Meeting on March 25, the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) Legislative Council discussed the Association générale des étudiants de langue et littérature françaises (AGELF)’s planned strike against austerity measures and the University’s lack of transparency with regard to the funding of services for students with disabilities. Council also approved an increase to the Barbados Field Study Semester (BFSS) fee.
Council approved a $50 fee increase and the implementation of an additional $500 supplement per student enrolled in the BFSS program. The supplement would accommodate fluctuations in the exchange rate between Canadian and U.S. dollars, with the excess returned to students.
Council also discussed AGELF’s upcoming strike against the Quebec government’s austerity measures from March 30 to April 3.
“During that week, there will be picket lines in front of every class offered within the department,” explained AGELF representative Sandrine Jaumard in an email to The Daily.
At Council, Jaumard asked students to refrain from breaking the picket lines by entering classrooms. During the discussion, the Department of English Student Association (DESA) representative added that DESA membwwers would meet with faculty members to discuss a possible strike in their department.
Arts Senator Jacob Greenspon discussed the lack of transparency during the Senate meeting regarding the allocation of a government grant for students with disabilities. According to Greenspon, University officials determined that they had the right to redistribute funds at their discretion, and in fact cut the budget of the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD).
VP Academic Erin Sobat also brought up concerns regarding the Student Services budget. “Student Services has taken a cut to its annual revenue and is being forced by the University to eat further into its surplus money to account for this deficit,” Sobat explained in an email to The Daily. Surplus reserves, which were planned to be spent over a number of years, are now being depleted at an accelerated rate due to cuts in annual revenues and increasing costs.