CSU hosts tuition hike teach-in
Concordia Student Union presents Quebec’s historic student movements to motivate the new generation to mobilize.
On Nov. 16, the Concordia Student Union (CSU) held a teach-in session regarding the tuition hikes affecting non-Quebec residents studying in English universities.
Although attendance was low, the goal of the teach-in was to share knowledge on how to combat the proposal on tuition increases. From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., the CSU discussed the history of student movement in the province. Reputed for its youth activism, the province of Quebec had its very first student strike against tuition in 1968.
Scott Wiese, a board member of the Fine Arts Student Association, found the teach-in very valuable. According to Wiese, the fine arts department will be one of the most affected departments by the tuition hike, he felt concerned about the situation. He believes this issue is affecting current students as well. “A lot of small departments will disappear completely because it becomes unprofitable for Concordia to maintain,” he said.
Students in attendance listened to Julianna Smith, the CSU’s campaign coordinator, during their lunch break. Smith presented past mobilization efforts and explained how they can be applied to today’s context. “We’ve been able to fight tuition increases before. I believe that we have this very strong capacity to fight them again. It's just a matter of making sure that we can come together and effectively mobilize,” she said.
Alongside Smith, the CSU legal information clinic conducted a one-hour session on basic legal knowledge and the rights of students during a protest. “[The CSU] had a number of international students in particular express concerns over participating in a protest. We wanted to have some legal information to help people feel more comfortable in those sorts of circumstances,” Smith said.
The CSU is continuing its fight against tuition hikes. The union, along with other university groups, are planning a protest on Nov. 30.
During the panel, the CSU announced that starting Nov. 27, it will additionally pursue its action to raise awareness and mobilize more students in the fight against the tuition hikes. Concordia students can expect multiple activities from Nov. 27 until Dec.1 in the mezzanine of the Hall building.