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Re: Student apathy

by admin February 8, 2011

Re: Student apathy

by admin February 8, 2011

The Concordian often goes with the line that students are apathetic. I rarely see an issue in which a headline doesn’t point out some disappointing lack of enthusiasm for fundraising walks, Skratch Bastid, student elections or something. Similarly, I’ve been told by university representatives that a lot of student space exists at Concordia &- government standards exist mandating a certain amount in new university buildings. So they stick in a few extra conference rooms and designate them for students. Students don’t use them, so maybe they don’t care about student space? I come from a (much-regretted) background in international development, and this all sounds familiar: “We organized this great thing for the people, why isn’t it working?”

Well, were any of these people ASKED what they want? Do they have any personal investment in this project, can they feel that their participation will accomplish anything? Maybe they can see from a mile away that the university’s project (such as begging for chump change from the community for scholarships while government funding and corporate taxes get slashed and slashed again) is poorly thought-out.

That’s why the WHALE, on Monday Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. (11 a.m. for grad students) at the Hall Building Terrace, is going to be so epic. This is a real grassroots initiative that is going to allow any student who comes to directly affect the policy of their student union, and directly make their voice heard. Undergraduates and graduates will hold legally binding general assemblies on the same day to vote on holding a day of action on the massive tuition increases coming up in 2012 among other motions &- and then we will have an awesome winter fair. This wasn’t a CSU initiative &- a regular student collected the 100 signatures needed to call a special general meeting in about half an hour. There has already been a huge amount of interest, so maybe before we get into this self-perpetuating narrative that such and such group of people is apathetic, we should look a little deeper.

Holly Nazar

MA Media Studies

Director for Arts & Science, GSA

Free Education Montreal

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The Concordian often goes with the line that students are apathetic. I rarely see an issue in which a headline doesn’t point out some disappointing lack of enthusiasm for fundraising walks, Skratch Bastid, student elections or something. Similarly, I’ve been told by university representatives that a lot of student space exists at Concordia &- government standards exist mandating a certain amount in new university buildings. So they stick in a few extra conference rooms and designate them for students. Students don’t use them, so maybe they don’t care about student space? I come from a (much-regretted) background in international development, and this all sounds familiar: “We organized this great thing for the people, why isn’t it working?”

Well, were any of these people ASKED what they want? Do they have any personal investment in this project, can they feel that their participation will accomplish anything? Maybe they can see from a mile away that the university’s project (such as begging for chump change from the community for scholarships while government funding and corporate taxes get slashed and slashed again) is poorly thought-out.

That’s why the WHALE, on Monday Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. (11 a.m. for grad students) at the Hall Building Terrace, is going to be so epic. This is a real grassroots initiative that is going to allow any student who comes to directly affect the policy of their student union, and directly make their voice heard. Undergraduates and graduates will hold legally binding general assemblies on the same day to vote on holding a day of action on the massive tuition increases coming up in 2012 among other motions &- and then we will have an awesome winter fair. This wasn’t a CSU initiative &- a regular student collected the 100 signatures needed to call a special general meeting in about half an hour. There has already been a huge amount of interest, so maybe before we get into this self-perpetuating narrative that such and such group of people is apathetic, we should look a little deeper.

Holly Nazar

MA Media Studies

Director for Arts & Science, GSA

Free Education Montreal

Leave a Comment