News  Architecture students strike vote fails by a slim margin

First General Assembly in "living memory" adopts motion opposing upcoming tuition increase

A motion for a one-day strike failed by four votes after being brought to the Architecture Students’ Association (ASA), McGill’s official representation of undergraduate Architecture students, yesterday evening.

ASA, part of the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) since 2011, voted on two motions in what was the association’s first General Assembly (GA) in “living memory,” according to VP Communications Meredith Toivanen.

The motion for Architecture students to strike on March 22, the provincial day of action against tuition hikes, was struck down in a secret ballot vote with 39 in favour of the strike, and 43 against. 7 students abstained.

A second motion regarding accessible education resolving for ASA to “specifically oppose” the incremental $1,625 tuition increase slated to begin in September, passed with a vast majority.

One of three movers of both motions, U3 Architecture student Julia Manaças, said she wasn’t surprised the strike motion failed.

“On the one hand, I’m happy that it was tight, because it shows that there was a real debate, and that people came out and voted,” she said.

However, Manaças noted her disappointment. “It would have been really great to show that people in Architecture, and in McGill especially, do care about this,” she said.

Manaças added that the close vote “says something in itself.”

ASA’s constitution states that quorum for the GA is 30 per cent of the Architecture undergraduate student body, amounting to 48 students for last night based on Toivanen’s count. The GA maintained quorum throughout the nearly 2.5-hour meeting.

“I was really surprised at the turnout,” she said. “The people who are against the strike are very not vocal, I find, so they kind of surprise you.”