Home News JB member resigns after filing public complaint

JB member resigns after filing public complaint

by Marilla Steuter-Martin March 20, 2012

It was all about accusations and resignations at the Concordia Student Union council’s most recent meeting.

On March 14, judicial board member Nadim Kobeissi resigned following the very public discussion of his complaint concerning fellow JB member Shannon Thomas and the tension and lack of respect that he said exists between them. Kobeissi said that Thomas’ past behaviour towards him had been “insulting” and “passive aggressive,” making him feel unwelcome at meetings.

As council prepared to enter into closed session to hear the complaint, former CSU councillor Tomer Shavit declared that he would not leave the room and demanded to know whether the JB complaint affected him personally. Shavit went as far as to say that council would have to forcibly remove him if closed session were to be declared.

CSU President Lex Gill encouraged everyone present to remain calm, saying that no such measures would be taken.

“I would rather see this meeting adjourned than see security called on [Shavit],” she said.

It was decided that the JB’s complaint would be heard in open session. Kobeissi was visibly uncomfortable as he stated his case.

Kobeissi said that Thomas showed signs of “incompetence” and that he was driven to make this complaint “out of desperation.”

In an interview with The Concordian, Thomas explained that since she first became a member of the JB, she did not feel welcome. She said that she felt criticized by other members for not knowing as much about Concordia politics.

“There’s no requirement to be politically savvy,” she said.

Thomas said that it was difficult to learn the bylaws and procedures since there was no clear system of file organization and very little training going into the position.

“It was evident that [Kobeissi and JB Chair Ceejay Desfosses] were threatened by me,” she said.

Thomas also said that nothing was communicated to her directly, and that Kobeissi’s statements at council shocked her.

“[Kobeissi] didn’t come to the meeting with any evidence,” she said.

Shortly after making his complaint, Kobeissi addressed council again, informing the room that he had officially submitted his resignation to the JB.

“It’s unfortunate that people who are trying to push for integrity have to step down,” said Desfosses. “I refused to participate [in Friday’s hearing regarding the reinstatement of Schubert Laforest and Lucia Gallardo as CSU candidates] because I felt that everything was being done in bad faith.”

Desfosses said afterwards that there had been “a lot of animosity on the board [that] kept getting worse and worse.” She called it a “match of he said, she said” and emphasized that she stood by everything Kobeissi said at the meeting. Desfosses said that the board brought up the issue of Thomas’ attitude many times.

“Every time we try to address the issue, we get defensiveness and mocking sarcasm,” she said.

Kobeissi declined to comment further following his resignation.

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