Scheduling solutions sought for missed days as student protest reaches 52nd day
Published Thursday, April 5, 2012 7:23PM EDT
MONTREAL - The logistical challenges caused by the student disruptions, now in their 52nd day, have tossed a monkey-wrench into the school scheduling.
At Concordia, this was meant to be the last day of classes, after many were cancelled.
Some students spoke bitterly against the protests and the inconveniences they elicited.
"None of us are really for the tuition hike but we're really against the measures that have been taken. We paid for the semester and we have the right to attend our classes," said one student.
But others said that it was well worth it.
"This is bigger than these students missing a class or two," said one student. "This is a huge movement and it's about setting up against the privatization of university."
Concordia University representative Chris Mota said that simply extending the school year isn't possible because many contracts have run up.
"If we have a contract with a faculty member whose course ends today, he's not here next week," she said.
However simply passing everybody is not an option either.
"You cannot compromise the academic requirements so if a student has not met those requirements, that is an issue," she said.
The university plans instead to transform more of the year-end exams into take-home, rather than in-class, affairs.
The student unions deny responsibility for the scheduling difficulties.
"If students have voted democratically for a strike and students decide how to enforce that strike then the reality is that's the collective decision of students not to go to class," said protest leader Lex Gill.
On Thursday marchers blocked the SAQ distribution centre again and held a concert which began at 4:30 p.m. and was scheduled to go into the night.
At about six p.m. only a couple of hundred people were in attendance at the Place du Canada musical rally but they included such influential leaders as CSN union boss Louis Roy and PQ leader Pauline Marois who encouraged the students to maintain the fight against tuition hikes.