Home News Elections swept by single slate, all referendum questions passed

Elections swept by single slate, all referendum questions passed

by Archives December 4, 2007

Last week’s by-election returned a successful sweep for all four referendum questions and capturing all three openings on council and clearly winning all their referendum questions.
The results, which surprised many, will give the executive increased funding, direct control over a multi-million dollar building fund and bring it closer to independence in council decision-making.
The “United for a Better Concordia” party, composed of Elie Chivi, Brian Solloway and Alex Brovkin, swept the elections with a wide margin – 576, 561 and 267 votes respectively, versus “Uniting Students” candidates Beizan Zubi, Daniel McSharry and Louay Jasser’s 325, 334 and 130 votes. Chivi stated previously that he is supports the Unity party.
Chivi and Solloway will be taking their seats as Arts and Science councillors while Brovkin will fill his to represent Engineering and Computer Science students. If they choose to vote along partisan lines in support of Unity councillors, their election victory will have handed Unity a majority on council.
“People wanted a fresh approach,” explained Solloway, who ran on a platform that included “more friendly and cooperative” council meetings, and who rejected the adversarial tone of recent council meetings.
Both Chivi and Solloway emphasized their support for the CSU-driven referendum questions, stressing they are crucial issues for students in regards to CSU governance. When pressed, neither councillor would venture deeper into the issues.
“I’m familiar with what’s been happening in the CSU, but the first thing I had to do is get acquainted with the details of what’s been happening,” said Elie Chivi, Arts and Science student and newly elected member to the CSU Council.
The referendum questions passed include an increase to the CSU fee levy by 0.25$ per credit, providing them with an additional $150,000 per year, a modification of fee levy payments to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and allowing “minor” changes to CSU by-laws. The latter permits the CSU executive to assume direct management of a $7 million building fund and will increase the maximum holdings of the fund from $2 million to $50 million.
“I have to get my foot in the door,” said new councilor-elect Bryan Solloway, “then I can introduce new policies and concepts that I believe in.”
Solloway, who feels that council meetings should be conducted “in a more respectful manner,” raised concerns about the last two council meetings which broke down into shouting matches between executives, councillors and observers.
Chivi feels that freedom of the press is important and would allow CUTV cameras in the room during meetings, because nothing should be kept from the students.
Solloway felt that elections were “good overall” but he said that he “doesn’t want to think about the past – I look at the present and look forward to the future.”
Beisan Zubi, who lost her bid for CSU Council, said that although she was understandably disappointed, she hopes that the winners will play an active role on council rather than simply filling seats.
Zubi, who oversaw the official “no” campaign on the CSU’s fourth referendum question, said that she felt that “if people would have read [the referendum questions] they wouldn’t have passed.”
Zubi who regularly attends CSU council meetings says that the CSU “now has a $50 million bank account with which to buy to build [a student center] and I don’t know what they want to do – [as a student] I want to have more input.”
Both Chivi and Solloway credit Facebook with giving them the means to reach out to large groups of people. Solloway claims he spent much time contacting and reaching out to people on Facebook, but was taken by surprise with the high turn-out.

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