ASSÉ Congress Votes to Have Executives Impeached
A resignation simply wasn’t enough. The congress of the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ) passed a motion to impeach its executive team at an assembly this past weekend.
Questions emerged about whether the team had resigned or been impeached, following weekend reports.
Congress went into closed session immediately to avoid leaked information, which ultimately led to the conflicting reports, according to Gabriel Velasco, a delegate from the School of Community and Public Affairs Student Association.
He says the executives then spoke “apologetically,” recognizing mistakes they made with the way they sent an open letter discussing the possibility of a strike postponement. They offered to resign at the end of the congress.
Marion Miller, a delegate from the Fine Arts Student Alliance, says that both an impeachment and “blame” motion passed despite the team’s resignation.
Three student associations from Concordia are part of ASSÉ: FASA, SCPASA and Liberal Arts Students (LAS).
Last week, ASSÉ’s five-person executive team sent a “letter of reflection” to its members about a “strategic withdrawal” from the current spring strike movement, which delegates criticized for its “tone and timing,” according to a press release by the organization.
Camille Godbout, the former ASSÉ secretary of internal relations, previously told The Link that talk of a strike postponement was strategic and with the purpose of creating a “long-term plan.”
At a special council this Thursday, an interim executive team will be elected. Their mandate will last until an annual congress on April 25 and 26 when the election of a new team will take place.
Miller says the congress was a “good use of direct democracy,” and even though the executives already resigned, the members felt it was important to uphold impeachment or blame motions passed at their respective associations.
During its last general assembly where a strike continuation did not pass, FASA agreed to support any blame motion brought up against the ASSÉ executives.
“We wanted to reaffirm it was a mistake on their part to not be respecting the process of giving mandates for the members,” she said. “Students [from FASA] would have been disappointed if we hadn’t brought that forward.”
Some people at FASA were in agreement with the content of the “letter of reflection,” but since the process was “violated,” a blame motion had to be passed, Miller adds.
“It was hard to see our colleagues have to leave the association,” she said about the impeachment.
“It was hard to see our colleagues have to leave the association,” said Marion Miller, a delegate from FASA.
She says other members at the congress were very impressed that Concordia had 12 associations go on strike within the past month.
“ASSÉ folks weren’t really aware there was such a strong moment of mobilization at Concordia,” she said.
Velasco adds it’s common at ASSÉ for executives to write reflection letters but reiterates that it is problematic to reconsider a strike mobilization as it is happening.
“It’s not necessarily a position everyone was against,” he said about a strategic withdrawal. “At the congress, a lot of people said that makes sense… we do need to start looking at what’s happening in the Fall.”
SCPASA and LAS did not have time to assemble to vote on an impeachment or blame motion before the congress, according to Velasco. He says the assembly’s atmosphere was “cordial,” fostered “frank conversations” and that the impeached executives remained for the entirety of the assembly.
A spokesperson from ASSÉ declined to comment further on the congress’s events.