WSSA to Strike a Second Week

Institute Sends Ministry of Education Invitation for Debate

Viviane Namaste and Gabrielle Bouchard of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute sent a video to the Minister of Education Line Beauchamp on March 8. Screengrab from YouTube

WSSA was the first student association to hold a GA and vote to go on strike in protest of tuition increases. They have successfully boycotted classes for a full week.

Prior to the second vote, WSSA executives met with the Simone de Beauvoir Institute faculty to discuss plans moving forward. It was a meeting WSSA External Executive Gabrielle Bouchard called “magical, wonderful and very, very feminist,” that lead to both student and faculty parties coming to an understanding of each other’s “democratic and contractual realities.”

Both students and faculty also penned a joint declaration on their position, and came to a shared understanding of what academia under a strike mandate might look like.

The document will likely be made public early next week.

“I feel very good about the meeting. In some departments there is a strong opposition between faculty and students,” said Bouchard, who added that WSSA is working to mobilize a letter-writing campaign, as well as branching out with other departments on strike.

Following the multi-stakeholder meeting, the Institute also sent Education Minister Line Beauchamp a video
on International Women’s Day, calling for a public debate on the social impacts on the hikes.

“The objective is to create a public, educational space for debate,” said SDBI Spokesperson Viviane Namaste in the video, “and consider how the hikes will affect Quebecoise women in particular.”

They said Beauchamp had an essential role to play in the education debate, and called for her to deliver her position in the public sphere.

The Ministry responded March 8 that they had received the institute’s letter and would follow up.

More to come.