Students returning to classes at Concordia this week will be greeted by a student union very different than the one they voted in last spring.
At a special council meeting in late August, CSU president Prince Ralph Osei announced his resignation in order to pursue his education on scholarship in the Netherlands. During that meeting, VP services Heather Lucas was unanimously voted in by the CSU council to take the helm for the 2010-2011 academic year.
“It has been a great honour working for the students that we represent,” a teary-eyed Osei told the council at the Aug. 23 meeting. “It has both been a great experience and a pleasure to work alongside exceptional and dedicated vice-presidents for this year.”
According to Osei, the decision to leave was taken in mid-July after “many sleepless nights and days.” From his new home in Holland, where he will be studying for a Masters in psychology and sciences, Osei wrote that despite struggling with the choice to resign, the selection of a replacement was an easier call. “”The entire team decided that Heather would be ideal to be the leader among equals.”
For her part, Lucas said that when Osei sat her down in July and told her of his resignation, she was hit with a “plethora of emotion” over what she called a very “bittersweet situation,” though in the end her and the council could not be happier for their former leader.
As of Aug. 26, Lucas has officially taken over the presidential position, a promotion she has taken in full stride. Despite being thrown into an unexpected situation, her main focus as president is to follow through with the eight campaign promises set out by the Fusion slate last spring, including fighting any increase in tuition, having a bottle water free campus, and getting the CSU out of the Canadian Federation of Students.
“The executives and myself are doing the best we can with the situation we’re in,” Lucas said. “We are working great with the card that has been dealt to us and we are excited for a great year.”
Osei maintains that he has full confidence that this “great year” is fully attainable by the new executive under Lucas.
“Heather and the team bring a whole new set of energy to the CSU,” Osei wrote, “and I strongly believe without a single doubt that the CSU is going to new heights this year.”
His confidence is shared by former president Amine Dabchy who, in addressing the council in August, said of Lucas “She’s got it, and she’s the person to naturally replace Prince. If you’re looking for a workaholic president, she’ll put her job before everything.”
A student at Concordia since 2005, Osei pursued a specialization in psychology with a minor in political science. He was elected VP services and Loyola during the 2009-2010 year. During last spring’s CSU election, Osei led his slate to a strong majority victory, receiving 73 per cent of the vote. Lucas, a former VP internal of the Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations, ran with Osei on that winning slate.
Prince Ralph Osei leaves behind fond memories of his work in student politics at Concordia, from the CSU’s efforts to host two Nobel laureates, to simply trying to give the union a friendlier image. “This group was not just colleagues,” he says of the executive, “they are family to me and to each other.”
According to Lucas, no candidate has been selected as of yet to fill in the now-vacant position of VP services on the CSU executive.
VP finance-elect Nikki Tsoflikis also stepped down in April. She was replaced by Zhuo Ling, a John Molson School of Business Senator.