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Students to vote on new CSU bylaws

by The Concordian November 22, 2011

Students going to the polls at the end of this month will also be voting on whether or not to adopt an updated version of the Concordia Student Union’s bylaws.

The updated bylaws need to be ratified by students in order to take effect. According to CSU president Lex Gill, the new bylaws have gone through “hundreds of revisions” and every change has already been approved by council.

“The bylaws have been woefully out of date for a long time,” said Gill, explaining that the process of modifying the bylaws began during former CSU president Heather Lucas’ term, carrying on into Gill’s.

One of the major changes include the renaming and re-purposing of the student centre fund to the student space, accessible education & legal contingency fund.

This allows the CSU access only to the interest accrued in the fund in order to maintain the union’s general operations in the event of a long-term strike. Gill emphasized that this is a preemptive measure for the years ahead and stated that the current CSU mandate’s funds are in order.

The fee levy for the fund has also been lowered from $2 per credit to $1.50 per credit.

“From what we’ve heard from students so far, students aren’t so keen on a centralized building,” said Gill, describing the change of wording of the fund from “centre” to “space” as a preemptive broadening to remove limitations as to where student-run areas can be located.

A survey about student space is in the process of being designed by the CSU to be distributed at some point near the start of next semester.

Quorum, the minimum number of members required to make a special general meeting valid, has also been changed in the new version of the bylaws to 450 student members. Gill said that this was done in an effort to update the bylaws to accommodate an increased amount of undergraduate students represented by the CSU and to make it easier for anyone to call a special general meeting or assembly.

The bylaws require 2.5 per cent of the undergraduate student body to be present in order to make quorum. As it currently stands, the CSU represents over 30,000 undergraduate students. According to the old bylaws, they would need to gather around 750 students in order to reach quorum, a logistical problem that was witnessed first-hand last February when nearly 900 students packed onto the Reggie’s terrace for an SGM.

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