“I’ll be back”: councillor

Before he left the country last week, Jason Gondziola fired off one last email, addressed to Concordia Student Union Chair Sarah Rodier. Gondziola wrote that he’d be back to reclaim his councillor’s seat when he returns in two months after visiting South Korea.

Before he left the country last week, Jason Gondziola fired off one last email, addressed to Concordia Student Union Chair Sarah Rodier. Gondziola wrote that he’d be back to reclaim his councillor’s seat when he returns in two months after visiting South Korea.
At the start of the Oct. 10 council meeting, the Concordia University T.V. station manager, along with councillors Fady Abdullah and Emily Tetrault, were told they were no longer councillors because they weren’t registered for fall semester classes. Gondziola protested the decision, arguing that he was enrolled in winter courses and his transcript read, “In Program.” His challenge to the Chair failed.
Gondziola said he will continue to fight the Chair’s decision. In his letter to Rodier, he writes, “An arbitrary decision of the Chair was given as ample grounds for our dismissal, when in fact the Chair’s decision was in clear violation of our By-Laws.”
“I would therefore like to remind the Chair, the Executive and Council that myself and the other two councilors [sic] still remain seated councilors [sic].”
Gondziola said he is supported in his claim by CSU by-law 12.1, which states: “Representatives who are no longer members of the Student Union and who are absent without regrets [explanation for the absence] from one regular meeting are deemed to have resigned.” He said this clearly protects the right of even non-members of the CSU to sit as councillors.
Replying to his claims in writing, Rodier wrote that by-law 12.1 had been a “contentious by-law for some time that has been interpreted differently” and for that reason was under review by the CSU.
She said she considered the most important part of the CSU’s constitution relating to a council member’s qualifications is a bylaw stating, “Representatives must be Student Union members throughout their term in office.” Further, “if a member of Council ceases to be a member of the student union they can no longer remain a member of Council,” wrote Rodier in a letter to Gondziola.
“Legally . I’m still a councillor,” said Gondziola. “The Chair made a ruling that was beyond her purview as a Chair. Ultimately what will have to happen is that council will have to vote two-thirds against me keeping my seat,” said Gondziola, and he is confident that a two thirds vote won’t pass.

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