Strikers Violate Concordia’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities
Dear fellow classmates,
Consider this a public service announcement from one to student to another. In light of how the student strike is being executed, I decided to inform myself of Concordia’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities—which few of us actually take the time to carefully read. As it stands, the strikers have violated, are violating and will continue to violate the Board of Governors’ BD-3 policy.
Clause G. of Article 29 from Section V prohibits the “obstruction or disruption of teaching … study … or other University activity.” Furthermore, “[m]embers are free to engage in … picketing that [does] not disrupt the functions of the University … that does not impede access nor interfere with the activities in a class.” Blocking classroom entrances as well as clapping and shouting amongst other gestures inside classrooms violates this clause.
Moreover, Clause A. of Article 28 Section V prohibits harassment, defined as “repeated or ongoing unwelcome, vexatious conduct,” when the action(s) are “interfering with a Member’s right to pursue his/her work, study or other activities.” If you feel as though the strikers’ conduct is harassment, then it is your right to submit a complaint. As much as it is a student’s right to protest, it is their responsibility to ensure such actions do not inhibit the rights of their classmates.
Not only am I concerned with how the strike has developed, but now I know that this is simply wrong. Students have the right to protest, peacefully, but that right cannot proceed further once a student’s right to attend lectures and acquire the education they paid for is impeded. The moment a student enrolls at the university and pays for that enrollment, this individual becomes subject to the BD-3 policy amongst other regulations. And students must abide by them as long as they are enrolled, like the rule of law.
So, what can you do? First, you and your professor are entitled and encouraged to ask for assistance during picketing from Concordia’s security—and subsequently report any complaints to them. Second, if your class is being picketed, enter anyway. Even if the professor can’t get in, form a study group with your classmates. Don’t give the strikers the satisfaction of disrupting class activity. Third, I implore you to vote against prolonging the strike at the upcoming general assemblies of your respective department associations.
The strike was only approved because of outrageously low voter turnouts.