Urban Planning Students to Strike for Fall Reading Week

Students voted unanimously in their General Assembly to strike from Oct. 3 to 7

The Urban Planning Association is the first student association to vote for a fall strike. Courtesy Urban Planning Association

Students in the Urban Planning Association voted unanimously to strike for a Fall 2022 reading week. This is the first student association to motion for a strike in October.

Although Concordia’s Senate approved a fall reading week in 2021, the policy change will only take place in Fall 2023. The UPA has decided to move forward with a strike, demanding change be made at a faster pace.

The motion was held during the association’s general assembly on Aug. 15. Every eligible student present voted to strike during the first week of October. The UPA’s executives are confident their association will not be acting alone during the strike.

“We are the first [Member Association] to make this motion and hope others follow suit,” said Trynity Turnbull, the UPA’s VP of Administration.

Turnbull cited one of the association’s primary reasons for striking: an end to scheduling gridlock due to the pandemic. “Due to the [administration’s] continuous changes to the academic schedule, there is not much reason to wait,” she said. If the administration could make rapid adjustments for COVID-19, they could do so for a fall reading week, she explained.

VP of Internal/External Affairs Téa Boissoneault stressed how intensely the pandemic has impacted students’ mental health. “Everyone went through such a hard time dealing with burnout during COVID,” she said, adding that a break would let students replenish their energy.

“It’s not fair that every major university in Quebec has a fall reading week while we’re stuck in class,” said UPA President Torben Laux. He thanked the students for voting unanimously to strike in the fall, emphasizing his excitement for the upcoming academic year.

According to Payton Mitchell, Communications Coordinator of the Arts and Science Faculty of Associations, several other MAs are considering going on strike as well. “UPA is the first of many ASFA member associations who plan to vote to strike from class in October in order to take a much needed break from academic responsibilities,” she said.

“ASFA encourages any Arts and Science students interested in mobilizing their department’s association to participate in the strike to reach out either on Instagram or by contacting the Mobilization Coordinator Ashley Torres directly at mobilization@asfa.ca,” Mitchell added.