The student union is also proposing to increase the fee levy of Concordia Greenhouse
Academic amnesty and increasing the Concordia Greenhouse fee levy were discussed at the CSU monthly meeting on March 8.
The CSU decided they would demand academic amnesty from the senate for students who might have missed classes in the days following the bomb threat that was made on March 1 targeting the school’s Muslim community. The targeted buildings were evacuated and no bombs were found on-site after an SPVM search. That afternoon, Concordia president Alan Shepard sent a letter to all students saying classes would resume for the rest of the week. “For students whose classes and exams were affected by the evacuations, or if you have other concerns about completing your coursework or exams, please speak with your professor. I hope that professors will be flexible in light of this very unusual situation,” he wrote in his letter.
While the CSU appreciated the gesture the university made by sending this letter, they did not feel it was enough. “It was a nice statement—the [intention] was there but they didn’t go farther,” said Sophia Sahrane, the CSU’s academic and advocacy coordinator. She told The Concordian the student union will try to convince the university senate during their next meeting on March 17 to request amnesty from all departments. “The students cannot just hope that professors will understand. They need to know that, if professors refuse to give them academic amnesty, they have different resources to protect them,” said Sahrane. “Having this academic amnesty ensures students that they have alternatives and that they should feel comfortable about not going to class if they don’t feel good about it.”
According to Sahrane, the only department at the university that have offered academic amnesty so far is the department of Geography, Planning and Environment. “They have sent out a notice to all of their teachers and faculties to not count the absences from March 1 to 3,” she said.
During the meeting, the CSU also passed a motion stating they will be presenting a motion at the Greenhouse’s annual election to increase the Concordia Greenhouse fee levy. Sahrane, who presented the motion, is proposing to increase the fee levy from 12 cents per credit to 24 cents.
“They are having issues with their facilities, but also offer twice as many services as they used to when they initially started,” said Sahrane. She said she believes it would be a great investment. According to her, the Greenhouse has been providing extra services and without ever asking for a fee levy increase. “This increase is to ensure that they can keep going and that their [needs are] answered.”
Students are allowed to use the Greenhouse space to study, for group work and they can also buy plants and seeds. “They also offer internships depending on the students’ needs. It’s a very diverse group that is providing a lot for its community,” Sahrane said.