When Cut the Crap, a political party on campus, ran for the 2019-20 Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) general elections, their goal was to disintegrate misleading information. The team wanted students to be able to understand what was going on at the CSU. This message resonated with the students and they were victorious during last winter’s elections.
Yet, shortly after elected, they were disqualified. Team member Danielle Vandolder-Beaudin communicated online with a potential voter, asking if they had voted. Vandolder-Beaudin then sent the student names of her fellow teammates, encouraging the student to vote for them. The action was ruled as a violation of polling regulations.
Cut the Crap later decided to appeal the decision to the judicial board.
“The initial reaction was, of course, disappointment and shock,” said Eduardo Malorni, CSU student life coordinator. “But it was motivating after the shock had worn off.”
The party was successful in its appeal. All members, apart from Vandolder-Beaudin, were reinstated.
After the initial commotion of the disqualification, reinstatement, and the beginning of a new school year, things have been quieter. Yet, a lot of things remain to be done. Their campaign had put the focus on the sanitation and improvement of the bathrooms, an online opt-out system for unwanted fees and extending the nomination period for elections.
“We are talking to people, contacting deans and writing clear policies,” said Malorni. “We are still going through it. The improvement to the bathrooms specifically, must go through administration. We are working with the administration to pass it through the council. There is a multitude of meetings going on.”
The CSU is an essential part of Concordia, a union that advocates for undergraduate students and provides important services. The CSU provides students with access to vital resources, i.e. health insurance, a job and housing board and daycare, among other things. The CSU works alongside the faculty associations to represent the students on campus. The four faculty associations are responsible for each faculty they represent.
“A lot of people are intimidated by these big organizations, but we work together in a variety of ways,” said Malorni. “The CSU is more overarching. The faculty associations are more specific in their mandates than we are. For example, ASFA – Arts and Science Federation of Associations – is responsible for a lot of events on campus.”
Though they are not partners, both strive for positive goals for undergraduate students. They help each other as best they can to continue to provide the student body with essential resources and experiences.
Campus politics can appear intimidating, Malorni believes. Though, it is fundamental students become involved with their campus politics. Executives are present in the office during office hours, allowing students to voice opinions or concerns to the CSU. Malorni stressed that students should, “come to the office and talk to us about issues, we are here to help.”
This semester’s first CSU council meeting will be taking place on Sept.19. At that point, Cut the Crap will be presenting the work they have done thus far to the council.
Feature photo by Mia Anhoury