Editorial: The customer is always right

In the real world people who don’t do their jobs get fired. It happens all the time. In the world of the Concordia Student Union they are rewarded, continually covered for and paid very well.

At the last CSU regular council meeting some student representatives expressed concern over the performance of the VP student life, Alexis Suzuki.

By our count Suzuki hasn’t been doing all that great a job. We’ve lost track of how many meetings she’s missed (and been excused from). We’ve heard time and time again about the botched fall orientation and the insufficient post-mortem report.

While the duties of VP student life are not as clearly defined as they could be in the bylaws, this much is clear to us: when we see council trying to appoint someone to do Suzuki’s work for her while she collects the vice-presidential paycheck — we aren’t impressed.

When we find her to be the most reluctant of all VPs on the CSU executive to speak with the media, reach out to student faculty associations or even make appearances at council — we aren’t impressed.

When we read over her campaign promises as quoted in the March 13, 2012 issue of The Concordian, we don’t feel like we’ve gotten our money’s worth.

“My main focus would be collaborating with clubs and faculty associations to make sure both are incorporated in all aspects of student life,” said Suzuki last spring. “I want to be the liaison between these student groups and the CSU. I am really excited to revitalize student life at Concordia, to reach out and get students involved.”

The above quote reads like a roadmap for what Suzuki has not done. At last Wednesday’s CSU meeting, representatives from Concordia’s Engineering and Computer Science Association and the Fine Arts Student Alliance openly criticized her for her failure to communicate.

We’re done with the excuses from A Better Concordia and the way they struggle to protect one another from any outside criticism. Some members of the CSU will throw around terms like “dereliction of duties” and “impeachment” and that’s fine with us. We can keep up.

But for students who don’t have the time, energy or inclination to sit through hours of meetings or scroll through pages of tweets, let us boil it down for you: there is an argument to be made that VP student life isn’t doing her job, either well or at all.

If this situation doesn’t bother you, then by all means, stop reading here and enjoy the rest of your day. If the idea that your student fees, a whole $28,000, are going into the pocket of someone who is not executing their duties nor making any notable effort to correct past mistakes frustrates you, then join the club.

This isn’t meant to be taken as a tirade against Suzuki, nor a call for her impeachment. We simply feel that something needs to be done if the interests of students are to be properly represented and respected. We are the ones who pay her salary after all and reap the potential benefits from her work. If students say they want more, there’s no arguing with them. That’s the nature of the relationship.

Frankly, we don’t want to see Suzuki asked to clean out her desk, but we fear that’s the direction the CSU is heading. Either she should recognize that she is not currently able to execute the job to the best of her ability and resign, or she should realize that her supporters have grown few and she needs to step up to the plate.

That’s what you do when people are counting on you. You go big or you go home.


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