Tonight, University of Toronto students attended the UTSU AGM.

I’ll add my two cents into all of this:

We are the general membership of the UTSU.
The people that they call Randoms are actually the UTSU. 
And we should make that very loud and clear that we, the student body, want change against a current administration of executives who have failed to meet us halfway.

Tonight was a significant, symbolic win that gives us a mandate to work towards democratic

 reform. The students are tired of seeing the same old politics. We have the right to voice our concerns, and we were not given that chance tonight.
Instead, we did it in a democratic, procedural way. It’s not obstructionist. Failing the audit would have been obstructionist. But we failed the agenda, and the UTSU executive will now have to begin to discuss with the students about putting reform on the table, and not hiding behind an “independent legal review” or behind their usual tactics of fearmongering.

There is more that has to be done. And we will probably face a CFS that will try and stop us. 
If the current administration with their CFS leadership wants to stop us, they’ll have to do it against the democratic will of the students.
Big ups to everyone involved tonight. It’s really only the beginning.

And cheers to The Varsity and their writers for their fantastic work.

It’s only July and UTSU/CFS conflict has already begun.

theideajournal:

Re: Quebec student leader takes protest on road as CFS looks to create ‘democratic strike movement’ in Ontario - Lasia Kretzel, National Post, July 11 2012

Uh oh. Here we go again.

The UTSU/CFS fiasco has begun early this year. 

The Student Strike Training Program as proposed by “University of Toronto” (Come on now. They really mean UTSU, an organization that realistically represents barely 5% of the school population.) is extremely alarming:

“The workshops include “creating and/or radicalizing student associations,” and methods of “enforcing strikes.””

For all the debate around the concept of unions and their role in society, student unions do not belong in a role as the central representative governing organization for university students. With 10% turnout in elections, and only half of those voting for the incumbent slate, their actions regarding advocacy, protests and monetary donations (remember the $30,000?) are misrepresentative of their constituents. 

And so begins another year of UTSU/CFS conflict. Only somehow, I feel as if Ned Stark was right, “Winter is coming.”

Courtesy of Jonathan Scott

Oh yeah definitely. I don’t mean to say that the Quebec protests are illegitimate or unwarranted. Education is a right, and should be made a priority. Governments shouldn’t back down from their promises to help the youth get through school and find a job, especially when we’ll be the hardest hit when babyboomers retire and we’re stuck with the rising costs of taking care of the previous gen who subsequently screwed us over.

And Bill 78 is an egregious affront to democracy and the right to free speech and assembly. It marks all the wrong steps in dealing with the situation.

And you’re right. Harper has been a menace to Canadian parliamentary democracy and fundamentally undermining everything Canada has been built upon these past 145 years.

But I think we need to look at the bigger picture here that we have it much better off than many other youth. 50% youth unemployment in Spain. Tuition costs that are multiple times higher for youth in the States. Even generally, our standard of living in Canada is much better than, let’s say, my homeland of the Philippines, irregardless of Harper’s doing. And we’ll get him out of office, and hopefully whoever steps up to the plate next can and will do a better job.

And the other thing that I’d like to mention is that the media surrounding the Quebec protests have been ignoring the shadowy politics and divisiveness of student protest groups, such as the CFS. Their methods, unnecessary, divisive and dominating. Much of their policy suggestions are inefficient and nonsensical (although I do agree with some of their basic tenets). Yes, tuition protests are much more justified here in Ontario with much higher tuition rates than in Quebec, but nothing has been done to make anything worse. And I’m not going to protest at the will of the CFS who continues to undermine universities throughout Canada.

Yes, we must do better.
We must do better to keep Harper accountable.
We must do better to relieve students of their ill-fated futures of rising debt, rising tuition costs and little to no employment entering the workforce.
But are protests in “solidarity” with Quebec students the right way, considering the “leadership” and record of the CFS? I don’t think so.

And for the record, I think they have all the right to protest. As long as its peaceful. And I hope both sides, police and protesters restrain themselves from violence.

As the article author, who I don’t completely agree with, says: “Solidarity is not always good, nor is it a substitute for actual action… [it] is a feel-good word, an ideological substitute for an actual ideology.”
I’d use a different word for “caring about other people”. Compassion. Empathy. Not throwing molotov cocktails.

Ideas, Identity and Perspective: Thoughts on the Quebec Protests and their eventual spread to Ontario 
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