Two members of the Concordia Student Union abandoned ship this week, leaving scathing open letters in their wake. Both letters addressed the current tensions within council, throwing out words like “power games” and “personal hidden agendas.”
Former VP advocacy and academic Lucia Gallardo, we saw coming. If you’re going out, go out with a bang. Considering she’s been ousted due to status issues, it follows that as her last act before fading out of the public eye, she wanted to issue a strong statement. And strong it was.
“I’m actually partially grateful that this ended up happening to me,” she wrote, “because I would have been embarrassed to be part of a CSU that treated any student in need by closing doors and turning a deaf ear.”
The same sentiments were echoed by now former councillor for Arts and Science, Juliana Ramos.
“It is not in my interest to sit down with a council governed mostly by individuals who play power games, but don’t realize that their potential can be used to actually serve the student community: that you can only do so by putting personal interests aside,” wrote Ramos.
So what happened? Is this just a case of hurt feelings and nothing more? We are inclined to think otherwise. Rather, we are concerned that the CSU is becoming a place where tensions run higher than ever and nothing productive can be accomplished.
A council that has lost faith in its executive is one thing, but a council that has lost faith in its ability to do good is something far worse.
Unfortunately, this is not the fault of any one individual, though some familiar names keep popping up. It’s no secret former CSU VP external Chad Walcott has been stating his opinions and using his sway on council, but that doesn’t make him a villain.
The real question is this; who do these people think they are? This isn’t the big leagues, and even if it were, aren’t we, the youth, supposed to be better? Looking at such politically engaged and intelligent young people, one would think they would have a little more perspective, especially operating in a province like Quebec where residents have seen their fair share of corruption.
As far as we are concerned, it’s about time student representatives remember exactly what they were elected to do. Anyone not going to the table with the sole expectation of trying to work towards positive change and solutions to Concordia’s growing number of problems should be properly ashamed of themselves. The CSU, though it may have faults, is not a platform for disrespectful actions and those who seek to advance themselves by tearing a strip off others need one hell of a reality check.