Concordia Student Unions Call Assembly to Take Stand on Fee Increases, Recent Governance Controversy

MONTREAL, Feb. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Hundreds of Concordia University students are expected to take part in a Day of Action on Valentine's Day to express their discontent with the university administration and exponential increases in Quebec tuition fees.

The Concordia Student Union and Graduate Students' Association of Concordia will hold joint General Assemblies to for the day of action, which would begin effective immediately.

"Concordia's senior management and Board of Governors have violated the public trust. The very people trusted with the stewardship of our institution have steadily guided students toward an increasing debt load, a destabilized and leaderless campus environment, and a lack of community faith in the value of our academic work," reads a statement by the event organizers.

Major administrative reforms are necessary and the chairman of the Board of Governors, Peter Kruyt, should heed unanimous opposition from the university senate and faculty. He must step down, plain and simple.

The Charest government is also introducing steep increases to tuition fees. The exact increase remains to be determined, but some estimates suggest tuition may rise from $2,000 to $5,000 per year, effectively destroying the prospect of accessible education. A study commissioned by the Ministry of Education itself has found that this scenario would deter about 50 000 Quebec students from attending university.

This comes in the midst of international student fee deregulation in many Concordia programs, with 17 to 50 per cent increases in 2009 that were introduced with no warning to newly arrived students.

This is all part of the Charest government's exit strategy from the economic crisis, effectively shifting the crisis into public hands. Not only will Quebec residents have to pay a $200 health care fee, which will place major strains on our growing senior population, but electricity fees are also going up. We can expect more of the same with the upcoming 2011 budget, and we want to send a clear message to Quebec City, Mr. Charest and opposition leader Pauline Marois that enough is enough.

In this spirit, we are holding a university-wide Day of Action on Valentine's Day, February 14 at 11:00 a.m. Join us on the love train!

Press Conference: 11 a.m. Monday February 14, 2090 Mackay Street.


For further information:

Matthew Brett (communications coordinator)
Cell. 514-884-7802

 Heather Lucas (CSU president, English spokesperson)
Cell. 514-348-0877

ErikChevrier (Graduate spokesperson, English)
Cell: 514-998-5889
George Alexander (CSU French and English spokesperson)
Cell. 514-348-0877

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