Was Concordia student VP’s resignation pre-election posturing?

Student union executive who resigned running for re-election with opposition slate

The sudden resignation of a Concordia Student Union vice president on March 3 may have been pre-election posturing.

Morgan Pudwell announced her resignation with an email accusing the current CSU executive of, among other things, financial mismanagement. Last week, a CSU council meeting descended into chaos when councillors voted to move into closed session to discuss Pudwell’s resignation.

On Monday night, campaigning for the upcoming CSU elections began. CSU elections have a strong party system, candidates for the executive stand as teams, or slates, and candidates for council, who are elected individually, tend to affiliate themselves with an executive slate.

This year, there are two slates running: Action, which has close ties to the current executive and Your Concordia, an opposition slate.

Pudwell is standing for vice president with Your Concordia and the slate has turned her accusations and the reaction to them into election issues. In an interview with student newspaper the Link, Pudwell claimed that she was only approached to stand with the slate after her resignation.

But considering the amount of work that goes into organizing a CSU election campaign, I find it difficult to believe that a slate would switch one of its vice presidential candidates less than two weeks before the beginning of the campaign. It also seems pretty clear that Pudwell’s opponents knew something was up, an open letter criticizing her was released on March 9, and signed by several members of the Action slate.

It’s worth noting that while Your Concordia may be an opposition slate, it’s hardly a group of CSU outsiders. Several members of the group, including presidential candidate Lex Gill, were elected to council last year as members of the slate headed up by the current executive.

It’s also going to be interesting to see how the Link handles election coverage, Gill and the paper’s editor-in-chief, Justin Giovannetti share a blog. While this certainly isn’t a secret, I wonder whether the average Link reader would be aware of it. Giovannetti has said, on Twitter, that he won’t be writing about the election. But writing isn’t the only area with the potential for conflicts of interest when a newspaper editor has close ties to a political candidate. (UPDATE: Link editor says steps taken to prevent conflict of interest)

It’s also become clear that Action candidates were involved with the small, mysterious protest outside the Link’s office on March 7.

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