CSU pres takes responsibility for inaction at BoG

While none of the issues raised by outgoing CSU executive Morgan Pudwell in her letter of resignation were addressed at council, the remaining executives spoke out again on Monday, maintaining that most of her allegations we completely false. The one exception is the issue of university governance, on which president Heather Lucas conceded that she could have done more to follow her mandate within the Board of Governors.

“I was mandated by council to bring up to the Board the issues that [were voted on at the last council meeting],” Lucas said, referring to the February meeting that saw council pass a motion put forward by students at the Informational General Meeting. The motion mandated the student representatives on the Board to call for the resignation of all external members of that body. “I didn’t get the opportunity to,” she continued. “I take responsibility for not presenting that at the Board, simply because I had come late.”

These comments come in response to a section of Pudwell’s letter in which she states that the IGM and council motions “have not been upheld by the student representatives at the board. The representatives have failed to make these wishes clear, and at the most recent meeting, failed to say anything at all.”

Yesterday, Pudwell reasserted these statements, saying “[the students] gave [Lucas] basically what they wanted her to say and it still hasn’t been said. I don’t think that’s okay.”

In her letter Pudwell also pointed out that “council has yet to receive a written report from any BoG representative, despite their clear and codified duty to do so.”

On this note, Lucas said that these reports have traditionally been given orally and then recorded in the minutes but that she was willing to make the change to written reports if council really felt it necessary.

While she’s ready to take the fall for her actions at the last Board meeting, and said she will definitely bring up these issues at the next meeting, Lucas and the rest of the executive are not apologizing for their other efforts in representing students on the governance issue.

“I think what needs to be clarified is what we did and what more we can do,” said VP Loyola and advocacy Hassan Abdullahi.

Abdullahi listed all of the things the CSU has done since the university’s governance became a clear concern of students in the late winter:  holding the IGM, passing the IGM motions in council, taking those motions to Senate and supporting them in that body, emailing Board chair Peter Kruyt and even sitting down with the university’s new president Frederick Lowy. “So in our position we’ve done everything we possibly could have on the governance issue and it’s still not enough,” Abdullahi said. “We understand students are still upset but we need them to come to us and tell us what more we can do.”

Lucas echoed the need for student involvement, saying “I’ve made a mistake. Help me do a better job, help me push for what you want me to push for. If I don’t know what these concerns are besides the fact that you’re angry, how can we productively bring this forth to the BoG?”

In response to these comments, Pudwell said that at the last executive meeting, Lucas herself admitted not enough had come out of Senate. Pudwell  also said she asked to be included in the meeting with Lowy, a request Lucas ignored. “I asked her to say that we are a team that represents a large group of students,” Pudwell explained, “and the reason we were elected as a team is because we represent different views and different people and she said she would ask him.” But according to Pudwell, Lucas later admitted never even raising the question of bringing all the executives to the meeting and, as a result, she still has no idea what was discussed in that meeting.

As for the CSU’s future efforts on the issue, the remaining executives said that they are currently working on a governance review package, in which they plan to address what they called the ‘flawed’ format of the Board.


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