Walking Out on FASA
Quorum Not Met, Strike Continues
Fine Arts students waited for two hours on March 16 before quorum was reached at their Special General Meeting, which was called to discuss the ongoing Fine Arts Student Alliance strike mandate and to decide whether it should continue.
FASA has been on strike since March 1 in protest of the Charest government’s proposed tuition hikes slated to take effect in September.
Because FASA does not have a specified quorum to reach in order for votes to be legal and binding, it defaults to the Quebec Company Act, which states that 10 per cent, or 315 people in FASA’s case, must be registered and present in order for any official voting to take place.
“Our hand’s are tied until we reach 315 votes,” said Michaela Manson, who chaired the SGM. “I suggest that symbolic voting take place if quorum is not met.”
Students spent the two hours waiting for quorum in an informal information session, where members voiced concerns or suggestions about the strike.
Many students addressed the issue of simply not enough people showing up to the meetings, making it difficult to legitimately speak on behalf of their department.
At the last FASA SGM, students voted in favour of an unlimited strike, which would end on a date to be later chosen and voted on.
“We’re not showing up in numbers,” said one student. “A fixed strike time span may be more effective than an ambivalent one.”
Quorum was finally reached just after 5:00 p.m., which ended the informal session.
Progress was quickly made, with almost all students voting in favour of the formation of a strike committee consisting of FASA councilors Jesse Cumming, Erika Couto, Olivier Forgues and Ali Moenck.
An amendment was also passed, stating that the newly formed committee should make decisions in consultation with various grassroot organizations which have formed since the beginning of the strike.
Almost four hours into the meeting, a member of the audience called for quorum to be counted, much to the dismay of the majority of students eager to get on with the voting. Students had been slowly trickling out of the room for the duration of the meeting.
Without a count, the meeting was simply adjourned at approximately 7:15pm.
FASA will remain on an open-ended strike until the next SGM, set to take place March 23 at 3:00 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Hall building.
FASA urges all of its members to come and participate in the next meeting.