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CSU votes to support refugees

by Gregory Todaro September 22, 2015

The motion unanimously passed at the group’s September council meeting

In a unanimous vote, the CSU chose to support refugees from the current European refugee crisis during council on Wednesday.

The motion states that the CSU will “call on the international community to work collaboratively to accommodate refugees from all parts of the world seeking asylum,” in solidarity with the people of Syria fleeing the war-torn country.

The motion was added to the group’s official Positions Book alongside other stances on social-political issues, access to education, and issues within the Concordia community.

The new position also indicates the CSU will “support the efforts to institutionally address the issue of refugees and the adoption of policies at the provincial and federal level that would increase the openness of our borders in times of crisis.”

At the same meeting, CSU VP External Affairs and Mobilization Gabriel Velasco and VP Academic and Advocacy Marion Miller gave a presentation to council regarding the organization’s involvement with student groups at the provincial level. The CSU is looking into leaving the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), of which it became a member in 2003, and joining a new provincial student group.

“To an extent, the FEUQ structure isn’t necessarily the best structure for the CSU to operate in for several reasons,” said Velasco during the presentation. “It places a lot of influence on certain types of organizing that the CSU isn’t, nor is it really anglophone … making it hard for CSU executives that come in every year to actually interact with it and represent students in an active way.”

Velasco also said there have been disagreements on issues like financial transparency and the Quebec Charter of Values which have lead to “waves” of organizations leaving the FEUQ.

The most recent blow to FEUQ, says Velasco, is the departure the Fédération des associations étudiantes du campus de l’Université de Montréal (FAÉCUM) which represents around 40,000 students and had a large influence within the provincial organization.

“It became very clear across the student movement that when the FEUQ lost the FAÉCUM, FEUQ as an organization … lost its relevancy,” he said.

While the CSU isn’t close to making a decision on the matter, nor is it leaving the FEUQ at the moment, the group is looking into several other options, including the newly-founded Association pour la voix étudiante au Québec (AVÉC) once the options for the CSU have been fully investigated, the change would be left up to a referendum vote.

The CSU also officially set its byelections for the last week of November.

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