Dear Concordia Clubs, Associations, Federations, Fee Levy Groups, Working Groups and student organizers,


My name is Lex Gill; I'm the President of the Concordia Student Union. I don't normally have the luxury of communicating directly with every organization on campus, but I'm reaching out to you because this message and this movement is too important to stay silent. Please read it fully, think about it, and pass it on to your members and volunteers if you can.

On November 10th, we will make history.

The Quebec government has proposed some of the most extreme and unjust tuition fee hikes in the province's history: a total increase of $1,625 over the next five years for Quebec residents, and the potential for thousands of dollars more for out-of-province and international students.

This increase means that students, even middle-class ones or those of them lucky enough to have financial assistance from their parents will have to make difficult choices; many of our peers will be forced to drop out, take reduced course loads, or have to choose between paying rent and paying their tuition bill.

The statistics are clear. These increases are not only bad for the economy and bad for individual students, our friends and family, but they directly jeopardize our collective right to education. I want to remind each one of you that tuition is comparatively low in Quebec only because students have fought for it — and this year, we need to fight for it again (and win!).

There's a huge diversity of groups on this mailing list, some of which are directly involved in advocacy work, and who have undoubtedly heard these arguments before. Others may never have thought of themselves as "activists" or as "political" people, or as organizations involved in these issues. The truth is though, this issue is too big for any group to stay silent, no matter who you are. It affects us all—and silence, as they say, is to be on the side of the oppressor.

So to those latter groups, we know it sometimes it takes a bit of courage to stand for something, but it's really just about supporting your members and ours. Concordia's reputation and diversity has been built on a history of accessibility and this tuition increase is a nail in the coffin of everything that makes this school great. It's about time we got together and fought back.

This November 10th, students from across Quebec will be organizing a massive protest against these increases in Montréal. The delegation from Concordia is having a rally at noon in front of the Hall Building—with awesome local DJs, food and entertainment. We're providing free transportation (as many school buses as it takes!) to get all those people to Émilie Gamelin (Berri-UQAM) for 2pm to join thousands of students in a march to the Premier's office. It's going to be massive.

But look, students need your help and we'd be crazy if we thought we could do this alone. So please, forward this message to your mailing lists. Get your friends to check out freezetuition.ca and join and share the Facebook page — both for the actual demonstration and the Concordia rally. Invite us to talk at your next event. Tell your friends. Tell everyone, actually!

Things are really changing on this campus. ASFA is calling a General Assembly for a strike mandate on November 10th. The Provost and President of the University have told professors not to penalize students for participating on the Day of Action. The student newspapers are more supportive of this issue than anything I've ever seen them get behind. There's nothing stopping us from organizing the biggest event in Concordia's history, so what are we waiting for?

"Fine Lex, you've convinced me. What can I do?"

So glad you asked!

ENDORSE THE CAMPAIGN PUBLICLY by emailing me back with your group's name (president@csu.qc.ca). Yup. It's just that easy.

FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to your mailing list. I'll take the heat if they get it a few extra times (sorry).

HELP ORGANIZE by showing up at Friday night Mob Squad meetings (every Friday, 5pm, 7th floor Hall Lounge).

CONTRIBUTE YOUR TALENT! can you program, silkscreen, throw mean dance parties or have other awesome skills? Email campaignscoordinator@csu.qc.ca and let Taz know!

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS or really, tell everyone: friends, frienemies, professors, strangers on the metro...

...AND YOU KNOW WHAT?

November 10th is just the start, but there's the talent, and commitment, and creativity on this campus to win. Let's make it happen. We wouldn't do this job if we wanted to lose.

FREEZETUITION.CA

 


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