Despite being called a joint information meeting to inform students about tuition hikes, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations and the Concordia Student Union failed to educate more than a handful of students.

Only CSU VP External Affairs Chad Walcott and ASFA President Alex Gordon were on hand to talk to students during the Nov. 27 lunch hour meeting, which was supposed to include a number of member association executives and would, according to Gordon, “gather a lot of people and get them informed.”

“I’d call today a very small start,” he said. “In reality this was a very small information session leading up to bigger information sessions. It was a baby step.” Gordon admitted that, “the promotion was not as big as we wanted.”

With the Nov. 3 general assembly approaching, ASFA needs to mobilize at least 400 students to vote. This is the minimum number of ballots required to pass a binding strike motion for the Nov. 10 anti-tuition hike protests.

Passing the strike mandate would mean that a potential 18,000 students could join protesters on the picket lines on Nov. 10. If fewer than 400 students cast ballots, regardless of the outcome, the strike will not be legal.
Gordon acknowledged that the goal is ambitious, but he is optimistic about the steps that ASFA and the CSU will be taking in the coming week to combat student apathy.

When Gordon shouted out into the crowded seventh floor of the Hall building for anyone interested in learning more about tuition hikes to come speak to him and Walcott, most students glanced up and continued to eat.
Despite the meeting, Gordon said ASFA is making progress. Member associations of ASFA are working within their departments to rally students with classroom chats and a Facebook group.

“This is us getting the ball rolling,” said Gordon. “We are working from the bottom up. We have a lot of departmental students and groups and they are doing a lot of similar info sessions.”

Gordon says that because it’s easy to ignore Facebook events and posters, classroom talks are proving to be the best way to reach out to students.

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