Two weeks of campaigning have gone by, and we’ve watched YouTubes videos, had a few classroom lectures, read some flyers and watched a paltry dance-off between the two main slates. So, what have we learned from the people vying for the chance to control your money, plan your parties and represent your rights and interests?
Action and Your Concordia’s slates are eerily similar, suggesting either a close listening to students’ concerns or little innovation. Their laundry list of ideas is a roundup of issues that Concordia students want to hear about: fighting tuition increases, banning bottled water, and of course, demanding more transparency when it comes to both university and union governance.
But if we go beyond the issues and look at the candidates and what brought them together as a slate, we can note some clear differences. With Action, there are remnants of the current CSU executive, 2010’s winning Fusion slate, with two current CSU VPs running for senate and the Board of Governors. This is the same executive that came under fire on a regular basis this year for failing to act on the very issues both slates champion.
Aside from adopting a slightly different hue, Action is clearly by association a successor to the ‘ion’ dynasty – the Fusion and Vision slates, which first swept to power to oppose the long-ruling, CFS-backed Change dynasty in 2009. With little to differentiate themselves from the previous slates, and the snafu with the club endorsements, Action has paled in comparison to the Your Concordia slate with its vacuous videos and posters.
While Action appears lacking in a strong, guiding vision, Your Concordia has on its side an appearance of colourful, fresh energy and ideas. But is all this buzz merely the effort of a clever graphic designer and videographer?
For all the claims of bringing a fresh perspective to the seventh floor of the Hall building, Your Concordia also has a team that has as much experience in power as Action: Lex Gill is well-known as a vocal opposition and fixture on the CSU council, and Morgan Pudwell is a former VP sustainability and promotions. Their candidates are almost, if not as active, as Action candidates.
But it’s important remember that Your Concordia is comprised of key organizers of some of this year’s major protests against tuition increases, including the WHALE. But while the ideals are there, does Your Concordia have what it takes to, pardon the pun, put them into action?
While protests and more wintry-hot love-ins send a strong message, they unfortunately don’t always manage to persuade the sexagenarians that dominate the Board of Governors and the Quebec government to decide in the students’ favour, as we saw with the recent tuition increases in the provincial budget. Your Concordia needs to keep in mind the frustrating reality that the call for change happens as much indoors as it does out on the streets.
Action would no doubt do a fine job managing the CSU, their track record suggests it. But will students be wary of them and opt for the fresher choice? Whichever slate Concordia students entrust the keys to the offices of H-711 to, either one will have a formidable challenge: dealing with an unwieldly Board in crisis, rising tuition costs, a university in disrepute, a student centre contract with no student centre, and a very jaded student body. Let’s hope they’re up for the challenge.