CSU Council met yesterday with several important topics on the agenda.
Right off the bat they voted in favour of a statement condemning the actions of the police on November 10th at Mcgill. The CSU says riot police acted excessively when kicking students off campus.
Council also voted to have a Special General Meeting next week to discuss allegations of corruption in the CSU. Chair of the Judicial Board Ceejay Desfosses and CSU President Lex Gill are accused in the appeal of being in collusion.
Also at the meeting, Councillor Bruno Joyal suggested translating by-laws into French to incorporate Francophone students. But the motion was rejected with President Gill suggesting that translation would be too costly.
Councillor Anali Lee-Ender proposed changes to the controversial Cultural Nights. She said Resident Assistants were complaining about reckless and drunk students who returned from these CSU events. VP Student Life Laura Glover who is in charge of the event on the CSU's behalf welcomed the criticism and said they are exploring new ways of making the event more safe, but have no plans to cancel them at this time.
We in the mass media love giving shorthands. One percenter. 99 percenter. These particular terms highlight the split between the owners and the owned. The selfish and the selfless.
But an organization at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business is proving that there doesn’t have to be a division at all. Reporter Shaun Malley found out more.
Finally, after months of preparation and planning, Quebec students took to the streets to protest against tuition hikes. The number of protesters is estimated to be upwards of 20 000.
These students want a tuition freeze and a stop to the proposed sixteen hundred and twenty-five dollar tuition hike proposed in the Quebec budget.
Approximately two hundred thousand students were technically on strike on November 10th, but many still went to class.
At UQAM and Dawson College though, students stood in doorways forcing the school to cancel classes.
But it wasn't all students at the protest. Members of the Mcgill non-academic workers union who are already on strike were out in full force.
The demonstration went peacefully until about one hundred riot police officers forcefully removed students from Mcgill campus.
They used teargas, pepper spray and physical force to disperse students. The incident began when 13 students occupied the principal's office.
Concordia Graduate Student Holly Nazar claims that she was tackled to the ground by a Mcgill security guard and others claimed excessive force was used.
Four people were arrested following the day's protests.
A lecture on the intersection of art and pornography will be given tonight in the EV building.
Professor Kelly Dennis will discuss the debate over Internet porn and its economies, its communities, its sexisms and its surveillance.
The lecture is part of Concodia's "Speaking of Photography" series.
Kelly Dennis teaches modern and contemporary art history and the history of photography at the University of Connecticut.
The lecture will take place at 6:30pm tonight in room EV-1.605.
The strike will allow students to join in province-wide protests against tuition hikes. Premier Jean Charest's decision to raise Quebec student tuition by nearly 75% has drawn the ire of many students in the province.
Charest says the need for more education funds justifies the move. President of the Graduate Students’Association Robert Sonin called this claim dubious.
"Basically we think it's kind of a fraud. The government has the money, or could have the money. If they if they taxed properly and more fairly, they would have plenty of money to fund education and if they were really committed to education they could find the money fairly easily.
Council members stressed the wider trend of making education less accessible and more susceptible toprivate interests. Councilman Richard Hinton said Charest was helping transform universities.
"This isn't a question of spoiled students it's a question of the direction our society is taking as a whole."
Schools from across Montreal will be holding a joint protest on the 10th at Place Emilie-Gamelin. Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill promised the protest would be a monumental affair.
"What that means, really, is that we're going to shut this city down on November 10th. And I think we can win."
For CJLO News at Concordia's downtown campus, I'm Brandon Judd.
This year’s Exposcience was held over the weekend. Concordia students travelled the distance to Pointe Clair to share their love for science with the West Island community. Our reporter Esther Viragh, was there.
Tarantulas could be pet, animal skeletons carefully examined. Cameron Tilson helped organize the science fair. Community outreach, he said, was one of the objectives.
“It’s bringing the university out to the public. In a lot of cases universities kind of have this ivory tower, there’s walls around everything. Well, we don’t. We rather break those walls down and actually come out and meet people.”
Concordia students started the event 28 years ago. Its purpose has been to foster an interest in all things scientific. Maria Centeno attended with her eight-year-old son, Luke.
“I just want to encourage him to see what he likes at an early age so that when he’s older and he’s thinking about what he wants to do, he’ll have some ideas. Just encourage him in the right direction.”
Curious faces listened attentively to an older generation. One that had felt the same initial attraction in the past, which now brought inspiration for the future.
Esther Viragh, CJLO News
The plan puts forth several actions to be taken by the university to improve its academic profile and reputation including hiring ten new faculty members, increasing the library’s budget to expand its collection, and adding more internships and co-ops into the curriculum. Extra revenue from raised tuition will be used to fund the multi-million dollar plan.
“Students are not entirely happy with the plan,” said graduate student representative Holly Nazar to senate. According to Nazar, graduate students had a number of important points they submitted to the working committee but “none of them have found their way into the document.”
“Students were always front and center in everything we did,” said Olivier Dyen, a member of the academic planning committee. “It’s not that we created a plan and ignored the students.” He cited several aspects of the academic plan that would benefit students such as attracting better professors and ensuring that Concordia’s top researchers teach undergraduate students.
Responding to Dyen, CSU President Lex Gill said “The process was closer to lobbying which made people uncomfortable. Students were front and center but not at the table.”
Provost and VP of academic Affairs David Graham formally presented the plan at the Oct 26 CSU Council meeting. According to him, immediately after he left the meeting he was “aghast” to discover that CSU council had unanimously rejected it. He accused the CSU of pre-drafting their rejection before he presented at council. He blamed the CSU for "not acting in good faith." "It left me with a feeling that I had walked into an ambush," said Graham.
CSU VP Academic Hasan Cheikhzen refuted Graham’s accusation. He said that councilors had received the documents about the plan, but were not told how to vote before the meeting.
Heightening the stakes, Graham said: “If this academic plan passes today that would be the greatest day of my life."
He told CSU President Lex Gill that students have a right to be upset about not being directly involved in the working committee. “Your predecessors failed you, we reached out to them and got no response,” said Graham referring to the lack of involvement from last year’s CSU. Yet, he said it is too late now for students to be directly involved, as the plan is drafted and ready for implementation.
Undergraduate senator Chuck Wilson said he spent a great deal of time looking over the plan. According to him, it was not just the lack of student input in the academic plan, but that the plan’s “vague language” would lead to the university using the document to justify any of its actions and not only the ones outlined in the document.
Gill admitted that there were parts of the academic plan that she liked, but if given a few more months with student input it could be even better. “What’s the difference between an academic plan now and one in January?” asked Gill. “Waiting will only make it better.”
“John Lennon said that ‘Life is what happens when you are busy making plans,’” said Noel Burke, Dean of the School of Extended Learning and senate member. Delaying the implementation of the academic plan only delays having something to work with, he said. “There are unpredictable factors and it will change as we go whether we like it or not. If we delay [the plan] we will miss the window for the next academic year,” said Burke.
Due to impassioned statements in support of the plan from the working committee, GSA rep. Nazar proposed a secret ballot for the vote. In the end despite being closer than expected, the motion to implement the 2011-2016 academic plan passed with 26 in favour and 19 opposed.
Senate also decided to reject recommendations from the registrar and voted to move the start date of the winter semester from January 3rd to 4th to give students and faculty more time to return from holidays.
The strike will allow students to join in province-wide protests against tuition hikes.
The meeting had a shaky start in which GSA and CSU implored students to invite more people to register so they could reach quorum.
Reaching the quorum of 400 undergrad and 60 graduate students made the meeting official.
This allowed them to pass the resolution requesting students be exempted from academic obligations next Thursday.
Organizers repeatedly stressed the effects tuition hikes will have on the future of accessible education.
Premier Jean Charest's decision to raise Quebec student tuition by nearly 75% has drawn the ire of many students in the province.
Schools from across Montreal will be holding a joint protest on the 10th at Place Emilie-Gamelin
Chief Electoral Officers at Concordia are changing ever so quickly this month. The Concordia Student Union Judicial Board ruled Wednesday night to remove CEO Bram Goldstein from his position.
Eleven applications were immediately considered for the job. After a closed session, the CSU picked Ismail Holoubi. Former Councillor Tomer Shavit appeared at the Special General Meeting and vowed to appeal the decision.
The debate over the CEO official began Monday night when the complaint was brought to the Judicial Board. There, the CSU questioned the legitimacy of Goldstein’s hiring due to missing documents and whether or not former CEO Oliver Cohen had officially resigned or not.
The byelections will be held from November 29th to December 1st regardless of who the CEO is.