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CSU stands behind its CEO

by The Concordian December 6, 2011
CSU stands behind its CEO

Ceejay Desfosses replaced Cassie Smith as judicial board chair in November. Photo by Navneet Pall

The Concordia Student Union council reaffirmed their confidence in their chief electoral officer Ismail Holoubi last Wednesday at a special meeting held midway through the byelections and amidst ongoing controversy.
With a vote of 13 in favour and two abstentions, the CSU passed the motion at a special council meeting which was held to discuss the impartiality of Holoubi and of judicial board chair Ceejay Desfosses, which was called into question by former CSU councillor Tomer Shavit.
“I think the council really didn’t take my accusation seriously,” Shavit said in an interview. “They really didn’t come to this meeting with the intention of taking it seriously and of really discussing it at length.”
Shavit suggested that Holoubi was biased and therefore unfit to be CEO because he allegedly ran in last spring’s elections with the winning Your Concordia slate alongside CSU president Lex Gill. Holoubi, however, told the council that he ran independently, but never campaigned.
“If you read the CEO report you should see that I wasn’t affiliated with any of the slates,” said Holoubi.
When pressed by councillor Nadine Atallah about the fact that he misrepresented himself during his pre-appointment interview by not mentioning his involvement in previous elections, Holoubi stated that he had only worked as a clerk in past elections and reconfirmed that he ran independently last semester.
“I ran independently because I didn’t want to be on any of the sides, because honestly I had a lot of friends running from both slates and both of them were amazing slates and amazing people,” explained Holoubi.
VP finance Jordan Lindsay also pointed out the lack of evidence supporting the claims against Holoubi.
“I was on Your Concordia and I know that he was not on our team,” said Lindsay. “Also, on the affiliation papers that were submitted to the [former] CEO, he is not included on that and there are no affiliation documents that he submitted that have anything in relation to us.”
Council also voted not to overturn the judicial board’s recent ruling regarding the invalidation of former CEO Bram Goldstein.
“In order for council to overturn this decision it must be manifested unreasonable and/or one of those things regarded as racist, sexist and bribery,” said VP external Chad Walcott. “The decision made was none of those things.”
Shavit has been publicly critical of both Goldstein’s firing and of the JB hearing itself, filing an appeal with the board in November alleging procedural misconduct, a lack of impartiality, and collusion between the JB and some CSU executives.
“No one at the meeting addressed the fact that [JB chair Ceejay Desfosses] did not address my appeal within the allotted five days, said Shavit in an interview. “No one addressed the fact that she broke the code of procedures multiple times by first sending [the appeal] to council for anything but an overturn. I have no confidence in the judicial board.”
The JB said their three-week delay in responding to Shavit’s appeal was due to the fact that they were awaiting a response from CSU council, which they consulted for advice regarding how they should go about treating the appeal.
In an email, Desfosses described the idea of the JB judging an appeal of its own decision as “redundant.“ She wrote to CSU council asking for the creation of “a 3 person panel whose sole purpose is to hear appeals” in order to establish some sort of procedure for dealing with complaints against the JB itself.
According to emails exchanged between Shavit and JB member Nadim Kobeissi, the board met for three hours on Sunday Nov. 4 to consider the appeal.

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