Crucial week as students vote to return to class or protest
Published Monday, August 6, 2012 10:40PM EDT
MONTREAL—On Monday night, the association representing social service students at the University of Montreal voted to continue its boycott until Sept. 7. Turnout was less than 10 per cent.
Next week, CEGEP students are supposed to go back to class for a shortened semester so they can enter university in September. However, students might decide to go on strike again and boycott the semester.
At Laval University, professors say they will only teach again if students vote to return to class.
“A class is not an individual process. We are not doing tutorials, we are teaching to a group,” said Diane Lamoureux, a professor at Laval University.
The group of professors rallied together to denounce Bill 78 on Monday, they say the students have the right to continue their protest. And protest they will, according to student leaders at their latest news conference.
“This platform is a tool to help the young to choose the parties they think is the best for them,” said CEGEP student leader Eliane Laberge, introducing a shift in tactic to whip the vote amongst students.
While student leaders haven’t endorsed any party, they say that politicians need to focus more on youth issues.
“If they want to be elected in the next general election, they have to take in account the vote of the youth, making sure that they know we have our word to say and we won't give up this time,” said Marine Desjardins, the president of the university students’ federation.
Concordia Student Union President Shubert Laforest is worried that the next semester could turn into a big mess, especially if students vote to continue boycotting classes.
“We are in fact, victim, if you will, of legislation that was imposed and that wasn't necessarily thought out in its actual implementation,” said Laforest.
More student associations have scheduled votes throughout the week, and on Sunday groups will meet to discuss future strategy.