Another empty Senate seat

VP Loyola Stefan Faina, an independent student, is ineligible to sit on Senate.

The Concordia Student Union’s recent appointment to Concordia University’s Senate, VP Loyola Stefan Faina, is ineligible to maintain his position due to his student status, it was discovered on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Council nominated and then appointed Faina to Senate during a special council meeting Wednesday, Sept. 19 to help fill student representation on the governing body. His appointment was originally scrutinized by council, with some arguing that Faina’s lack of experience would cause him problems down the road.

Faina, who admitted to never having attended a Senate meeting before, was eventually chosen for the position. The only executive acting as a Senator before then was VP external Simon-Pierre Lauzon who was present for the first and second Senate meetings of the academic year.

Following a consultation of university by-laws, Faina realized that he was unable to serve as a Senator because he is currently registered as an independent student. Faina completed his undergraduate degree in psychology last year and registered as part-time, independent student this year, partly in order to maintain his executive position with the CSU. He explained that he was not informed by the university but that he stumbled across the stipulation in Article 57.

According to Article 57 of the university by-laws referring to membership regulations, students must be registered in a program to be eligible to serve on Senate:

“Students elected to Senate shall be registered in an undergraduate or graduate program, be registered in a course or other for-credit activity, and be in good standing. Students who are in failed standing, in conditional standing or on academic probation or who have been sanctioned either under the Code of Rights and Responsibilities or the Academic Code of Conduct within the three (3) years previous to their nomination are not eligible.”

In an interview with The Concordian, Faina expressed his disappointment at being unqualified to sit on Senate.

“I really don’t see why I can’t sit on it,” said Faina. “It’s a little discriminatory and this is a population that has interests too.”

According to Faina, he sent an email to inform outgoing council Chairperson Nick Cuillerier that he would have to step down from Senate to “avoid controversy and drama.”

Faina went on to say that independent students should have representation on Concordia’s governing body.

Under Section 55 in the by-laws, 12 seats are allotted to undergraduate students appointed by the CSU with the obligation of having a representative of each of the four faculties at Concordia. This does not include independent undergraduate students, who are usually part-time students that are taking courses without declaring a program.

VP external Simon-Pierre Lauzon suggested it might be time to reconsider the by-laws to accommodate and represent independent students at the university.

“This is a not a situation that is unheard of,” said Lauzon. “Maybe this is a reform we want to consider because independent students are a student group and they should, in theory, have representation.”

With Faina’s removal from Senate, the CSU will have to appoint two additional students in the near future to fill undergraduate student representation.

According to Lauzon, the CSU believes President Schubert Laforest, who is also ineligible to participate in Senate due to unresolved and undisclosed issues under the same by-laws, will tentatively be allowed to sit on Senate in the near future.


Putting a face to the name: Know your student leaders

Schubert Laforest

Concordia Student Union President

Laforest’s mandate began on June 1 when he replaced former President Lex Gill.
Laforest is in charge of the student union that represents Concordia’s 30,000 undergraduate students and he is there to ensure undergraduate students’ voices are heard and concerns are addressed during the upcoming academic year. The president’s job is to oversee his executive committee’s management of funds, their promotion of student life, their campaigns and services.

Laforest plans to tackle issues and scandals at Concordia with a sustainable and transparent government approach. Laforest promised that students would feel represented in administrative decisions and the CSU would hold governing bodies accountable for their decisions. The incumbent president said that he will tackle the tuition fee increase by lobbying for change within the internal management of the university.

Telephone: 848-7474 ext. 8899

Simon-Pierre Lauzon
VP external affairs

Lauzon is in charge of handling Concordia’s external affairs and therefore deals with individuals, programs and groups outside of the university institution. VP external is responsible for liaisons outside of Concordia and the mobilization of students to actively participate in campaigns organized by the CSU. Lauzon must also sit on the External and Campaigns committee.

For his mandate, Lauzon plans to implement student-run research papers that count for credit in order to have a more informed student body. An advocate of the student movement against the tuition increase, Lauzon will work with international student organizations who face similar situations.

Telephone: 848-7474 ext. 8906

Andrew Roberts
VP Sustainability

The role of VP Sustainability is to develop a responsible and sustainable environmental and social policy for the CSU. Roberts must promote sustainable campaigns and initiatives for Concordia. As part of his duties, Roberts sits on the board of directors for the Sustainability Action Fund and the Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program.

Roberts aims to promote sustainability at Concordia by addressing new undergraduate students at orientation. His goal is to create and update a sustainability website to promote awareness about environmental measures.

Telephone: 848-7474 ext. 8902

Lucia Gallardo
VP academic and advocacy

VP academic runs the legal clinic and Advocacy Centre while acting as a liaison to the Graduate Students Association and those appointed to represent academic bodies on academic issues. Gallardo is also responsible for the organization and chairing of meetings of the student academic caucus, and she must oversee the appointment of individuals on academic bodies or sit on them herself.

Gallardo wants to implement a sexual assault centre with the help of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia. Her goals are to focus on students in need of financial aid and a sexual harassment policy.

Telephone: 848-7474 ext. 8903

Keny Toto
VP finance

The job of VP finance is to oversee the CSU budget in terms of preparation, accessibility, updating and reporting on a monthly basis to the council. Toto must ensure the budget is respected and in the best interests of the student body. VP finance is also responsible for sitting on the board of CUSACORP and on the financial committee.

Toto aims to focus on the needs of undergrads and welcomes their input for the budget. His goal is to make the CSU budget easy to read and to access. Toto also promises to make CUSACORP more profitable through new services while properly managing inventory control and improving marketing strategies.

848-7474 ext. 8901

Nadine Atallah
VP clubs and internal affairs

VP clubs and internal affairs oversees all non-academic groups belonging to the CSU. Part of Atallah’s mandate is to have a relationship with clubs, manage club budgets, and sit on the Clubs and Space Committee. Atallah also acts as the secretary of the corporation aspect of the CSU and must oversee the CSU’s corporate books.

In order to create a more democratic CSU, Atallah promises to implement online voting so that more students can participate in decisions made by the CSU. In addition she wants to encourage all students to find a club or student group that interests them.

848-7474 ext. 8900

Alexis Suzuki

VP student life

The role of VP student life is to act as a liaison for all faculty associations. Suzuki is responsible for organizing major events at Concordia, specifically that of student orientation at the beginning of the fall semester.

Suzuki promised to work closely with clubs and faculty associations to ensure involvement in student life on campus. Her goal is to revitalize student life by reaching out to students to get them involved over the duration of the upcoming academic year.

848-7474 ext. 8905

Stefan Faina
VP Loyola

This position protects the best interests of students at Concordia’s Loyola Campus. VP Loyola is responsible for promoting a united university community and strengthening ties between both campuses. Faina must also maintain a strong CSU presence at the Loyola Campus.

Faina stated that he feels Loyola has the potential to play a greater role in student life this year. He promised to create more events at the campus and to bring back the Winter Festival. Faina also plans to introduce movie nights and a music festival at Loyola.

848-7474 ext. 8912

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