A new president
THE FACTS: Come April, Concordia may have a final candidate to replace interim President Frederick Lowy as president and vice-chancellor of the university. The presidential search committee is scheduled to meet again before the end of January to review and finalize a short list of candidates. The committee’s work is confidential, so no names have been released. However, university spokesperson Chris Mota wrote in an email that “a recommendation will be ready for the Board of Governors for April 2012 with the candidate to take office, ideally, as of August 1, 2012.” The university hired consultant Laverne Smith & Associates Inc. to pre-interview candidates.
WHY IT MATTERS: Other than being the highest ranking position at the university, the president’s office has seen enough controversy in recent years to deserve a critical eye. Concordia’s previous president, Judith Woodsworth, was dismissed by the Board of Governors in 2010, while her predecessor Claude Lajeunesse left office halfway though his five-year contract due to conflicts with the administration.
A general student strike vote
THE FACTS: The Concordia Student Union plans on continuing where last semester left off, launching a new campaign to protest the Quebec government’s tuition hikes and addressing the possibility of preparing for a vote to strike sometime this semester. While last fall saw some student participation in protests and rallies against tuition fee increases, CSU VP external Chad Walcott said “a student strike could be the next step in a Quebec-wide protest.”Walcott added that before anything can be done, “the movement will have to regain momentum” lost over the winter break. A demonstration set for March 22 is already in the planning stages and members of the CSU have put together a document outlining tentative plans to be presented at council on Wednesday.
WHY IT MATTERS: Tuition in Quebec is set to raise $325 a year over five years for university undergrads, and whether or not you agree with the increase, it’s ultimately up to students to decide whether Concordia’s undergrads will be going on strike for more than just a day.
THE FACTS: Break out the posters and in-classroom speeches: Concordia’s student associations will be gearing up for another round of general elections this spring. The Concordia Student Union, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, and others will all be holding elections to fill their executive positions.
WHY IT MATTERS: Spring general elections should be anything but uncomplicated if last semester’s byelections are anything to go by, between the accusations of electoral violations, mistakes caught at polling stations, and the firing of two separate chief electoral officers. Not to mention the fact that last year’s CSU general elections resulted in the CEO disqualifying both parties, only to have his decision later overturned by the judicial board and CSU council.