Home NewsCSU Results of the referendum questions in the 2021 CSU general election

Results of the referendum questions in the 2021 CSU general election

by Hadassah Alencar March 25, 2021
Results of the referendum questions in the 2021 CSU general election

Students can expect a new off-campus building and a few fee-levy increases

While the general election saw one of the worst voter turn-outs in recent pollings, students still supported the majority of the seven CSU referendum questions, with only one failing. Read more to find out what changes are in store from the CSU.

Positions Book Reform 

A majority 62.3 per cent of students voted to have positions in the CSU Positions Book no longer expire every four years, revoking the controversial expiry position that was passed in the last CSU general election of February 2020.

The campaign to add the expiry position aimed to “democratize” the Positions Book, by way of claiming that students would continuously have a say on the different political, social, and ideological stances taken by the CSU.

Once the expiry date was implemented, several positions disappeared, including those that supported anti-racism, climate justice, and high-quality education for students.

Several CSU executives and councillors criticized the expiry motion, saying they received complaints from students and organizations that re-voting to support stances such as Indigenous rights and anti-racism implied the CSU wasn’t serious about defending these issues permanently.

Additionally, the referendum question criticised that the expiry also “leads to lengthy ballots because previously voted-on positions must be re-voted on.” During the last CSU by-election in the fall, almost 10 questions were dedicated to the Positions Book, including supporting LGBTQIA2+ rights, student parents, and denouncing antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

Breakdown of the results:

YES:                    657 (62.3%)
NO:                      398 (37.7%)
ABSTAINED:        481 (31.3%)
TOTAL VOTES:   1,536

Student Building Referendum Question 

The CSU will independently build and operate a new student centre/building, which would give students a new “space for events, social gatherings, and new services.” A majority 84.9 per cent of students voted in support of the CSU negotiating with Concordia University to realize this project.

According to the referendum question, the CSU is currently negotiating with Concordia University to build the centre in the Sir George Williams (SGW) campus area; the land in question is confidential, and has not been purchased yet.

The additional 40,000 square feet of space would be funded by a fee-levy established in the 1990s purposely for this project. The centre would provide “new quality spaces for clubs and associations, an auditorium and additional state of the art study spaces.”

Breakdown of the results:

YES:                       936 (84.9%)
NO:                         167 (15.1%)
ABSTAINED:          433 (28.2%)
TOTAL VOTES:    1,536

Modification to CSU’s Bylaws 

Students voted 80.6 per cent in favour to add an amendment to CSU bylaws to make the Sexual Violence and Safer Spaces Policy and the Code of Conduct more enforceable.

This means if a councillor commits misconduct against the Code of Conduct or the above policy — for example harassment or violence — other CSU councillors can “impose sanctions and/or recommend removal from office of CSU Representative.”

In a closed session meeting before either the Judicial Board or another CSU committee, the councillors would present their recommendations and the accused councillor would present a counter argument. The outcome would be determined by two-thirds majority vote.

Breakdown of the results:

YES:                       658 (80.6%)
NO:                         158 (19.4%)
ABSTAINED:          720 (46.9%)
TOTAL VOTES:    1,536

Concordia Student Union Off-Campus Housing and Job Resource Centre  

A majority vote of 51.3 per cent approved a fee-levy increase of $0.06 per credit to the CSU’s off-campus Housing and Job Resource Centre (HOJO) to be implemented during the fall 2021 term, bringing the fee-levy total per credit to $0.26. This charge will also “be subsequently indexed annually to inflation in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.”

This increase directly resulted in an additional student fee charge of $0.18 per 3-credit course, up to $0.78, which students cannot currently opt-out of.

HOJO provides “reliable housing and employment information, resources and referrals” for Concordia students, with said students increasingly procuring their services during the pandemic, according to the CSU.

Breakdown of the results:

YES:                       600 (51.3%)
NO:                         569 (48.7%)
ABSTAINED:          367 (23.9%)
TOTAL VOTES:    1,536

CSU Legal Information Clinic 

Students voted 53.5 per cent for a fee-levy increase of $0.10 per credit, up to $0.27, for the CSU Legal Information Clinic. The charge would “be subsequently indexed annually to inflation in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.”

This includes an increase to the student fee charge of $0.30 per 3-credit course, up to $0.81, which cannot be opted out of.

The CSU Legal Information Clinic has not had a fee-levy increase in five years, and says they would use the additional funds to “increase personnel and hours of its staff to better respond to growing students’ demands and needs for increased legal information services and support.”

Breakdown of the results:

YES:                       638 (53.5%)
NO:                         554 (46.5%)
ABSTAINED:          344 (22.4%)
TOTAL VOTES:    1,536

CEED Referendum Question

Students voted to allow the CEED (Community Empowerment Education Development) organization to change the mission statement to be “expanding Concordia’s campus in Uganda, East Africa, allowing students from all four faculties to participate in volunteer activities at these new campuses be used in the future for the purposes of: expanding Concordia’s footprint in developing countries, allowing students from all four faculties to participate in experimental [sic] learning activities at these new campuses.”

Currently, the non-profit student-led organization collects a $0.35 per credit fee levy.

Breakdown of the results:

YES:                       634 (64.8%)
NO:                         344 (35.2%)
ABSTAINED:          558 (36.3%)
TOTAL VOTES:    1,536

Concordia Student Union Student Advocacy Centre 

Students did not approve a fee-levy increase for the CSU Student Advocacy Centre of $0.10 per credit, which would have brought it to $0.40 per credit, effective for the fall 2021 term, which would have included a non-opt-out student fee increase of $0.30 per 3 credit course, up to $1.20.

The CSU Advocacy Centre provides students with “independent student representation in Disciplinary Proceedings, Investigations and Tribunal Hearings.”

Breakdown of the results:

NO:                        616 (50.9%)
YES:                       595 (49.1%)
ABSTAINED:          325 (21.2%)
TOTAL VOTES:    1,536

 

Logo courtesy of the Concordia Student Union (CSU)

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