Citing difficulties in seperating the “personal from the political,” Concordia Student Union VP External Geneva Guerin has resigned from the CSU executive less than three months after taking office.
“It is with sad regret that I realize my involvement with the CSU executive is not that [which] is most conducive to achieving our goals as a slate,” said Guerin in a short e-mail sent to fellow slate members dated Aug. 14.
When reached for comment, Guerin said her reasons for resigning were purely personal and she left with no ill feelings toward other members of the executive. Although things started off on the right foot, Guerin found it increasingly difficult to deal with what she called the “residual politics” left behind from last year’s student union controversies.
“By the middle of July, I was thinking about whether I can handle this for a whole year. I started to talk to other slate members about the situation, but it wasn’t remedying itself,” she said, noting she never seriously discussed resigning until she sent the letter.
The biggest of Guerin’s concerns was the Sustainable Campus project, a major part of CANDO’s platfrom in last year’s executive election. Guerin personally spearheaded the push for the project, which consists of a ‘green audit’ that would analyze the university’s social, political and natural environment, among other things and propose potential solutions.
Although progress was, and still is, being made, Guerin expressed frustration over the project being bogged down with bureaucracy.
“We haven’t seen these projects driven by student unions across Canada, but by student groups. With these groups, it’s not the same level of politics,” she explained, adding that she plans to continue working on the project
That is not to say Guerin does not see a place for the CSU executive in the work needed to accomplish a project of this size, but rather there needs to be a better equilibrium between political and non-political groups when it comes to planning it out.
When reached for comment, CSU President Sabine Friesinger said that although Guerin had never discussd resigning, it didn’t come as a shock.
“I felt something might be coming along extremely surprised, but, you know, sometimes there’s a certain aspect of regret to it. I feel it’s too bad that that was the turnout of things, but that’s the way things are and we’re figuring things out and moving on,” she said.
Guerin feels her leaving the executive will notendanger any of the projectsm she was working on, including Sustainable Campus and the CSU Orientation Week.
Friesinger agreed.”Basically we’ve divided up what needs to be done, from what she was working on, with the rest of the executive and staff. For example, orientation is still moving along with Sarah Dent, the [orientation week] co-ordinator, and the rest of the executive acting as bottom liners for it.”
For now, Friesingersaid, Guerin’s day-to-day duties will be assumed by other executives, mainly VP Communications Yves Engler, VP Campaigns Aaron Mat