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Letters to the editor

by The Concordian March 25, 2014
Letters to the editor

Recommendation to take Concordia University Security Department training


I would highly recommend that all students invest in themselves and attend the training workshop organized by the Concordia University Security Department.

I sincerely hope that no students will ever have to use the skills learned in the trainings, but having these tools at your disposal can come in handy

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training, is only for women. The instructors are Lyne Denis and Valerie Bolduc, and they are phenomenal women with a wealth of knowledge and experience. The instructors are also very considerate of any existing personal physical injuries that the participants have, and you will be well taken care of. Although the training is called Rape Aggression Defense, the tools learned in the training can be used in other situations that women will face. The training lasts between 9-12 hours, and only costs $20. It is very important to note that it is a very reasonable cost considering the duration of the training, and that once you finish the RAD training, there is a lifetime practice policy. This policy allows any person to attend any RAD training workshop around North America free of charge! It is a very good investment in not only yourself, but your future, and I highly recommend it.

The training is an amazing opportunity to meet other people from around the university. I would highly recommend that everyone learn more about the trainings, and register for whichever training suits your needs.

The link to have more information on the training session can be found online at: http://security.concordia.ca/prevention/training/rad/

-Melissa Lemieux


I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Chuck Wilson for three years now, and he has my complete endorsement for the job of CSU President.

Chuck actually cares about each and every student on this campus and has often gone out of his way to help whole faculties, often with little to no credit. I first met Chuck when he was the chair of the Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) in 2011 and in often-tenuous meetings during the Maple Spring, Chuck kept a level head and helped us ensure that our conversations were productive, even in such a high-stress environment.

When a delay in counting absences by last year’s CSU chair meant that it was too late for Fine Arts candidates to run in the 2012-2013 CSU by-election, Chuck was the person who informed me about it and looked over my petition. With his help, I was able to assemble a team of students that worked as ex-officio officers on Council. This year, there are three Fine Arts candidates running and I think that in large part, that has to do with Chuck. It may have taken a gap year to get the ball rolling, but we did it. Chuck made me care, I made others care, and here were are today.

He is the only candidate, in my opinion, who has laid out a plan with realistic outcomes that focuses on academics—and isn’t that why we’re here, ultimately—and empowers the many student groups on campus so that they can take on social activist roles, instead of making that the job of the CSU. We have such great resources on campus, and Chuck wants to help you find them! Remember, just because your friend is running for another slate doesn’t mean that their presidential candidate is the best fit. No matter who gets voted into office, Chuck will work with them and be the leader that the CSU needs at this pivotal moment in its history.

Chuck does things (dot com), and that’s why you should vote for him for CSU President.

Erika Couto

BFA Art History & Film Studies ’13

Current MA Art History student

VP Clubs & Services FASA (2012-2013)

Ex-Officio officer CSU (2012-2013)


Letter of Endorsement

Chuck Wilson is the epitome of “qualified” when it comes to the position of Presidency of the Concordia Student Union. I have had the privilege of working with Chuck for over a year now within the Engineering Faculty, and I can attest that there is no better person suited to be the driving force of such an encompassing student association. Chuck has this incredibly rare ability to see any and all projects to total completion, thereby actually accomplishing the things that he sets out to do. In terms of his endeavors, Chuck is hyper aware of all of the ongoings at Concordia, across all departments, and therefore pursues the things that matter most to students.

As an involved student, I have consulted Chuck on probably every important matter related to my co-curricular involvement that I have ever encountered. Whether it has to do with trying to incorporate an association, or the specifics about booking an event, he just has this super solid understanding of how systems function at Concordia. Chuck has spent his academic career striving for improvement within Concordia, seeking solutions and alternatives to everything from an individual’s mundane questions to our university’s vision of its future.

He is already a driving, inspirational force within the Engineering Faculty, and I would love nothing more than to see what he will accomplish as President of the CSU.

See what he plans to do for you at chuckdoesthings.com. Vote for Chuck Wilson, because he actually does things.

Andrea Cartile

B.Sc. Biology Specialization 2009-2012

Current B. Eng. (Mech) Expected 2016

VP External CSCE 2012-2013

VP Marketing SAE 2013-2014

Vote Melissa Payette for CSU President

My name is Bianca Bertoia and I am the President of the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition (JMUCC). JMUCC is not only the largest international undergraduate case competition in the world, but also one of the most prestigious. As JMUCC hosts students from 24 of the best universities around the world, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the world’s most talented students and our future business leaders. There is no question in my mind that Melissa Payette, Experience CSU’s Presidential Candidate, is one such student.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Melissa in two separate environments. I first met her when working at Chapters Pointe-Claire. Melissa had already been working there for a year when I started, and she was the most welcoming person on staff. Her passion for books and knowledge and her helpful disposition stood out immediately.

In Melissa’s role as the President of CASA Cares—CASA’s non-profit wing—I’ve seen the extent of her compassion and her greatness as a leader. She manages a team of almost 20 executives and does it flawlessly. The respect that Melissa’s team has for her is clear, and the events they execute are successful in both raising money for charity and uniting students from all faculties.

This year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Melissa on CASA’s Board of Directors (BOD) as well as on CASA’s Special Projects Committee. In both circumstances, Melissa has been an amazing person to work with. She is unafraid to voice her opinions, but always in a way that is respectful of others. Oftentimes at BOD, she will step in and mediate between two opposing parties to help them better understand one another. Mel is a problem solver who is always full of great ideas and suggestions.

On CASA’s Board of Directors, I’ve also been able to work with Scott Carr and Maylen Cytryn, Experience CSU’s VP Finance and VP Clubs & Internal candidates respectively. I’m amazed by Scott’s passion for policy, constitutional knowledge and number-crunching abilities on a daily basis. As a newcomer to the board, Maylen has been an excellent chairperson who’s demonstrated how quickly she can master unfamiliar surroundings. I am confident that Melissa has pulled together a unified team of dedicated students to form the Experience CSU team.

There is no doubt in my mind that Melissa Payette is the right candidate to lead the CSU forward. She is both a powerful and compassionate leader and the perfect person to bridge the gap between faculties. Melissa will stand up for students’ rights and deliver what they believe in. Concordia students would be lucky to have her lead their union forward.

Bianca Bertoia


John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition (JMUCC)


Vote for Melissa Payette for CSU President

My name is Jessica Viscosi and I am the Vice-President of Finance and Vice-President of Events for CASA Cares. CASA Cares is the non-profit segment of the John Molson School of Business. The goal of CASA Cares is to promote social awareness and responsibility at the school and encourage all students to get involved within the community.

I have been lucky enough to be part of many student-run associations throughout my education and worked alongside great student leaders. One of those outstanding student leaders that I have had the privilege to work with is Melissa Payette. For that reason, it is my pleasure to endorse Melissa Payette as president of the Experience CSU team.

Working closely with Melissa for the past two years on CASA Cares has been a truly rewarding experience. Her dedication to the entire team has been admirable. Throughout her presidency at CASA Cares she has managed to lead the CASA Cares team to having the most successful year to date.

Melissa is hard working, passionate about her work and goes above and beyond all expectations. However, her strongest asset is how approachable she is. This I believe is a very important quality in a leader who will be representing the entire student body. Having a leader who is approachable will allow students to feel comfortable voicing their thoughts and opinions. This in turn will allow students to feel as if the university truly is working with their best interests in mind.

With Melissa’s experience, there is no doubt that she will be able to lead the Experience CSU team to success. I strongly believe that Melissa has surrounded herself with a cross-faculty team that will work tirelessly for the best interest of the students at Concordia University.

Jessica Viscosi


It’s not often in student politics that one comes across a person as dedicated to the union, and with such a good sense of ethics and values, as Chuck Wilson.

Chuck has worked for years now developing and strengthening fair and just policies across several student groups. He understands rules and regulations, and he understands not bending them for himself or his friends’ personal benefit. Chuck is the guy who doesn’t forget the rules when they’re complicated or inconvenient to apply, and he isn’t afraid to make the hard decisions.

Chuck is the kind of guy who will work with anyone and everyone, and I know this because he has already worked with anyone and everyone, from all sides of the political spectrum. He just wants to get the job done. It takes a special kind of person to buck the system and stay dedicated to the concept of abolishing executive slates and run independently for the office of president. That kind of person is a leader, and there is no better one available in this union right now than Chuck Wilson.

I was lucky enough to work with Chuck on Senate in the 2012-2013 year. It is hard to find anyone more dedicated than Chuck. Because Chuck does things, you should vote for him for President of the CSU!

He has done so much for the CSU on Council this year, and I have complete faith he is the best fit for president. Please vote for him during the elections to get our union some strong, competent, qualified, and most importantly, independent leadership.

-Melissa Lemieux

Vote for Chuck, Chuck does things!

I have repeated this numerous times randomly throughout this week to anyone I met.

I have been a big supporter of Chuck since the beginning and my support has grown even more after watching the debates.

First, he has demonstrated that he has the most experience and a deep understanding of legal affairs, and Concordia policies out of all the presidential candidates. CSU needs someone at the head who knows how the system works to be able to use it to their advantage. Out of all the candidates, he was the most eloquent and demonstrated that he has given a great deal of thought to the subjects that were brought up and even if he didn’t, his extensive knowledge of how CSU works and the different entities within helped him give clear responses showing that he knows what he’s doing.

Chuck takes action; we need a man of action, especially when they have a beard.

Second, he wants to revamp the horrible grey tunnel!!!

Third, he has a beard, enough said.

Check out his website chuckdoesthings.com to get an insight on his platform and find out how awesome Chuck is!

-Daniella Tran Van


To the readers of The Concordian,

I won’t go on with drivel about why any of the given teams is the best, nor will I explain why I’ve had “the pleasure” of working with someone. These are all formalities that will dismiss a message.

I will speak to what I believe it takes to have an excellent team, and that is a great balance of thinkers, doers, opinionated people and compromisers. Personally, I have worked to some measure with Scott, Maylen and Melissa—all of which are running for the Experience CSU team. Maylen is the person I worked with directly for the past year on the John Molson Marketing Association (JMMA). Maylen is meticulously detail oriented and very competent with dealing with stressful and uncomfortable conflicts in a workplace. I say this because our goal with JMMA was to change everything the previous year and she was a perfect partner in dealing with all the tribulations that come with delivering real, meaningful change. I want you to think about how hard it is to deal with failures and how to convert them into successes, and how the ideal person would deal with it. Now I invite you to talk to Maylen about those things.

For the other two, I have never worked directly with any of them but I’ve sat in boardrooms with them and been to many social gatherings where they were present. Melissa led CASA Cares this year, which is the charitable wing of the Commerce and Administration Students’ Association. Again, I won’t pretend to know how it was to work with her, but I’ll just tell you that she convinced her team of 14 that meeting on Friday nights is a great idea. Combine this demonstration of charisma along with the fact that she donated her time to the only philanthropic branch of the John Molson Business School and I think you would reconsider whatever prejudice you may have about what business students in general stand for.

Scott was previously involved with Enactus Concordia, again a branch that deals with entrepreneurship and social change. He’s been a massive advocator of transparent workings in the CASAJMSB Board of Directors and has never missed a beat when it comes to proper conduct.

I want you to consider what it means to allow proper business representation on the CSU and that it’s not some fantasy about suits and ties that want to grab your money. Yes, there are student who think this way, but these three individuals are not conventional business students, because conventional business students would not have the chops to run for the CSU to begin with.

Charles Gedeon

Outgoing President of JMMA and ex-sociology student


Vote Chuck for CSU President

If you vote for one person in this CSU election, let it be Chuck Wilson for president. When I sat on CSU council last year, Chuck was in his second year of his work on Senate. He came to almost every council meeting, so I got to know him in a working dynamic quite quickly. Chuck was a constant resource; he always had detailed information, a near-encyclopedic knowledge of our union’s rules, workings and by-laws and those of other organizations, sophisticated insight into controversial issues, and he often assumed positions of authority very naturally. It was very common at these meetings that someone would end up appealing to Chuck for an answer to a question or for resources. In fact, those in Concordia’s student political community recognize his website, www.chuckdoesthings.com, as the unofficial guide to our student union—before it was used for his campaigning, it hosted valuable resources, documents, and information essentials for us to do our jobs. Even our chairperson would occasionally reference the meeting agenda or amended by-laws and standing regulations that he maintained meticulously in and outside of meetings. If you were to approach them and ask, people across Concordia’s community—staff, administration, political leaders, members of Space Concordia, and so on—would you identify Chuck as a highly competent, brilliant, capable leader? Many, many people at Concordia would say they are excited to see what this person can do for our union. Please, please vote for him so we can find out.

Hannah Hackney


Experience CSU will make a difference for Concordia

My name is Chris Carpini and I am the President of the John Molson Competition Committee (JMCC). The past three years of my undergraduate career have been dedicated to working on JMSB’s competition program. During my time here, the program has become the world’s largest undergraduate competition program as we close a record-breaking year with nearly 40 podium finishes and countless gold medals.

I’ve travelled around the world to attend over a dozen competitions and over 10 inter-university conferences, meeting tons of students in the process. I know strong student leaders when I see them. As such, it is with pleasure that I endorse Melissa Payette and her entire Experience CSU team for the executive of the Concordia Student Union.

I’ve worked closely with Melissa on CASA’s Board of Directors. As the President of CASA Cares, Melissa is a compassionate leader—what stands out most when talking to her is that she truly cares for what others have to say. My colleagues and I have spent many nights venting to her about problems and roadblocks within our committees. The outcome is always consistent: next day, well-educated and researched opinions that truly help to move our organizations forward.

Moreover, I know how easily student organizations can be seen as unapproachable amongst the greater student body. Melissa is the type of person who breaks down these barriers. I strongly believe that Melissa will care for the unique needs of Concordia students and will go out of her way to make sure everyone’s voice is heard—she is a go-to person and knows how to get things done.

Backing her is a stacked team on Experience CSU—individuals who will absolutely work well together. Both Scott Carr and Maylen Cytryn have been involved in JMSB’s competition program. Scott is a gold-medal winning competitor who is always open to a new challenge and whose unique solutions leave judging panels speechless. Maylen is an up-and-coming star in the program whose infectiously bubbly personality is combined with a hard-working attitude. The competition program has trained these individuals to recognize real problems within organizations and come up with the most creative and feasible ways to solve them.

I am confident that these three individuals have surrounded themselves with a team that will make for an incredibly hard-working CSU. Undoubtedly, this is what Concordia students need—strong, dedicated, compassionate leaders who will work sleepless nights for us.

        Chris Carpini, JMCC President


Support Community Matters and Ben Prunty for CSU President

I give my full support to Ben Prunty as president of the CSU and his dynamic team Community Matters.

Last semester, I had the pleasure of working with Ben during my internship with the Concordia Food Coalition—a community service-learning component in Professor Satoshi Ikeda’s course, The Political Economy of Food. Ben led our team of five interns in developing his brainchild—a conference on sustainable food systems. To our team’s delight, the Concordia Transitions Conference was a huge success—approximately 150 community members attended the event throughout the day.

Thanks to Ben’s exceptional leadership skills, our team never felt like the conference was solely his “baby.” On the contrary, Ben has an ability to inspire other people and mobilize them to accomplish a common goal. He also has a talent for identifying the skills that his team members can bring to the table and incorporating those strengths in the larger picture.

More than anything, Ben knows how to create a sense of community among his fellow team members. Not only did the Concordia Transitions Conference create dialogue surrounding food initiatives on campus, but it also created this same sense of community among its guests—a feeling that together we could accomplish great things for our university.

As project coordinator of one of the many wonderful fee levy groups on campus and a proud supporter of the “No” Campaign against the per-faculty fee levy referendum question, there is no doubt in my mind that Concordia’s vibrant community is one of the university’s greatest assets. If you want a Concordia with a sustainable student-run food system, support for student-led projects and most of all, a community that “matters”, vote for Ben Prunty and the rest of his team next week!

Megan Michaud


SAY YES to supporting education, awareness, solidarity and empowerment!

Dear editor,

I want to encourage all Concordia students (especially those opposing fee levy groups) to check out some really amazing resources they have on campus such as the Center for Gender Advocacy (CGA).

Here are just some of their more recent accomplishments:

– Successfully lobbied the Concordia administration for a sexual assault centre, which opened its doors in November 2013

– Was apart of the coalition of groups that forced Quebec’s decision to modify the civil code to give trans people the right to change their gender legally without having to undergo surgery and forced sterilization

– Walked with over 1,000 people at the March for Missing and Murdered women

—organized by Missing Justice (one of their campaigns)—on Feb. 14 to raise awareness about gendered and racialized violence in Quebec and Canada

– Increased sexual assault awareness and consent workshops and trainings, which are given on and off campus and free of charge

– Expanded a programming with a new speaker series called, Thick Skin: Reflections on race, gender and political resistance

– Has a second space (located at 2110 De Maisonneuve W.) which is increasingly utilized by students and activists (including new autonomous action groups) to hold meetings and events


I want to emphasize that the CGA is an inclusive space with open-minded, generous and super hard working staff—they really do a lot with a little, especially given the centre’s very broad mandate. They offer various activities (speakers, workshops, film screenings) on a very wide-range of issues related to gender—I mean, gender touches all aspects of our lives, whether we realize it or not, but I think it is fantastic that they cover so much!

I encourage you to help keep this awesome place going by voting ‘Yes’ to fee levy groups (increasing their 29 cent per credit to 37 cents). Even if you think that you may not use their services, you just might need (or want) to someday, and also just know that you are also helping to create a safer, fairer and hopefully a more open-minded campus and city by supporting organizations such as the CGA. So, all this to say is that paying your extra eight cents is well-worth it for you and for others!

Annette Kassaye MacDonald, B.A Political Science/Human Rights Studies 2013

Former Board Member at the Centre For Gender Advocacy (2011)

Community matters.

But what does that mean? An executive team that acknowledges academics can not be disconnected from university and government policies, these being inextricably related to having sufficient desks in a classroom, not having to work more than study, and eating healthy affordable food, all of which is in turn connected to your academic experience. This team understands that, and has the capacity to work for students’ interests at all levels. Speaking of levels, the VP-Academic/Advocacy candidate recently initiated the first Concordia Student Congress directly connecting the CSU to your student departmental associations so that you can have a voice at many levels of student democracy. As former VP-External of the Concordia Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), I have worked with almost every person on this team and I know they will guide the CSU to make this campus a community of communities in which democracy is not just a gift to those elected, but something all students can participate in through clear democratic mechanisms (including a VP-Finance who vows to make budget stuff fun—you can’t pass up the possibility of seeing this happen). It means a team of students whose experience stands out: a bilingual VP-External/Mobilization candidate whose health campaign got students jogging at 8 a.m. and represented his department many times at the provincial level; a VP-Academic/Advocacy candidate who knows how to defend students from his work with CSU Advocacy Centre; a VP-Loyola candidate who has volunteered on both campuses for years; a VP-Sustainability candidate who attended provincial student meetings in her free time; a Presidential candidate who already made substantial gains for our food systems as CSU VP-Sustainability, and who have proven with their past actions their commitment to students’ academic fulfillment, future, and rights. Don’t give up the opportunity to have them live up to their potential, and most importantly that of our students’ and community’s. Vote Community Matters.

Nadia Hausfather

Humanities PhD program




My name is Alexandre Tomovic, and I am the current President of Colors of Concordia and Vice-President of Casa Cares, the charity wing of JMSB.  Being a part of Colors of Concordia has taught me the value of cultural diversity within the Concordia community and the importance of having well-rounded associations.  Team Experience CSU encompasses a variety of executives who deliver specific strengths from different areas; this would be the first major point where Experience CSU has irrevocably gained my trust and support.

Over two years with CASA Cares, I have had the pleasure of working with Melissa Payette, particularly under her presidency this year. I cannot stress enough the degree of fairness and professionalism that Melissa brings towards any matter. The amount that she has grown is beyond astonishing; Melissa has not only presided over many successful fundraising events, but has also gained trust and respect from her team and other students alike.  Managing a team of 17 executives requires patience and the ability to keep tasks on track.  In the fall semester alone, under Melissa’s guidance, CASA Cares raised over $14,000 for great causes including  the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Movember, and Concordia’s Volunteer Abroad Program.  This semester, Melissa has helped coordinate our biggest event – the CASA Cares Fashion Show benefitting the Montreal Children’s Hospital, which in its 11th year, will bring the total proceeds raised to over $100,000.  Suffice to say, there is no one better suited for the position of CSU President; the entire school will benefit from a fair leader who will strive to place the needs of students before her own.

Forming the 2013-2014 CASA Cares team was not an easy task, as we had over 50 applicants.  One applicant that immediately stood out was Sabrina Jorrin; she has since fulfilled her mandate above all expectations as VP External.  Always sporting a smile, Sabrina’s good mood is contagious and her motivation to exceed is second to none.  She quickly gained our trust and is extremely devoted in accomplishing her tasks within any role she takes on.  I truly believe that the entire student community of Concordia would be in the best possible hands with Sabrina.

I could elaborate furthermore on them, as well as Maylen, Scott, and Toshimi, however the fact is that the CSU will grow the most under Experience CSU, and they will all accomplish great things for Concordia University.


VOTE NO to the Per Faculty Fee Levy Referendum Question:


There have been many editorials in recent weeks concerning fee-levy groups and who should be paying for these groups and services. The fee levy groups here at Concordia enrich the community providing services such as; a daily free vegan lunch, a beautiful greenhouse where students can enjoy a hot cup of tea to relax, they provide an outlet for student news, advocacy for gender and queer issues, and the list goes on. All of these fee levy groups, 17 in total, provide free services to all undergrad students regardless of their faculty. Together we create a diverse community and we want to see this community continue together, with the support of all faculties, instead of student segregation as a result of faculty opt-outs. Each one of these groups has been voted into existence with a majority vote of the undergraduate population. While we may not benefit directly from every one of these services, if we can make a difference to even one students experience then I believe it is worthwhile. It is for this reason that I invite you all to come out and VOTE NO to the per faculty fee levy referendum question this week during the CSU elections and to let your voice be heard. Together we can keep the fee levy community alive and keep cross faculty interactions between students.

Chloe Williams


I Support Experience CSU

Dear Concordians,

As president-elect of Casa Cares, I am writing to express my support for Experience CSU. Having worked with Melissa Payette (running President) and Sabrina Jorrin (running VP Student Life) at Casa Cares for almost a year now, I am confident that both will do an excellent job in representing the student body and better our University experience.

Since I joined Casa Cares in May 2013, I witnessed the consistent hard work of both Melissa and Sabrina throughout their mandate. Having Melissa as my president was a truly rewarding experience; her dedication, integrity and perseverance were a source of inspiration for our team and kept us striving for more.  I believe that her determination and strong desire to have a positive impact on the community make her the most suitable candidate to represent the Concordia student body, act as a leader and work in collaboration with a team to achieve visionary goals that will improve student life.

I had the pleasure to work with Sabrina over the past few months, and I was astonished by her creativity, ardour and enthusiasm. Not only was she approachable at all times, but she also managed to use all the resources that were available to her to contribute to the success of all our events. Her passion and commitment show a keen desire to build relationships with others and make their university experience memorable.

I am therefore confident that Experience CSU will do a remarkable job at making Concordia a distinct and unique university where life goes beyond the classroom.

Frédérique Bouchard

VP Communications of Casa Cares

President-elect of Casa Cares

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