Let the Strikes Begin
Departmental Associations Vote on Strike Mandates
Over the next few weeks, department-level general assemblies will be taking place at Concordia for students to discuss and vote on strike mandates against the impending tuition increases.
The organizational force behind the GA’s and their subsequent actions to come will set the tone for the next month of student mobilization coming from our university.
The Link will be speaking to as many departments and student groups as possible as departmental positions are taken.
These decisions are also preceding the Concordia Student Union vote—set for March 7—as well as the planned, four-day strike on March 26.
Stay tuned for updates on this story as they happen.
Fine Arts Student Alliance
Another 3,706 students are on strike at Concordia after the Fine Arts Students Association had their General Meeting today.
“It was exciting to see that many people,” said FASA president Paisley Sim of the 465 people who almost unanimously voted in favour of a strike March 1.
“[Today’s vote was] a show of support for other departments and schools in Quebec that are on looking to go on strike,” she said.
All Fine Arts students are encouraged to attend a meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at a yet to be determined location to discuss details of the strike which begins the morning of March 5. A strike committee has also been formed. Check here for more details on the meeting.
The total number of Concordia students on strike is 6,300 and growing, according to the Concordia Student Union at the time of publication.
The Political Science Student’s Association
The PSSA also voted in favour of a strike mandate in a General Assembly on March 1. The association represents 1,600 students.
“We got five students above [quorum], we needed only 40,” said PSSA President Pier-Luc Therrien-Péloquin. “I think the meeting went pretty well.”
“With our resources we cannot hold another GA,” said Peloquin, when pressed for details about further actions. “But we invite everybody to go [to the Concordia Student Union’s March 7th GA]”
- Pierre Chauvin
The Students of Philosophy Association also voted in favour of a strike mandate during their General Assembly, also held on March 1.
SoPhiA represents 430 students, with quorum set at 2.5 per cent. Thirty-four students voted in favour of a strike mandate, while six against the motion to strike.
“I think the all process was the most democratic we could ever have,” said SoPhiA VP External Geneviève Dick. “We ensured that the debate was fair for everyone.”
SoPhiA will meet on March 2nd at 1 p.m. in the Library Atrium. “We’re having a meeting tomorrow with all the people who want to participate to organize [and] implement the strike,” said Dick.
For more info, check out SoPhiA website
More to come.
- Pierre Chauvin
The Women’s Studies Student Association
Officially the first student association to hold a GA, the WSSA came to a unanimous vote on Feb. 29 in favour of a strike.
Approximately 50 of the nearly 200-student department—which includes students minoring in sexuality studies—came together. They will be on strike starting March 2.
“I’ve never been more proud to be a women’s studies student. We are the first department to do this and we’ve made history,” said WSSA VP Communications Hector Villeda-Martinez.
“I’m happy that, politically, we’re walking our talk. […] As a program we are resisting oppression right now. We’re a pretty activist-driven department to begin with, but this is an example of our feminist mobilization.”
Villeda-Martinez added that now that the strike has been called, a communications strategy and inter-departmental dialogue are the next steps.
Geography Undergraduate Student Association
Nearly 40 of the 750 geography students attended the GUSS GA, also held Feb. 29, and voted in favour of a strike mandate after a two-and-a-half hour long meeting.
After a discussion about the effects of the strike on geography classes and the semester, the collective came to their decision and will begin striking as soon as March 5.
GUSS also formed a strike committee that will enable students to get involved, plan and strategize. GUSS President Andrew Roberts said the committee wants to work in conjunction with other departments as well.
“There is strength in solidarity and in numbers, not in just our department,” he said. “We also know that the amount of people who came to our decision tonight will affect many more in the department, and our next job is to actively get out there and talk to the people who couldn’t come.”
Roberts said the next stages involve disseminating as much information to geography and urban planning students as possible over the next few days.
He encouraged anyone with questions to contact GUSS via email and that a Facebook group for the GUSS strike committee should be up in the next few days.
“It’s really an exciting time right now,” he said. “We made it through today, we’re in high spirits and high energy. Now we’ve got some organizing to do.”
More to come.
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