The Concordia Student Union appointed Hajar El Jahidi to VP academic and advocacy during a regular council meeting last Wednesday.
Following a ruling from the Judicial Board, the position of VP academic and advocacy that was tendered for the byelections by concerned councillors was officially closed because it was never legally opened. The decision stated that regulations were not adhered to when council put forth the initial motion, rendering it defunct. In accordance with the CSU bylaws, only the president may appoint someone to an executive position.
El Jahidi was the only candidate for the position formerly held by Lucia Gallardo, who stepped down in September due to her inability to resolve her registered student status issue. Since Gallardo’s departure the portfolio of VP academic and advocacy had been split between VP external Simon-Pierre Lauzon and VP sustainability Andrew Roberts. Council, however, expressed concerns over fulfilling the mandate of an executive who was no longer there.
Schubert Laforest, president of the CSU, motioned to appoint El Jahidi for VP academic and advocacy. As of last Monday, El Jahidi underwent training for the position.
When asked why Laforest (who was initially opposed to opening the position) had changed his mind, he said it was the “responsible” thing to do and that “it would be detrimental not to” considering the higher education summit to address the governance of post-secondary institutions this February.
El Jahidi said she is collaborating with Lauzon to prepare for the higher education summit to ensure that Concordia students have their voices heard. She went on to say the she is hoping to implement CSU tutoring services in the near future as part of her mandate. Furthermore, El Jahidi hopes to use the additional money from VP academic and advocacy’s unused salary to date for student bursaries.
“For now I’m mainly getting up to speed with the rest of team and catching up on the work that’s been done since the beginning of the year,” said El Jahidi.
Similarly, the postponed motion to appoint a John Molson School of Business student to the university’s Senate was approved by council, appointing Melissa Lemieux.
“I am ecstatic that JMSB has a representative in time for the December 7 Senate meeting, which is long overdue,” Lemieux said.
Prior to last Wednesday the JMSB faculty lacked undergraduate student representation on Senate, something that is mandatory in accordance with university bylaws. For Lemieux, she hopes that the CSU will amend its bylaws to reflect those of the university regarding undergraduate seats on Senate and hopefully address the lack of independent student representation.