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CSU council ends in shouting match

by Evan LePage March 10, 2011
CSU council ends in shouting match

Morgan Pudwell reads aloud her resignation letter at council.

The subject of former VP Morgan Pudwell’s resignation quickly polarized about 100 attendees at Wednesday’s Concordia Student Union council meeting. As tensions erupted a stunned chair decided to adjourn the meeting much earlier than expected.

The agenda topic started off relatively calmly as both Pudwell and the CSU were given the opportunity to read their statements, each followed by applause from their select groups of supporters, and Amine Dabchy’s statement was read out by the chair.

But a quick motion to enter closed session made by CSU president Heather Lucas set off the war of words between supporters of both sides in the packed room. While Pudwell said the personal issues at hand were about her and all students were welcome to hear them, VP Hassan Abdullahi countered saying that the HR issues to be discussed also involved personal issues for other executives and could touch on candidacy in upcoming elections, which would be a violation of electoral rules for those involved.

Councillors eventually took part in a vote, with a majority approving the motion for closed session. But this passage in turn set off some of the students at large, including Alex Matak, who said she would not leave unless Heather Lucas picked her up and carried her out.

Many councillors and students at large exchanged heated words over the transparency of the CSU and the commitment to procedure. With students refusing to leave the room for closed session, VP finance and clubs Ramy Khoriaty phoned campus security, he said “in case of an
incident.”

Chair Marc-Antoni Tarondo attempted to mediate and listen to students, but executive members told him he had no right to speak and move forward until they entered close session. After minutes of back and forth yelling, Tarondo was advised to simply adjourn the meeting early, which he did.

The Concordian will have a full story in next week’s issue with commentary from councillors, executives and students in attendance.

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