Volume 94, Issue 35

Wednesday, November 1, 2000


Concordia money vanishes

USC answers - where's the beef?

Buses keep rolling

USC Senator voting rights in question

Province throws the money into water

Tobacco companies get stubbed out

Campus Briefs

London miffed over Toronto garbage plan

Students protest York U. strike

Corroded Disorder

Students protest York U. strike

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

The tension at York University grew this week as approximately 30 students occupied the VP-student affairs' office in protest of the ongoing faculty and teaching assistant strike.

York spokesperson, Sine MacKinnon, said at 8:30 a.m., Monday, between 20 and 30 students came into the VP-student affairs office. Later, they were offered a chance to meet with members of the university's administration, but the students rejected this offer, she explained.

After repeated warnings and requests to leave, York University police entered the occupied office at approximately 6 p.m. and told students they would be arrested if they did not leave immediately, she said, adding all students left after this final warning and no arrests were made.

"[The strike is] going to get solved at the table – not by occupying an office," she said. "They wanted to get the university back to the table, but it was the union who walked away from the table last Tuesday. The university has always been open to talking."

Michelle Lowry, executive member of CUPE local 3903, the union representing the striking contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants, said the police who forced the students to vacate the office had used force and she had been informed one student had been grabbed by the throat.

She also explained two picketters had been struck by an automobile which tried to charge through a picket line, but both individuals escaped injury. Despite these recent events, she said, strikers remained positive. "Morale is still pretty high."

Lowry added the university campus was now largely underpopulated, as the strike blocked or delayed most traffic trying to enter. "I've been getting reports from within the university saying many people aren't going to class."

According to Hasrat Gafoor, president of the York Federation of Students, campus was predominantly quiet, but many students remained nervous about mid-term examinations and the effect the strike might have on deadlines and due dates. He added the YFS office has scaled back operations in support of the striking workers.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000