Byelections allow CSU council to grow

The Concordia Student Union held byelections last week to fill the spots and elect new representatives from Arts and Science and the John Molson School of Business.

During the voting that took place from Nov. 27 to 29, only 465 Concordia undergraduate students cast their votes. The undergraduate student body is over 30,000.

Caroline Bourbonnière, Patrick Lefebvre, Justin Occhionero, Benjamin Prunty, Hardial Rosner, James Vaccaro and Ashley Walling ran to represent Arts and Science on council.

With the exception of Occhionero, all candidates were elected. Occhionero only lost by three votes, with 181 in his favour.

Anja Rajaonarivelo, Pierre Tardivo Martin and Eugene Gusman were elected to the vacant JMSB seats since there were four open spots during the byelections. Chief Electoral Officer Justin Holland of the CSU confirmed that only approximately 80 votes were cast for JMSB candidates.

Gusman stated that he was excited to sit on council but that the lack of interest from the student body and low voter turnout left him feeling disappointed.

“I want people to care a little more of what happens around them, whether it’s in school or in Montreal,” he said.

This concern was also voiced by Prunty, who said he wants to investigate student apathy.

“In a lot of ways, participation is the measure of legitimacy for political or representative bodies and we have to make sure that we are, in fact, legitimate,” said Prunty. “Increasing participation won’t be easy, but it must be done.”

For Lefebvre, he hopes to create an initiative to help students with disabilities and reduced mobility attend more school events.

“I also want to help create a fund to […] pay for aides who can help with feeding and bathroom needs of disabled students while at events,” said Lefebvre.

CSU President Schubert Laforest stated that he is pleased with the outcome of the byelections.

“I’m happy we’ll have a lot of new members, and great representatives representing the Arts and Science faculty,” he said. “But there is still a lot of concern about the Fine Arts faculty not having a representative. It’s something we definitely have to look into,” Laforest added.

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Benjamin Prunty – 230 votes
James Vaccaro – 218 votes
Hardial Rosner – 215 votes
Caroline Bourbonnière – 209 votes
Patrick Lefebvre – 206 votes
Ashley Walling – 184 votes
Justin Occhionero – 181 votes

Pierre Tardivo Martin – 45 votes
Anja Rajaonarivelo – 39 votes
Eugene Gusman – 29 votes


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