No leadership

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URSU and the CFS are devoid of responsible leadership and it’s a danger to the student movement

What is the point of student politics? Why do we even have representation, when we do not have accountability? Where are the leadership skills that are supposed to propel the students’ movement forward? What is our collective vision?

These are the questions I ask myself every time I hear about some avoidable incident concerning my Students’ Union. I am not referring to trivia night. The handling of this incident was done quickly, effectively, and without political manoeuvring. This was to simply apologize, engage the behaviour with appropriate training, and learn from your mistake. In other words, being accountable to your electorate.

What I do not understand is why we do not take issue with other such overlaps in judgement by our leadership. Let’s us start with asking why the President’s Advisory Committee (PAC) was unable to bring together students to host their events in a venue they have ownership in, resulting in the loss of over $200,000, mostly from the Owl last year. PAC was created with the purpose of distributing money to student societies to help create an inclusive university experience for our membership. Why did that change? Why was there a lack of leadership in providing direction for this committee? Why was the Owl left to hold the debt? Where is the accountability of the elected officials that let this happen? More importantly, how do we prevent bad decision making in the future? The loss of over $200,000 is unacceptable.

I am happy to hear the URSU audit shows that fraud did not take place at URSU last year. However, I am not surprised. There are procedures in place to prevent this from happening. What is confusing is the lack of accountability regarding the CFS-SK account. At what point does it become ok to give unelected people access to thousands of student dollars without asking for a budget, planned events, or campaign ideas? When these systems are not in place, why are we surprised when money is stolen? This is not the first time this has happened. Yet we still make the same mistakes. URSU states they have done everything they can. CFS states it is not their fault. The CFS-SK representatives say they did not have the evidence to lay charges, but they had enough evidence to convince the URSU board and Nur that the best plan of action was for her to step down? It amounts to a lot of political manoeuvring and absolutely no accountability. But, everyone is quick to point fingers. For instance, CFS national claims that they never authorized the opening of the bank account, yet I am staring at a letter from CFS national making this exact request as I am writing this.

I do not question the goals of URSU, CFS-SK, or of CFS national. They are here to represent the voice of the students. They raise awareness about student issues and to fight for our collective rights. That is why these institutions exist. It is the lack of leadership, accountability, and resolve to do the right thing that I question. I do not want to see some TV interview or some statement of deniability. I want to see an admission to responsibility to solve the issues, institute changes to prevent future crimes, and a plan of action to move us forward. Perhaps these student organizations can take a page from the Owl and make a progressive change.

Shaadie Musleh
Business Manager

Photo courtesy foodpunk.ca

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