UPA’s Messy Meeting

President Hopes to Learn From Chaotic GA

Photo by David Murphy

Urban Planning Association President Sam Carter-Shamai wants to avoid the “messy” General Assembly that happened last Tuesday when his membership met to vote on a strike mandate.

“It’s clear to see it got out of hand. I don’t think we’ve ever got that big of a turnout,” he said.

According to Carter-Shamai, people were speaking out of turn, clapping and booing, interrupting speakers, challenging the mediator—who was from the University of Winnipeg, not Concordia—and were generally acting inappropriately.

Carter-Shamai said he chose a moderator from outside the Concordia community because he believed they would be more neutral and avoid any perceived conflicts of interest.

“People say they didn’t get all their points made, [but] I think that there were a lot of views expressed,” said Carter-Shamai.

Overall UPA students voted in favour of the strike, with 59 votes for and 27 opposed. But since that vote, the president has been attacked with criticism.

“I’m trying to do this the best I can,” said Carter-Shamai, who says he learned so much from the first GA that he’s confident he can handle the second one much better.

“Part of the job is taking crap from people. I take what’s constructive and move on,” he said.

Carter-Shamai didn’t want to speak on behalf of all the UPA students when talking about blocking people from entering classes on Monday, but he said he, personally, would continue to do so.

Urban planning student Jonathan Hume is against the strike, however he is against tuition hikes too.

“I don’t think there is an actual vision of what people are trying to do,” said Hume of the strike. He added that he believes the French universities on strike seem to know more about what they’re doing than Concordia, who has never participated in a strike mandate before.

“A lot of people right now are striking and don’t really know what’s going on. Not all the information is being put out there,” argued Hume.

“I have a wife at home, she is eight months pregnant,” said Hume. “My kid is due April 2, the last day of school is April 5. They’re telling me that it’s not going to affect anything, but it is affecting me. It’s affecting me because I’m paying for my schooling, I’m indebting myself and it’s my right to go to class if I want or not.”

The next Urban Planning Students GA is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13 on the seventh floor of the Hall Building.