Concordia student VP resigns, condemns former colleagues

CSU accused of financial mismanagement

The Concordia Student Union appears to be taking a page out of the administration’s book. Since last spring, the CSU has lost its president and three vice presidents to resignation.

Late on Thursday night, CSU vice president, sustainability and promotions, Morgan Pudwell sent a damning email to members of the union’s council and the remaining executives, announcing her resignation and calling out her former colleagues.

Pudwell alleges that she was sidelined and silenced by her colleagues on the executive. She also claims that the student union resorted to questionable accounting practices in an effort to cover up widespread overspending and that the CSU released false financial information.

“I was told that the budget that had been originally presented was entirely fabricated. After that point, and because they assumed information had been ‘leaked,’ executives were told that no one would be allowed to see their budget. I have been consistently denied access to the most basic financial information regarding the union’s operations, and even my own budget,” Pudwell wrote.

She also criticizes CSU executives for continuing to push a student centre plan that has twice been rejected by students.

“Students demanded to be included in the process, and yet, to this day no meaningful consultation has taken place and the executive continues to try to push a failed contract and a failed building on students. As an executive I have been excluded from these discussions and was never consulted about the contract nor the building choice, despite having voiced my concerns on several occasions,” Pudwell wrote.

Pudwell also questions the actions of CSU representatives on the university’s Board of Governors and alleges that former CSU president, and member of the BoG executive committee, Amine Dabchy is acting as a “puppeteer” over the current executive.

On Friday, the five remaining executives issued a statement responding to Pudwell’s allegations.

“Of grave concern to us is the baseless accusation of financial mismanagement. We have taken great lengths to ensure financial accountability and transparency. In this regards, we have made every budget line available to the student press and student body, restricted three of our executive budget lines due to overspending and prepared a comprehensives financial report which is due to be presented in the upcoming council meeting which will then be made available online for all to see,” the statement reads.

“Concerning the complexities and confusion surrounding the student center, we have done our very best to make our position clear to all students and will continue to reiterate our stance. We have not and will not make any concessions regarding the student center project without broad public consultations,” the statement reads. “It has become evident in the last referendum that there are several issues that need to be addressed before this project can move forward. As such we have establish a committee composed of CSU executives, councilors and students at large whose mandate is to call for and oversee public consultation.”

They respond to the allegations surrounding Dabchy’s role with the executive by pointing out that he is also the president of CUSACorp, the union’s for-profit subsidiary.

The executive has, apparently, refused to comment to the student press until after a council meeting on Wednesday. Both student newspapers at Concordia publish on Tuesday.

As well, there was a small protest outside of the Link student newspaper’s office today. Editors at the paper have said that they believe the protest was connected to their ongoing coverage of the Pudwell resignation and that CSU president Heather Lucas was present.