Concordia Student Union

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Concordia Student Union
Concordia Student Union Logo.png
CSU Logo
Abbreviation CSU
Formation 1979
Type Student Union
Legal status Accredited Association, Not-for-Profit
Purpose Student Representation
Headquarters 1455, boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest
Suite H-711
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H3G 1M8
Region served
Concordia University
35,000+ Concordia undergraduates
Official language
Affiliations AVEQ
4.5 million CAD$

The Concordia Student Union (usually referred to as the CSU) is the organization representing undergraduate students at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Its membership totals more than 33,000.[1]



The CSU was founded in 1979 from the merger of the Sir George Williams Day Students’ Association (DSA), the SGW Part-Time Students’ Association (PTSA), the Loyola Evening Students’ Association Inc. (LESA) and the Loyola Students’ Association Inc. (LSA).[citation needed]

The impetus for the merger was the previous merger of Sir George William University with Loyola College, which had taken place at the initiative of the Quebec Government in 1974, that had resulted in the creation of Concordia University.[citation needed]

The CSU was originally named the Concordia University Students’ Association (CUSA). It was incorporated in 1982 as the Concordia University Students’ Association Inc. The name was changed to Concordia Student Union Inc. in 1994 and the “Inc.” was dropped from the name in 2002.[2]

Strike of 1999[edit]

As the 1990s progressed, student activism began growing, coming to a head in 1999 with the election of the first in a series of radical slates to the Concordia Student Union. Under the presidency of Rob Green, a referendum regarding of another strike garnered 2,284 votes of support.[citation needed] This was an unusually strong show of support, as student governments at Concordia are often elected on the basis of less than 1000 votes in their favor.[citation needed] The strike lasted from November 3 to 5th and targeted a range of issues, including student representation in the university senate, corporate presence and advertising on campus, and government became evident.[citation needed] There were several demonstrations in which both protesters and police were reported to be injured.[citation needed]


In 2001, CSU undertook an accreditation drive, to legally represent all undergraduate students at Concordia, and was successful in its endeavour, though heavily opposed by the accredited faculty undergraduate student associations for Engineering and Commerce.[3]

In Quebec, the Act respecting the accreditation and financing of students' associations provides for the accreditation of student governments by way of referendum, which requires the educational institution to recognize the association as representative of the students and to collect the membership fee from all students. The Act allows for separate accreditations at different levels in an educational establishment (e.g. departments, faculties or institution wide).[4]

At Concordia University, the CSU is the university-wide association for undergraduate students.[citation needed] There are both accredited and un-accredited faculty associations on campus.[citation needed]


The CSU has hosted many popular musicians at the Orientation (Frosh) at the beginning of each year, including the Violent Femmes, Wyclef Jean, Snoop Dogg, The Wailers, K-OS, Matthew Good, Metric, Finger Eleven, Kardinal Offishall and K'Naan.

Speaker Series[edit]

The CSU has also brought many prominent figures on campus to speak to students on various issues, including Nobel Peace Prize winnersElie Wiesel Wangari Maathai and Shirin Ebadi, political figure and activist Al Sharpton, David Suzuki, director and actor Spike Lee, 2008 U.S. Presidential candidate Ralph Nadar, Liberal politicians Justin Trudeau and Michael Ignatieff.

Netanyahu protest[edit]

On September 9, 2002, a scheduled visit from the then former (and now current) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was cancelled after Montreal Police and pro-Palestinian protestors clashed inside the Henry F. Hall Building.[5] Five demonstrators were arrested,[6] and an additional 12 faced internal disciplinary hearings under the University's Code of Rights and Responsibilities[7]

The university instituted additional measures to avert future incidents, including the banning of any events related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as enabling the use of new student disciplinary rules in case of emergency.



The CSU is governed by its Council of Representatives (its board of directors).[8] Voting members of the Council are elected annually by the undergraduate students of Concordia University, with seats reserved for representatives of the four faculties at Concordia University and for representatives of independent students.[9]

Each year the total number of seats is set by Council and the distribution is adjusted to match enrollment. [10] There are currently 27 seats for voting members of Council: Fourteen (14) from the Faculty of Arts & Science, six (6) from the John Molson School of Business, four (4) from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, one (1) for the Faculty of Fine Arts and two (2) for Independent students.[citation needed]

The Council elects its non-voting Chair and secretary from the members of the CSU.[11] The members of the Executive are ex officio members and can present and move resolutions and speak, but cannot vote.[12]


The CSU is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Executive, composed of 8 non-hierarchical Coordinators. The Executive is elected by the membership individually in an annual election held in March concurrently with the elections for Council.[13]

CSU Executive 2016/17 [14][edit]

  • General Coordinator Lucinda Marshall-Kiparissis
  • Finance Coordinator Thomas David-Bashore (as of December 1st 2016)[15]
  • External and Mobilization Coordinator Aloyse Muller
  • Sustainability Coordinator Lana Elinor Galbraith
  • Academic & Advocacy Coordinator Sophia Sahrane
  • Loyola Coordinator Marcus Peters
  • Internal Affairs Coordinator Rami Yahia
  • Student Life Coordinator Rachel Gauthier

Judicial Board[edit]

The Judicial Board is appointed by the Council to act as a domestic tribunal to resolve internal disputes. The current composition of the board is at 9 members appointed by the CSU Council of Representatives and has a Chairperson which is appointed internally. It can be overruled if Council overrules the decision by a four-fifth majority, and only if the board's decision was racist, sexist, homophobic, exhibiting a conflict of interest, or manifestly unreasonable.[16]


External links[edit]