Over 300 undergraduate students attended the ECA general assembly on March 15 on the 7th floor of the Hall building to vote on an official stance on the strike.
“It’s the first time we’ve held a general assembly in over two years,” said Ali Talhouni, VP internal of the ECA. “Many people came up to us and asked for this, so we felt compelled to give the students their own choice.”
The meeting started with some confusion as ECA President Nathanael Occenad had to call for order many times, trying to organize the sea of students waiting to vote. The meeting came to a close with over 200 ECA students voting to stay in school and not strike.
Not everyone in attendance agreed with the result however.
“I don’t understand how we voted against the strike,” said first-year engineering student Laura Cerrahyan. “Money is being seriously mismanaged and it’s saddening that we aren’t joining the rest of Quebec.”
At the CASA assembly held on March 14, 843 students showed up to vote. JMSB students voted overwhelmingly against the strike, with 710 students against and 123 students for.
FASA’s general assembly on March 16 didn’t go as well as expected. The lack of turnout and the loss of quorum prevented the final vote to be be taken, resulting in a continuation of the strike for fine arts students. Quorum is approximately 315 students and before students began to leave, the assembly was able to pass several motions, including the establishment of a committee to handle all strike-related issues.
“We have a very high quorum and we lost it about three hours in,” said FASA President Paisley Sim. “The meeting was orderly, as legitimate as it could be, and productive given the fact that we know we have a strike committee.”
Other students who planned on voting to end the strike were more disappointed with the outcome.
“I was hoping in the end that those of us who have been on strike for two weeks were going to vote to end the fine arts strike, so that we’re technically done with the strike the same time the CSU is,” said Peter Shaw, a first-year theatre student.
Another FASA general assembly is set for Friday, March 23, at 3 p.m,
A petition had been circulating to call for an Arts and Science Federation of Associations GA, but organizer Cassie Smith explained that since the CSU would be calling another GA on March 23 to vote on prolonging the current undergraduate strike, there would be no need for it.
ASFA has since released a statement saying that “the last thing ASFA wants to do is to put a whole faculty ‘on strike’ when there is a clear lack of solidarity on the issue.”
Instead, ASFA encouraged students to organize on a departmental level and vote in the upcoming CSU GA.
With files from Marilla Steuter-Martin
Upcoming general assemblies:
Urban planning — on strike since March 8
GA Tuesday, March 20, time and place TBA
Sociology and anthropology — on strike since March 12
GA Tuesday March 20, 4 p.m., location TBA
Communication studies — on strike since March 15
GA Friday, March 23, time and place TBA
Faculty of Fine Arts — on strike since March 5
GA Friday, March 23 at 3 p.m., Hall Building, 7th floor lounge
Women’s studies and sexuality studies — on strike since March 5
GA Friday, March 23, location TBA