There has been many changes over the last few weeks as there has been a huge shakeup inside the CSSU. Below is a letter from the new interm-president Calvin Luo about the changes. Along with a second statement.
January 22, 2019
Dear U of T Computer Science Community,
I would like to update the community that on the 21st of December, David Ansermino officially tendered to the council his resignation as President of the CSSU. Apart from being President last term, David was also juggling the responsibilities of coursework and a full-time job. With these responsibilities increasing over time, he has since determined that he would be unable to give the CSSU the level of commitment befitting the position, and conceded his role on the executive team.
At this moment we have been advised by the ASSU not to hold a by-election for this position; as we must hold one near the end of the term for next years administration, spending time running a by-election (which takes 3 weeks) now and onboarding the individual would effectively leave the CSSU with almost no time to actively serve the community. This is also a sentiment shared amongst our Executive Council. As a result I, Calvin Luo, will be acting in the capacity of Vice-President and Acting President of the CSSU until further notice.
I would like to take this opportunity to be as transparent as possible regarding the current status of the CSSU. It is no secret that this past term has been filled with turmoil - we have had resignations from our leadership, two by-elections, and a lack of events and communication. On top of that, budget talks with the department were ultimately not pushed through, hamstringing our e↵orts to run events in this term as well. Internal conflicts amongst the executive team hampered effective leadership, and without proper direction the General Council has become largely inactive. It is abundantly clear that reform needs to happen, and it needs to happen now.
For one, it is imperative for both Executive and General Council members to exemplify leadership, initiative, and transparency. The community deserves to know both what is going on inside the CSSU as well as the Department. Also, it is necessary to have a smaller council- with larger ones, we have experienced first-hand the difficulty of finding suitable meeting times and getting everyone on the same page. Lastly, it is undeniably important to interview General Council applicants, to ensure that only the ones with initiative and a passion for service are able to properly utilize the platform to embetter the community.
That being said, I am wholly optimistic for the future. We have had the benefit of adding new members to our Executive team - we would like to welcome Ibrahim Hasan as our new Director of External Communications and Victor Li as our new Director of Social Events. They, along with our veteran members, have been invaluable in drafting up a new budget and event schedule for the Winter term, which we plan on submitting to the department for approval posthaste. I have full confidence in each and every member of our Executive team and their commitment to revitalizing the CSSU - and I believe that with an updated General Council, we will be able to best serve the community.
As a result, I hereby announce the disbandment of the current General Council. We will be reforming it over the course of a week, and we expect it to come back leaner and more effective than ever. We will be interviewing applicants for the new General Council on a rolling basis, and will be looking for people who display initiative, drive, and a strong desire to serve the community. The form to apply can be found here, and we encourage anyone interested to fill it out:
Moving forward, I would like to make clear the goal of this iteration of the CSSU, as well as the values we will be championing for the rest of the term. First and foremost, we are committed to reestablishing the CSSU as a stable operating body, and setting it up for success for future administrations. What this means is cutting down on ambitious projects in favor of investing in infrastructure and focusing on doing the things we do well. For example, we will be prioritizing the quality of the community events we host, instead of quantity. Our current communication channels will also be revamped to provide a more structured way for us, and future administrations, to both hear from and speak to the community.
In terms of values, the words that come to mind are Transparency and Service. We are dedicated to improving the level of transparency the CSSU offers both in terms of our operations as well as the Departments, and we also want to make sure your voices are heardby us. We plan to align ourselves closer with the community, so that we can not only learn about current problems, but also work with the department to fix them. Lastly, we want to reiterate the importance of service - as CS students, we are all in this together, we all want whats best for each other, and we all have the power to make a difference for the better. To serve one another is a beautiful thing, and we want to provide a platform to turn altruistic efforts into reality.As I close I would like to reiterate that the CSSU holds, and will always hold, deep care and affection for the CS community, and an undying commitment to improving the undergraduate experience. We would love to have you join us on this mission.
Calvin Luo,Vice President, Computer Science Student Union
Dear CS Community,
I would like to announce that I have just received the resignation of our Treasurer, Taylor Stinson. Taylor and I agreed that at this moment, the Executive Council of the CSSU should be filled with people involved with the community and dedicated to improving it. We also agreed that at this moment, with budgeting and funding talks with the department at stake, an experienced Treasurer is invaluable. To fill his position in the interim, I have appointed Borna Salman as Acting Treasurer. Many of you may know Borna for the fantastic job he has done as our community store manager; he has been directly responsible for expanding our selection, keeping our selling operations and tools smooth, and making sure our accounting is orderly. With his dedication to the CSSU, years of retail experience, and a shrewd eye for finance, we expect him to faithfully execute the responsibilities of his role.
The ASSU has also previously suggested that it would be beneficial to appoint an interim Vice President to provide a more stable leadership team. After deliberating with other members of the Executive Council, we have determined that this would be a worthwhile pursuit. I would thus like to welcome Ignas Panero Armoska to the Executive Council as our Acting Vice President. Ignas has previously been an immensely positive force on behalf of the CSSU during his tenure as a General Council member and Director of Social Events, and has continued to serve the community through other initiatives such as UofTHacks. There is absolutely no question about the level of dedication and passion he has shown, and we are happy to have him join our new team.
Moving forward, I am fully confident in our collective ability to effect the changes necessary in our community, and help improve the undergraduate experience. Stay tuned for exciting updates regarding our General Council!
Regards, Calvin Luo, Acting President