Media Studies Graduate Students Renew Strike in Line With GSA

2012 © Eduardo Fuenmayor

Dear Faculty, Staff and Fellow Students,

After careful deliberation, students in the MA Media Studies program at Concordia University have collectively decided to renew our strike on an ongoing basis, to be reviewed weekly. We demand that the Charest government open dialogue with students and rescind the scheduled tuition hikes. To review our full position, please view our statement online here.

We will send a letter to each of our course instructors in Communication Studies to make clear our intentions regarding the submission and evaluation of coursework and to suggest tangible ways that our professors may support us at this time.

We appeal to faculty for continued solidarity in our struggle against the Charest government’s position. Once again, we appreciate the support faculty have provided thus far, and we encourage you to continue supporting us in our call for accessible education.

Sincerely,

MA Media Studies Students
Department of Communication Studies
Concordia University

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Family Demonstration March Against Tuition Increases Draws 30,000 Supporters

Students and faculty from Concordia University’s Communications Studies Department march in the streets of Montréal with 30,000 others (according to Le Devoir) in the Family Demonstration March against the Québec government’s proposed tuition increases.

Communications Studies students and faculty are well represented among the 30,000-strong crowd at the March 18, family demonstration. Photo by David Widgington.

students walk down St-Denis street among 30,000 others in the family protest against proposed tuition increases, Mar 18, 2012. Photo by David Widgington.

30,000 protesters in the family demonstration against tuition increases and in support of access to education walk eastward along rue Ste-Catherine past Metro Papineau. Sunday, March 18, 2012. Photo by André Querry © 2012.

CJ Building Picket in Support of Accessible Education

Dear students and colleagues,

This Wednesday March 21, we would like to cordially invite you to a festive, musical picket line outside of the CJ Building, on the Loyola campus. We will be gathering outdoors at 12pm sharp and stay until 4:30ish.

The intention of this gathering is:

  1. To open dialogue about the importance of not attending classes during  the strike. In particular, to extend strike awareness and energy to the Loyola campus.
  2. To create large, beautiful signs that will represent Concordia’s presence at the demonstration on March 22.

Please bring sidewalk chalk, poster boards, markers, glitter, fabric, colourful items of all sorts, and whatever other materials you think will contribute to making great posters/signs/puppets for the large demonstration on Thursday March 22.  Additionally, please bring along any musical instruments (or fun sound makers, such as a metal bowl and a spoon!) to add to the festivities!

Photo by Pamela Lamb, taken during the family demonstration on Sunday, March 18, 2012.

cheers and hoorrah,

Media Studies Students

Media Studies Students at Concordia University Strike in Support of Accessible Education

After careful deliberation, students in the MA Media Studies program at Concordia University have collectively decided to continue our strike on an ongoing basis, to be reviewed weekly. In accordance with the GSA’s resolution, we will not be attending class nor submitting coursework in recognition that they are inseparable. We agree with PhD students in the department that to submit coursework while not attending class implies that class time is irrelevant. We also declare our support for doctoral, undergraduate, and diploma students in Communication Studies in their own strike actions. Our position reflects the majority of students in our program, but we also acknowledge the individual circumstances that may limit the extent to which some of us can participate in the strike.

March 13 demonstration against Québec tuition increases as protesters walk westward along Boul. René-Lévesque in Montréal. 2012 © Eduardo Fuenmayor.

We see this action as a strike and not a boycott – in ceasing our coursework, we seek to make visible the detrimental impact of tuition hikes on our futures but also to make visible the very real labour of our research and course participation, which enriches the programs and atmosphere of our department, individual professor’s research, and the university at large. We understand that a student strike differs from a labour strike, and we use such language knowingly. Although we may not be bound by a labour contract, we are part of a student association and feel that the strike is a necessary collective action. In calling our action a strike, we seek to align ourselves with student movements and protests province-wide against privatization and for academic freedom and accessible education. We do not consider ourselves consumers passively receiving a service (as the term “boycott” implies); we believe that education is a right.

 

Since the 2005 Québec student strike against the proposed removal of $103 million from student loans and bursaries, the red square symbolizes student debt that leaves students "squarely in the red". Photo taken during student demonstration on March 13, 2012 © Eduardo Fuenmayor.

By participating in the strike, we believe that we are raising the bar for the quality of education and research in the Department of Communication Studies. We feel strongly that low tuition fees allow students from diverse backgrounds to attend university, which in turn nourishes the quality, creativity and diversity of our programs.

"Professors support the students" reads a protest sign as a demonstration walks northward along Boul. St-Laurent in Montréal's Chinatown. Photo taken on March 13, 2012 © Eduardo Fuenmayor.

We appeal to you for solidarity in our struggle against the Charest government’s position. We appreciate the support faculty have provided thus far, and we encourage you to continue supporting us in our call for accessible education.

Sincerely,

MA Media Studies Students
Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University

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