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Meet the presidents

by admin March 16, 2010

Meet the presidents

by admin March 16, 2010

The Concordia Student Union presidential candidates squared off in two debates on Monday, taking on issues such as bottled water on campus, the eventual student centre and referendum to leave the Canadian Federation of Students.
The first debate began on the seventh floor of the Hall building, with Prince Ralph Osei, candidate for the Fusion slate, and Mike Xenakis, candidate for Community, outlining their platforms. Osei said his main goal would be to leave the Canadian Federation of Students, but also talked about launching the student centre within a year, banning bottled-water sales on campus, expanding the free lunch at Loyola, and greening Mackay street. Xenakis said his main priority was creating more student space, making the CSU carbon-neutral and creating a kind of Concordia currency, where a student would get five to 10 per cent back on their money to spend at campus locations.

Xenakis said the Student Centre would have too big a corporate presence, and that Osei’s plan to open it within a year was unrealistic. “This is a $20 million dollar building we’re talking about. Getting it up and running in a year isn’t feasible.” Osei fired back: “For him to say that is very very wrong, and I’m calling him on it.”
Osei accused Xenakis of not making the CFS campaign a big enough issue and said his Concordia currency plan was unrealistic. “As early as two years ago, we had major sums unaccounted for at the CSU. Do we still want to take in more money at reception? The CSU does not have that structure in place.”
Xenakis said he thought banning water bottle sales on campus was a bad idea, because he said sustainable practices shouldn’t be forced on students. The debate was filmed by CUTV and will be available online.

Interview with Prince Ralph Osei:

Interview with Prince Ralph Osei:

Strengths and/or weaknesses of the Fusion team?
Every member of the Fusion team brings a sort of richness and diversity to the team. A close look shows that we represent the diversity found across our university: such as our cultural backgrounds, political ideologies, faculties, experience and a host of others. In terms of weaknesses, we admit that only four members of our team are fluently bilingual.

What issue is the main priority of the slate as a whole?
One of our main priorities is getting out of the CFS and thereby saving our students $300, 000 a year.

What do you think of the competition this year?
For the first time in years, CFS did not run a team on campus, which is a big surprise. We got two great teams competing; an opportunity is presented to students to make an informed decision.

What position, if any, do you currently hold? What program of study are you in? What related experience do you have?
Currently I am the vice president, services and Loyola. I am taking a specialization in psychology and a minor in political science. Having served as a VP for the CSU this year, president of the psychology students last year, arts and science councillor in 2009 as well as independent councillor on the Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations council in 2008, I will be bringing a lot to the table to help usher our student union to great heights.

If elected, what project or issue will be your main focus?
I will be working alongside my co-executives to help create a better image of our student union and the quality of the degrees students leave with. Of primary concern is our student centre and getting out of the CFS.

What about the current CSU do you want to change next year?
As a current member of this year’s CSU, I would say that my executives and I will continue the tradition of open door policy and transparency. Instead of a coffee with Amine and co., we will be holding our planned monthly town hall meetings.

Why should people vote for you?
FUSION represents the multiplicity of our student body and interests. We don’t assert to know what’s best for Concordia but we will work with all groups and associations to promote our student’s experience and the quality of our degree. Have a look at our feasible promises and there is something in it for everyone.

Interview with Mike Xenakis:

Strengths and/or weaknesses of the COMMUNITY team?
I believe the strength of COMMUNITY is our ideas. We have a strong platform based on student space and making it more financially and physically accessible, as well as creating opportunities for student involvement. One weakness that may be brought up is that we lack experience. This is patently false. I have been to all but one council meeting this year. I currently sit on the board of the People’s Potato and Le Frigo Vert and am a member of ASFA’s internal administrative committee. Additionally, I am VP finance of the philosophy student’s association. My co-executive candiates and affiliated councillors have a wide variety of experience both in Concordia and outside of it. For academics, I am a double major in philosophy and political science and a minor in economics.

What issue is the main priority of the slate as a whole?
The main priority of COMMUNITY is to set a precedent for student-run services. COMMUNITY plans to aquire an external space and open bids to student-run service proposals. We would like to offer further incentives for students to use this space through a community economy. The community economy is based on community currency. Community currency will be worth five to 10 per cent more than Canadian currency and students will be able to come to the CSU office and exchange their Canadian dollars for community currency. We want to introduce initiatives that will not only make our busy urban campus more intimate but also maximize services available across the campuses.

What do you think of the competition this year?
I think the competition this year is the same as last year (minus the CFS). I think their campaign is well marketed and their videos well produced. With that said I hope this campaign will set the precedent for campaigns revolving around ideas, not exposure and marketing.

What about the current CSU do you want to change next year?
First of all, I believe that are orientation and event spending is out of control. Additionally, I’d like to see more transparency in council. This means video taping council meeting and posting them online. And finally, we are not running a full slate. CSU executives make over $20,000 a year. We plan on serving our term leaving 1 to 2 executive positions open, this means savings of up to $40,000.

Why should people vote for you?
People should vote for COMMUNITY because our platform is base on strengthening the very essence of student life and resetting the political climate of the CSU to one that is approachable and understandable to all students – not just the political clique.

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The Concordia Student Union presidential candidates squared off in two debates on Monday, taking on issues such as bottled water on campus, the eventual student centre and referendum to leave the Canadian Federation of Students.
The first debate began on the seventh floor of the Hall building, with Prince Ralph Osei, candidate for the Fusion slate, and Mike Xenakis, candidate for Community, outlining their platforms. Osei said his main goal would be to leave the Canadian Federation of Students, but also talked about launching the student centre within a year, banning bottled-water sales on campus, expanding the free lunch at Loyola, and greening Mackay street. Xenakis said his main priority was creating more student space, making the CSU carbon-neutral and creating a kind of Concordia currency, where a student would get five to 10 per cent back on their money to spend at campus locations.

Xenakis said the Student Centre would have too big a corporate presence, and that Osei’s plan to open it within a year was unrealistic. “This is a $20 million dollar building we’re talking about. Getting it up and running in a year isn’t feasible.” Osei fired back: “For him to say that is very very wrong, and I’m calling him on it.”
Osei accused Xenakis of not making the CFS campaign a big enough issue and said his Concordia currency plan was unrealistic. “As early as two years ago, we had major sums unaccounted for at the CSU. Do we still want to take in more money at reception? The CSU does not have that structure in place.”
Xenakis said he thought banning water bottle sales on campus was a bad idea, because he said sustainable practices shouldn’t be forced on students. The debate was filmed by CUTV and will be available online.

Interview with Prince Ralph Osei:

Interview with Prince Ralph Osei:

Strengths and/or weaknesses of the Fusion team?
Every member of the Fusion team brings a sort of richness and diversity to the team. A close look shows that we represent the diversity found across our university: such as our cultural backgrounds, political ideologies, faculties, experience and a host of others. In terms of weaknesses, we admit that only four members of our team are fluently bilingual.

What issue is the main priority of the slate as a whole?
One of our main priorities is getting out of the CFS and thereby saving our students $300, 000 a year.

What do you think of the competition this year?
For the first time in years, CFS did not run a team on campus, which is a big surprise. We got two great teams competing; an opportunity is presented to students to make an informed decision.

What position, if any, do you currently hold? What program of study are you in? What related experience do you have?
Currently I am the vice president, services and Loyola. I am taking a specialization in psychology and a minor in political science. Having served as a VP for the CSU this year, president of the psychology students last year, arts and science councillor in 2009 as well as independent councillor on the Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations council in 2008, I will be bringing a lot to the table to help usher our student union to great heights.

If elected, what project or issue will be your main focus?
I will be working alongside my co-executives to help create a better image of our student union and the quality of the degrees students leave with. Of primary concern is our student centre and getting out of the CFS.

What about the current CSU do you want to change next year?
As a current member of this year’s CSU, I would say that my executives and I will continue the tradition of open door policy and transparency. Instead of a coffee with Amine and co., we will be holding our planned monthly town hall meetings.

Why should people vote for you?
FUSION represents the multiplicity of our student body and interests. We don’t assert to know what’s best for Concordia but we will work with all groups and associations to promote our student’s experience and the quality of our degree. Have a look at our feasible promises and there is something in it for everyone.

Interview with Mike Xenakis:

Strengths and/or weaknesses of the COMMUNITY team?
I believe the strength of COMMUNITY is our ideas. We have a strong platform based on student space and making it more financially and physically accessible, as well as creating opportunities for student involvement. One weakness that may be brought up is that we lack experience. This is patently false. I have been to all but one council meeting this year. I currently sit on the board of the People’s Potato and Le Frigo Vert and am a member of ASFA’s internal administrative committee. Additionally, I am VP finance of the philosophy student’s association. My co-executive candiates and affiliated councillors have a wide variety of experience both in Concordia and outside of it. For academics, I am a double major in philosophy and political science and a minor in economics.

What issue is the main priority of the slate as a whole?
The main priority of COMMUNITY is to set a precedent for student-run services. COMMUNITY plans to aquire an external space and open bids to student-run service proposals. We would like to offer further incentives for students to use this space through a community economy. The community economy is based on community currency. Community currency will be worth five to 10 per cent more than Canadian currency and students will be able to come to the CSU office and exchange their Canadian dollars for community currency. We want to introduce initiatives that will not only make our busy urban campus more intimate but also maximize services available across the campuses.

What do you think of the competition this year?
I think the competition this year is the same as last year (minus the CFS). I think their campaign is well marketed and their videos well produced. With that said I hope this campaign will set the precedent for campaigns revolving around ideas, not exposure and marketing.

What about the current CSU do you want to change next year?
First of all, I believe that are orientation and event spending is out of control. Additionally, I’d like to see more transparency in council. This means video taping council meeting and posting them online. And finally, we are not running a full slate. CSU executives make over $20,000 a year. We plan on serving our term leaving 1 to 2 executive positions open, this means savings of up to $40,000.

Why should people vote for you?
People should vote for COMMUNITY because our platform is base on strengthening the very essence of student life and resetting the political climate of the CSU to one that is approachable and understandable to all students – not just the political clique.

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