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CSA decides not to work with Councillor Sean Chu

By Sophia Lopez, February 9 2022––

The Calgary Student Alliance (CSA) have publicly announced that they will not be working with Ward 4 Councillor Sean Chu.

The CSA is a group of student associations throughout Calgary that advocates for the needs of students on their behalf. The CSA often works collaboratively with the city and its councillors, but due to the sexual assault allegations made against Chu, the CSA made a statement denouncing his previous conduct.  

Austin Deck, the chair for the CSA, spoke with the Gauntlet about this recent decision and why it was made.

“The CSA has done a lot of work on gender and sexual violence in the past,” said Deck. “Given that we are advocating for such high safety standards for students across the city, the decision was made that it just wouldn’t be responsible to include Councillor Chu in our advocacy work with all the allegations.”

Deck discussed what the CSA expects from city councillors, and that the actions Chu has demonstrated are a good example of what isn’t appropriate or professional. 

“When we look to our city council and we look to our elected officials, it’s not hard for us to have higher standards for them given the work that they do, especially in student leadership,” Deck said. “We have a constant running of serious topics, serious issues, and we have to adhere to a certain professionalism –– and the allegations against Councillor Chu not only don’t meet that professionalism, but they also are of something that we are completely against.”

Over the years, the CSA has established itself as an advocacy group and has aimed to make the lives of students safer, regardless of whether or not they are physically on campus. Deck voiced how a lot of the work needed to be done falls under the municipal government. While sometimes that may be complicated, he ensures that the most is being done to make sure students are being heard.

“In the past, we’ve really supported the provincial advocacy organizations and their work for advocating for Campus Sexual Violence policies to be instated,” he said. “Regardless of who’s paying the funds, students tend to be safe. The Calgary Student Alliance is doing a lot of work in this in the future to ensure that we’re gathering the right voices and ensuring that we’re hearing the right voices at the table.”

In regards to the decision not to work with Councillor Chu, Deck highlights the goals the CSA has to make sure that Calgary is a city that is safe and that the decision made is in the best interest of students in order to support them. 

“We want this city to be the best place for people that come and study,” he said. “We stand the victims completely, and survivors. We want to show that support towards them as members of our advocacy.”
For more information on the CSA, visit their Instagram and Twitter.

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