You’d think being president of the Concordia Student Union was the worst job in the world. That’s how it seems when executives are running scared at the sheer mention of the open position. The CSU has been without a leader since former President Schubert Laforest resigned in February due to health reasons.
The ongoing tug-of-war between CSU council and the executive concerning who to appoint as a new president is, at its core, tiresome and illogical. Clearly, no executive other than VP internal and clubs Nadine Atallah wants to take on the role. It’s a wonder to us that she is willing in the first place.
Taking on “presidential duties,” whatever they may be, seems to be an undertaking which makes other executives shake in their boots. If someone is willing to grin and bear it while passing their own portfolio off to someone else, then why create needless obstacles?
Then again, the objections to Atallah’s candidacy are legitimate; primarily that she is not a suitable choice because she cannot sit on the university’s Senate and Board of Governors. While there is no question that the person representing Concordia’s undergraduate student body should be sitting on its governing bodies, people are too quick to forget that Laforest wasn’t eligible to sit on either for the duration of his time in office.
The fact is, the decision of council not to accept Atallah’s candidacy, whatever the justification, should be respected. All year we have seen a systematic approach by the CSU executive to make decision behind closed doors and then try to force council’s stamp of approval.
Clearly councillors have picked up on this and are choosing to take a stand. They have been picking their battles all year and this, it seems, will be the final standoff.
After a member of the executive threatened to sue council if they did not approve Atallah’s bid for the top spot, we can understand and even sympathize with council’s frustration. What we don’t understand is why the executive think even for a second that they will be able to push their candidate of choice through, despite the objections, by sheer force of will.
Forcing a candidate is unfair to council and unfair to the students the CSU represents. Atallah was shot down, they should accept it. Time for a new plan.
In the meantime, while the CSU wastes weeks on a Judicial Board decision over the interpretation of bylaw 7.4 and procedure for choosing a new president, the title of president and accompanying duties go untouched. This is not remotely the quality of service which students deserve. If a president is needed, then someone has to step up. It may not be the most appealing job but someone has to do it and all things considered, an unpopular president is better than no president at all.