life with prospect student politicians. Your input in this year’s elections will be a testament to all of Concordia’s undergraduate students’ hard work. Together, we will set the bar higher, reach limits we never thought we could and serve as a beacon to other student unions in Canada.
As a student politician myself, I encourage you to go and exercise not your right, but your duty as a Concordia student to vote. My advice to you is to get to know candidates on a personal level. Take note of how each representative demonstrates dedication to the job and don’t be shy to ask about their qualification for the position they are running for and what their views are on current issues being debated on the ballot. Furthermore, don’t fall for catchy, clichÃ©d answers; look for content and vision, qualities that will help carry the CSU torch to even higher grounds. After all, these questions and elections will be the product of your thoughts and concerns.
In this respect, I would like to draw your attention towards what has become an urgent issue during the past two weeks. We, all Concordia undergraduate students, have been held hostage by an oppressive federation that has shut out our concerns, ignored our outcries, and worked only in their interest. I am here to tell you that the Canadian Federation of Students has done nothing for the CSU within our mandate. Quite frankly, I do not know how they represent us as a lobby group, do you? Do you know what the CFS is?
To this we asked the question: why support a federation that won’t support you?
Since October 2009 they have been postponing and retrograding our desires. We voiced our thoughts and acknowledged a student-driven petition to kindly end our partnership. On Feb. 10 of this year, turning a deaf ear to our actions, the CFS claimed from you an absurd sum of over $1 million on no solid grounds.
These intimidation tactics are proof of their bad faith and their negligence towards our rights, thinking we are apathetic towards what matters for us. We tried every option available before considering a referendum question as our last resort. In this time of crisis, we must come together to advocate our message of discontent, our objection to their disregard.
Through its continuity, the CSU has stood up for who they truly represent. On this, I am asking you for your helping hand. We have shown others on numerous occasions that we are masters of our domain and the real leaders of tomorrow. With a fusion of our ideas and ideals, I put my trust in you to make the right choices during the next elections. United, our choices will reflect only what we truly stand for.
– Amine Dabchy is the president of the CSU