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by Archives February 6, 2002

The latest twist in the CSU election tragedy (in the sense of a Greek tragedy) has lessons for everybody.
The university administration usually shies away from commenting or acting on the political meandering of the student union, but two weeks ago it decided enough was enough and held CSU money in trust until the winner of the election is in office. Concordia’s upper crust won’t deal with an undemocratically chosen student union executive.
The principle is sound, but its application is completely and utterly flawed. Not only that, but it creates some ironic – and almost funny – situations.
The administration should be commended for holding up the torch of democracy. Now, let’s hope they are less discriminating about where the light shines. No student could withhold their tuition fees as a protest against undemocratic decision from up the university hierarchy. They’d just laugh at us all the way to the bank because we’d be charged interest when we eventually do pay. Before bragging about how much they care about democracy, they should find a way for people (other than government bureaucrats and donors with deep pockets) to have some input about how Concordia is run.
Concordia’s big guns have also learned how patience is a virtue. If the administrators had given the union one more hour or so on that fateful Friday, they would have found out they got what they wanted: a union headed by Chris Schulz – assuming you take interim CSU President Patrice Blais at his word. Blais was about to suggest the appointment of the Representative Union as the pseudo-executive that would have managed the union until June. He changed his mind. Had the busy-bodies up in Bishop’s Court sat around and done nothing but twiddle their thumbs for 60 or 90 minutes, we would have seen the end of the election nightmare that has left most Concordians confused, dazed or uncaring.
The most ironic lesson of all is for the union. They now know how it feels to be wronged when others make decisions that don’t follow the rules. They are now threatening legal action against Concordia. (According to their argument, the administration is violating Quebec’s student union accreditation law.) Well, they must have also learned how Chris Schulz must have felt when he was pulled off the election ballot. He then unleashed his lawyer on the union for violating its own election regulations. People were annoyed at Schulz’s use of his legal counsel, but it turns out they’re not always useless.
So what’s the moral of the story? Some situations are just out of your control. Sometimes, it’s better to hold your tongue. For either situation, just wait a little longer and you may end up getting what you want.

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