A petition is circulating and calling for a new round of byelections in January to fill the vacant Fine Arts seats on the Concordia Student Union’s council.
After the departure of councillor Laura Glover, and the forced resignations of councillors Michael Mercer and Nicolas Martel due to mounting absences, Fine Arts students have been left without representation on council. The most recent byelection did not allow for all three seats to be filled after no one ran for the only seat available, that of former councillor Laura Glover.
Erika Couto, the author of the petition that has garnered close to 250 signatures and VP clubs and services of the Fine Arts Student Alliance, told The Concordian that as well as only having one seat out of three available for elections, the one seat available for Fine Arts students was poorly promoted.
“There was very little outreach done to advertise this one open seat,” Couto said. “No visible postering in buildings frequented by Fine Arts students, nothing was sent to the FASA executives to be sent out through our listserv. These were all easy steps that could have been taken to ensure maximum visibility for the open spot.”
Couto said that the lack of representation is a concern for her, considering the CSU deals with millions of dollars in funding and makes vital decisions for the entire undergraduate student body.
“What it comes down to is that I know these people, I see them every day,” she said. “I owe it to them to fix a problem when I see it, because I care about them.”
At the council meeting where the petition was discussed, a decision was reached to support the petition and look into the issue of holding another vote in January. Though there were questions of where the money would be found, it was decided that the matter would be sent to the financial committee to figure out the technicalities of holding another election.
Nadine Atallah, VP internal and clubs of the CSU said that she was concerned about the lack of representation for Fine Arts students, but that it was not a unique situation.
“It’s definitely unfortunate any time that you have a lack of representation or no representation at all for any faculty at council and we should all do our best to do serve those people,” Atallah said, adding that she was pleased to see Fine Arts students interested in representation. “There are also independent students who aren’t represented at all on council, and we’re having a hard time getting independent students out, which is concerning for me as an independent student myself.”