Philosophy Students Vote to Strike, Lead Student Journalist to Delete Recording

Photo Vince Morello

The Undergraduate Students of Philosophy Association (SoPhiA) voted for a weeklong strike in protest against austerity Monday night. After a journalist from The Concordian was called out for recording the meeting, the vote passed with 34 for and six against.

The strike will take place from March 26 to April 2. Philosophy students will also strike on March 23 in solidarity with students from other schools in Montreal.

Usually a motion’s approval is determined by a count of hands, but a motion passed for the vote to take place by secret ballot. An amendment stipulated that protesters must “hard-picket” against professors trying to enter classrooms while “soft-picketing” students. This means that they will physically not allow teaching staff to enter and only verbally ask students.

Approximately halfway through the meeting, a member of SoPhiA asked if Frédéric Muckle, the Assistant News Editor at The Concordian, was recording the discussion. He affirmed, which caused debate and apprehension on how to proceed.

Many speakers asserted that Muckle should have identified himself before the meeting began. Others argued that the recording be kept for transparency. After a few clarifications from Muckle, a motion to have him delete his recording passed.

Concordia Student Union President Benjamin Prunty, acting as Chair for the meeting, clarified after the tally count that the assembly could not legally mandate Muckle to delete the recording from his private property, since the meeting was not in closed session. A general assembly is open to the public, including journalists.

While Muckle technically deleted the recording of his own will, he was put under public pressure to do so. Those not from the student association were asked to sign in with their name and ID number before entering the room.