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Editorial – A little bit of reading can go a long way

by The Concordian November 29, 2011
A chief electoral officer’s impartiality is being called into question, candidates are vying for council seats, two media outlets are looking for more funding, and new bylaws are up for approval.
There is so much to consider during this week’s Concordia Student Union byelections, happening between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1. All of the issues mentioned above should be looked at by students very carefully before they head to the polls. Because after all, a student wants to make sure they voted with total confidence, right?
One issue in particular that has been gaining much attention this past week is the CSU’s attempt at having its updated bylaws approved in a referendum. This document, which can be found on the CSU’s website, is the result of months, even years of work of successive CSU executives and other concerned parties.
But whether you should actually approve these bylaws, which will more or less chart the future of the CSU if adopted, is a whole matter.
There are now two vocal parties that have emerged in the lead-up to the referendum on the new bylaws. The “Yes” committee, chaired by CSU VP advocacy and outreach Morgan Pudwell, will tell you that these bylaws are needed to enact major reform in the union. In other words, the Yes team will tell you these new bylaws are for the good of the students.
On the other hand, you have a “Vote No” group that has sprung up Facebook. Supporters of that group will tell you that many of the clauses in the new bylaws are vague, including those pertaining to campaigning in general elections and to the renaming of the student centre fund.
While both these groups hurl differing views in your direction, the one thing that is important to remember is that you should be first and foremost informing yourself about these new bylaws. You can certainly take into consideration what both the Yes and the No camps are saying, but you definitely don’t have to take what they’re saying to heart. A better suggestion would be to read the updated bylaws yourself and consider the new clauses very carefully. Are these bylaws truly going to contribute to a better student life on campus? Will they make the CSU an even stronger union than it is now? The answer, in reality, lies with you and your ability to cast your vote between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1.
The current climate surrounding the byelections is worrisome, to say the least. Former chief electoral officer Bram Goldstein was dismissed amid much controversy on Nov. 1, only to be replaced the following day by Ismail Holoubi, whose impartiality has now been called into question by a former CSU councillor. In fact, a special CSU council meeting is being held this Wednesday evening to discuss a possible motion to overturn the JB’s original decision regarding Goldstein.
It’s difficult to predict whether the decision will actually be overturned, but it is definitely a situation that is worth following by all Concordia undergraduates. A decision regarding the chief electoral officer directly affects you, because it deals with one of your fundamental rights on this campus, and that is the right to vote. A decision to adopt the updated bylaws also directly affects you and the students who will follow in your footsteps as members of the CSU. These are not matters to be taken lightly. These are matters that are worth at least a few moments of quiet contemplation.

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