Political Science Students Seeking Accreditation

Association to Hold Vote on Downtown Campus

PSSA President Jason Poirier Lavoie is hoping to enough political science students vote in favour of accreditation. File photo Willie Wilson

The group representing political science students at Concordia is pushing for provincial recognition with more representative rights and privileges, and will need to garner 400 to 500 votes from fellow poli-sci students.

Jason Poirier Lavoie, president of the Political Science Students’ Association (PSSA), compared the accreditation process to the unionization process.

“You become a union—the university has to acknowledge your existence, has to acknowledge you’re the voice that represents your members,” he said. “So if I were accredited, and I were to go to my department or the administration and say ‘I speak on behalf of all [political science] students’—I do, I just do.”

If the vote passes, the association will gain new privileges, he said.

Accreditation would guarantee a furnished office space that executives would have full access to during the university’s business hours. PSSA’s current office space is too small, according to Lavoie, and isn’t good for productivity.

They would also gain full access to the contact information of all political science students, which will help improve communication.

“Our members can expect tangibly to be more informed, to have access to events faster,” Lavoie explained.

They can also expect higher standard and more accountability, he continued.

In order for the vote to pass, they need 25 per cent of political science students to approve.

There are about 1,800 students in the department, but only about 1,000 of them might care to vote, according to Lavoie. He blames this on the fact that many students use the program as a stepping stone to get into other programs, and therefore don’t participate in its political activities.

This translates into a need for 40 to 50 per cent of the 1,000 voting students to participate, something, Lavoie said, had “never been done before.”

He added that the PSSA is also “pushed around” despite how large they are.

“ASFA takes cuts into our budget freely, parts of this university don’t listen to us,” he said. “As the largest membership, we have a lot of concerns to improve the academic curriculum, but no one listens to us. We’re often pushed aside.”

The Liberal Arts Society (LAS) also had a vote to get accredited in November, which passed, according to LAS president Aloyse Muller.

“I think its good that more associations at Concordia are getting accredited,” he said. “Realistically, every association should get accredited.”

There will be class-to-class campaigning to raise awareness for the PSSA vote, which will be taking place between Jan. 25 and Jan. 29.