Things are going to change, I can feel it

Oh there is shit going down on Burnaby Mountain! Simon Fraser University grad students are restless, agitated, and organizing like hell. Since I can rarely sit still when abuses of power are afoot – underfoot, really, as is the case with the Simon Fraser Student Society – I have gotten involved….again. It’s all too complicated and, frankly, boring in too much detail. But the important thing to note is that various and sundry “student politicians” in the SFSS are behaving in a largely autocratic, evidently undemocratic fashion, clearly unperturbed by such minor details as bylaws, policies and oh, I don’t know, human decency. They might be conspiring to ditch the grad health plan – and as uninteresting and apolitical as that might sound – you don’t fuck with a grad student’s health plan. Something the SFSS Exec is learning the hard way.

Grad caucuses from upwards of 10 departments have passed motions of non-confidence in the SFSS and there is a petition circulating to impeach members of the Executive Board. Suffice it to say, SFU grad students are not taking the apparent assault on their grad plan (the ultimate cause of this dog and pony show) lightly. You can get up to speed on the farily complex issue(s) at the blog SFSS Democracy Now. You can also read the Georgia Straight’s coverage. Matthew Burrows wrote the initial story, found here, and Charlie Smith followed it up last week with this article.

Another group has mobilized in order to force some accountability at the SFSS. Students for a Democratic University – and I didn’t know this till I googled it – was first started at SFU and McGill in 1968. Part of the radical student movement of the late ’60s, and a precursor of sorts to PIRGs, SDU played a prominent role in the Administration Occupation in ’68, and the student strike the next year. Read more here.

The recent incarnation of SDU is organizing to have a special AGM in order to begin the impeachment process. I’ll be helping out on that campaign, mainly on the media committee, as a contact person. So far I’ve written letters (unanswered by SFSS president Shawn Hunsdale to this date) and attended a meeting. I’ve gone from testing the waters with my toes (not too chilly) to stepping in ankle deep (a bit unsure about the water lapping up my legs). I’m supposed to be studying, among other things…

On a tech note, one of my committee members, Richard Smith, is sponsoring me to go to Web of Change. I’m excited; more later…

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