Dear Graduate Students
This year has been a bumpy one for the GSA. As the VP Services, my goal from the very beginning was to create value for students. It is fair to say that this has been easier said than done due to some uncooperativeness. Lack of cooperation, whether on the part of the directors or the executives, has slowed down any progress we made. And this should not be explained as a case of antagonism. Difference in opinion and at times partisanship were the root of most the obstacles we faced. Three weeks ago, the executives wrote a letter in which, bigotry, a wrong vocabulary, was used. The conflicts within the GSA were caused by partisanship and not bigotry.
Productively, the directors and the executives have served on important committees and represented the graduate student’s community to the best of their efforts. And as the year comes to an end, the council is still looking for ways to squeeze value for the students.
GSA VP Services
At the beginning of this semester a few colleagues and I presented a proposal for a new student group to Presidential hopeful Angelica Novoa. We found that the then VP Clubs and Services was quite inept, or unwilling, in fulfilling her duties. In addition to not being notified that our painstakingly prepared proposal was received, numerous calls to Ms. Novoa were left unanswered. In addition, she did not reply to any e-mails, nor was she present during her scheduled office hours. It has now been over three months, and the future of our club is in jeopardy as it seems we cannot expect those responsible for the matter to act.
Are we to infer from this that the matters of new student initiatives such as ours take a back seat to “more pressing issues”? Will my student union President always be “unavailable” when a concern needs addressing? If Ms. Novoa showed little concern for student groups when it was her mandate, will she do so as President?
I fear that if Ms. Novoa could not fulfill the duties of her portfolio as VP Clubs and Services, the pressures of being the leader of the student’s representative body may prove too much.
Dear Fine Arts Students,
In this year’s CSU election you will beasked to choose new student leaders from a variety of prospective slates. As clubs and associations in Fine Arts, which together encompass every department in our faculty, we believe that the UNITY election slate represents a solid, responsible choice for fine arts students.
The lack of Fine Arts representation on the CSU has been a source of frustration for the past several years. This year, however, we are confident that UNITY’s platform and executive – and notably longstanding FASA executive member Mathieu Murphy- Perron – will help create new and exciting possibilities for students and clubs in Fine Arts.
Last year, only one team ran a full slate of three Fine Arts councillors and one Fine Arts senator. While all these candidates were elected, only one out of the four consistently attended meetings and represented Fine Arts students – a shocking statistic, and one of the big reasons why Fine Arts has not received the attention we deserve. This year, UNITY is running a full CSU Council and University Senate team, with four very involved Fine Arts students: Jason Kuhrt, president of CODES; Arielle Jessop, president of the Painting and Drawing Association; Keyana Kashfi, student advocate at the CSU Advocacy Centre; and Cam McKinnon, a highly involved first-year theatre student.
The petty politics that have engulfed our University have gone on too long, and we applaud the emergence of a slate that brings together students from across the political spectrum in a spirit of cooperation. It is time for Fine Arts to enjoy proper, competent CSU representation, and, indeed, for Fine Arts to get some attention from the CSU.
We, the undersigned Fine Arts clubs and associations, believe that UNITY is the slate that will finally do these things. On March 27, 28 and 29, make your vote count and make sure Fine Art students’ voices are heard!
Ceramics Student Association
Cinema Student Association
Concordia Association of Students in Theatre (CAST)
Concordia Design Students (CODES)
Dance Student Association
Concordia Improvisational Theatre Troupe
Les Fleurs du Mal Publications Society
Music Students’ Association of Concordia (MUSAC)
Painting and Drawing Student Association
Photography Students’ Association
OurConcordiaU, a grassroots student movement dedicated to informing students about important issues (especially issues related to accessibility of education), has officially endorsed the GO team in the CSU elections.
On March 27, 28 and 29, we encourage students to GO vote GO
– for accessible education;
– for stable student initiative funding (People’s Potato, QPIRG, Frigo,etc.);
– to fight ancillary fees (backdoor tuition);
– to stand in solidarity with hardworking Concordia staff;
– for a student union independent from the Concordia administration.
Unity showed its true anti-accessibility colours this week when Unity VP candidate Leah Del Vecchio was caught red-handed ripping down pro-accessibility posters. The posters were official YES committee materials promoting the referendum questions demanding action on the ancillary fee front from the CSU leadership. Since ripping down posters is against electoral regulations, the CSU election chief imposed a $5 fine on Del Vecchio. Del Vecchio got off easy. Students are paying an extra $100 per year because of Unity’s collusion with the Concordia administration on ancillary fees.
The official CSU election debates took place on Thursday. Unfortunately, Unity did not bother to show up. Students could not ask them about their collusion with the administration and the $100 ancillary fee increase.
Why was Unity afraid of debate? Debate is an essential part of the democratic process and Unity’s failure to participate in the debate shows a lack of respect for democracy at Concordia.
All the GO team members were at the debate, and they took the opportunity to explain their plans for an independent student union that will encourage mass participation of Concordia students in the life of our Concordia.
We encourage students to take 5 minutes of their time on March 27, 28 and 29, to GO vote GO!
Every vote counts!!!
David Bernans on behalf of OurConcordiaU