The Concordia Student Union (CSU) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) wish to thank all faculty who continue to support us as we fight against the government’s proposed changes to post-secondary education funding policies. The enormous increases to tuition and other fees proposed by the Quebec government are our main concern and not you as our professors. Anyone who has read A Fair and Balanced Funding Plan will, we are certain, find it most unfair and unbalanced, a fundamentally dishonest document, and elaborating a policy that threatens all our interests.
We have all been hearing rumours about what students will be doing to disrupt the usual business of the University, some of which are frightening, but few of which are grounded. Please be assured that the students’ battle is not with faculty, or even with the administration: it is with the government. Our object is not to create problems for you. Our object is the reversal of an ill-advised policy by creating problems for Jean Charest.
We have not advised or counseled our members to do anything that would interfere with your contractual obligations. We have also, of course, repeatedly and explicitly recommended to mobilizers and organizers that they avoid any action that would put anyone at risk of harassment or physical jeopardy.
Regrettably it is not possible to control the behaviour of forty-thousand people twenty-four hours a day. We ask that you bring this joint statement with you in the event some students have misunderstood the object of our protest. They should allow you to enter your classrooms to fulfill your contractual obligations. If incidents do arise, we ask of you what we ask of our own members: do not escalate the situation, and rely on dialogue to settle problems. If you have an issue with a particular action please let us know so that we can take measures to deal with inappropriate behaviour.
On the brighter side, we anticipate a blossoming of positive, productive, and vibrant activity in coming weeks, and we invite faculty to participate in any way they feel appropriate. We will, of course, be on the picket lines, and we invite faculty to join us when not teaching. We urge faculty to talk your students about these issues of funding and the future of the university and higher education in general.
We also encourage you to read and sign the Concordia Declaration for Quality and Accessibility in Higher Education.
Finally, we look forward to working with faculty to keep education at Concordia and Quebec accessible, productive, and progressive.
Thank you for your continued support, understanding and patience with the challenges before us.
Lex Gill, Concordia Student Union
(514) 848 7474 ext. 8899
Robert Sonin, Graduate Students’ Association
(514) 848 2424 ext. 7900
March 5, 2012