Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.6

November 18, 2004


CSU changes affiliation


In a referendum held Nov. 9 to 11, students voted to join the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) in preference to the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSE), which broke away from the FEUQ in 1999.

The vote was roughly two to one. About 1,640 students cast votes in the three-day referendum, a record turnout.

Melissa Gruber, VP communications for the Concordia Student Union, told CTR, “We are very pleased that the referendum question to join FEUQ passed. FEUQ is the largest youth organization of any kind in Quebec, with representation on every university campus except for Bishop's University.

“Their approach focuses on negotiating with the people who make decisions about education in the government, building to mobilization when absolutely necessary. They are working on all the student issues we are concerned with, like international students' tuition, financial aid and the tuition freeze. It is largely due to their negotiations that the tuition freeze has stayed in place thus far in Quebec.

“ASSE's focus is a little less practical than FEUQ's. Their usual tactic is to call for unlimited general strikes, which many students are unwilling to participate in. They are also mainly made up of CEGEP unions which have different needs than university unions. They have not been very successful in their endeavours and are highly unorganized right now.”

Also in the referendum, an increase was approved in the fee levy for the big student-run Art Matters festival. Owing to a technicality, a question about the new student centre will be brought back to students in the March election.