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Editorial

by The Concordian September 27, 2011
We need to wake up to the fact that if we want to shape Concordia for the better this year, we’ve got to be part of the solution. Concordia students can rant about the devilish Board of the Governors and the administration of frustration until the words transparency and accountability parch their throats, but if they truly want change this year on campus, mere words must be transformed into action.
The university is presently in a precarious situation, with senior, highly-paid administrators scrambling to fix a PR disaster and a governance meltdown. There has honestly never been a better time for students, who form the largest faction of the university community, to get involved on campus and show how to really make a difference in difficult times.
It’s no secret that it has often proven difficult to draw students away from their textbooks, cell phones and beer bottles, even for a few hours, and bring them closer to the associations and campus groups that desperately need their help in paving a new path for Concordia. This is a scenario that exists on countless campuses throughout the country and that has been around for decades.
But that doesn’t mean things have to remain the same. They can change. All it takes is a student to step forward and contribute their skills to the betterment of their university.
At the moment, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations is gearing up for a byelection to fill three vacant positions: VP sustainability and external, VP communications and promotions, and independent councillor. As of this writing, no application forms for these positions have yet to be returned to the ASFA office, and the deadline is this Thursday.
At the member association level, there is currently no ASFA representative for physics and journalism students. This is because neither of these programs was able to gather enough executive candidates during the MA elections last spring, and as a result they vanished. Over 10 other MAs who were successful in attracting candidates were still unable to come out of the election period with a full executive.
Groups such as these are a necessity for students, even if the latter may not always realize it. MA executives can represent students at the faculty level, ensuring that students’ voices are heard loud and clear by professors on a regular basis.
Over at the Concordia Student Union, the judicial board currently has only two members, not enough to reach quorum, therefore rendering this important group “non-functional,” as its chair Cassie Smith made clear at the CSU’s Sept. 21 council meeting. Despite having advertised for the position online and encouraging student representatives to aggressively seek out potential JB candidates, the board has yet to receive enough members to fulfill its crucial mandate.
The JB played a key role following last spring’s general election, but as its chair has already indicated, its role is not just to deal with electoral violations. The JB can serve as a valid recourse for students at large when it comes to a variety of issues, but to first serve as that recourse, it needs a full board. It needs students.
The CSU itself has already lost four councillors, all of whom resigned before the first council meeting of the new academic year. These are four seats that will have to be filled in the November byelection. Again, students are needed.
The above-mentioned groups are only a few out of the plethora of associations on campus that need resourceful student bodies to fill important positions.
This fall will be an eventful season where campus politics are concerned. The advisory search committee is meeting behind closed doors to discuss potential candidates for the next Concordia president. The CSU is about to present a draft plan for a student centre. The number of members on the Board of Governors may very well be reduced.
Apart from voicing their opinions—also extremely important—students have the opportunity before them to get active and truly transform Concordia into an institution that we may finally be able to all be proud of.
It all depends on you.
So stop the bitching. Get involved (and then bitch some more.) You’ll be thankful you did.

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