Dear Graduate Students,
It is with much regret that I inform you that the petition many of you signed to keep the labs open was not to be heard by the GSA Council at their meeting on Oct. 31.
Council directors Erik Chevrier (SIP) and Svetla Turnin (Arts and Science) consistently attempted to engage a discussion concerning the GSA House and its labs, but-in addition to being repeatedly cut off, interrupted, or otherwise prevented from articulating the concerns graduate students-the Executives would not even allow a discussion of this issue into the agenda of the meeting
When Chevrier motioned to discuss the petition, the Executives, along with the Engineering and Computer Science directors unanimously voted against receiving it into ‘Other Business’. This, despite the fact that approximately 150 students had taken the time to sign this petition (and it had only been in circulation for about 48 hours).
Turnin motioned to see what documentation the Executives decision to close the labs was based on, the same thing happened. And when Chevrier pointed out that the initial decision was illegal in the first place for not being on the agenda and motioned to review issues of legality concerning the motion, ditto.
There is no financial deficit in the budget to explain these cuts to services. The GSA had more money in the bank from Oct. ’07 to May ’08 than it has in years. (There were no $3000/month Executive salaries to be paid during the summer months. From June to Oct. ’07 that’s $12000 the GSA saved.)
What can be done about this? Keep writing letters to the Executives (email@example.com), keep signing the petition (www.petitiononline.com/savegsa/petition).
Some students are looking into how impeachment proceedings or an election recall may be undertaken. For either of these, more letters and petition names are needed.
The characterization of trains as dusty, noisy and dangerous to the population is unfortunate to say the least. Yes trains pollute and railways are not places of tranquility and hushed tones. Surely Highway 20 contributes more to noise and air pollution and creates a larger ecological footprint.
The Quebec government should be encouraging more freight on trains given the consequences of global climate change and peak-oil.
The provision for a four track railway makes sense. Leaving only two tracks would cripple any efforts to expand. Downtown to downtown passenger service by rail is one of the conveniences that airlines do not provide. Today the Eurostar takes about two hours to travel between London, England to Paris, France. High Speed Rail in the Quebec-Windsor Corridor is only a matter of time and will require this right-of-way to access Central Station.
The idea of pushing railways further west has consequences: Canadian Pacific Railway is planning to build a sprawling intermodal container facility in Les C