The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) council will hear a motion on Jan. 16 that seeks to reform the way council seats are allocated.

Currently, council is formed of 34 seats, including 26 elected councillors.

Each councillor represents a constituency, or one of 10 specified schools or faculties at Carleton. According to the bylaws, every degree program with over 250 members is considered to be a constituency.

Under CUSA’s bylaws, seats should be allocated “ . . . in as close a proportion as possible to the contribution of member fees by members of each constituency.”

The lack of enforcement of their own bylaws has led to a situation where some schools such as journalism, and public affairs and policy management (PAPM), are seen as being overrepresented at council while others, such as architecture, have no direct representation on council despite having the same amount of students.

Council has discussed the idea of possibly eliminating the journalism and PAPM councillors, but this is not the answer, and would be detrimental to students in those programs. 

These students would lose their direct voice on council, which they’ve had for years, despite being part of two very distinct programs on campus.

CUSA should work to create room for those schools and faculties that are underrepresented on council. At the very least, they should reform their bylaws to make them easier to understand and to uphold for future years.

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