Recent protests propel new important student movements on campus
It’s been one hell of a year. From comical James Bond villains running for president of the United States to killer clowns out for… well no one really know what, it’s been quite the roller coaster ride.That being said, University of Ottawa students have taken it upon themselves to tackle some important issues during these tumultuous times through a slew of protests.
Past rallies include the Kinder Morgan pipeline protest on Oct. 24, in which a dozen students were arrested, as well as the Canadian Federation of Students’ Day of Action held on Nov. 2, which aimed to fight tuition hikes.
But recently, students have joined together to form the Students United Against the University of Ottawa (SUAUO), an unregistered club, in an effort to bring to light even more problems we face as an institution.
“It felt great to make a change and fight for something that really mattered,” said SUAUO president Ava Cado, a second-year international development and globalization student. “That’s why we’re out here on Tabaret lawn, protesting the lack of outlets on campus.” she added, while knocking a student over with her 3-foot-long styrofoam sign fashioned to look like an extension cord.
The SFUO has joined the bandwagon and welcomes the protests.
“It’s about staying connected.There’s nothing more annoying than being in the middle of ignoring an email just to have your laptop die,” said SFUO vice-president social Wadi Hess.
The student union also urged students to check out their website for further news about the current demonstrations.
“There should be an update on the online registration tool in maybe three to four months,” said Hess.
While outlet placement is definitely a serious issue on campus, the protesters also decided to air other grievances like the never ending construction taking over the grounds, the terrible online service by way of the constant changes being made to uoZone, and the fact that the dining hall just seems to keep getting worse and worse. Not to mention the squeaky chairs that appear to have been haunting lecture halls since 1848.
Students have gone so far as to park a bulldozer in front of the University Centre to symbolize their war against the university.
“Administration needs to start constructing positive relationships with students, not more walls and buildings,” Cado said. “We’re not afraid to break the rules, and the barriers that are preventing our voices from being heard.”
“We’ve been silent too long,” added Daniel Jacks, a fourth-year engineering student. “No more.”
His words were quickly picked up by his peers and developed into a chant, although what they were protesting was rather unclear.
While the rest of administration is planning negotiations with the students to end the so-called “absurd rallies,” Dr. Relatable, an anthropology professor at the U of O, applauded the events taking place.
“I’ve never seen a youth group so actively committed to making a change,” he said. “The lack of outlets has been a nuisance on campus since I was a student here, and that was before we had laptops.”
Another facet of the ongoing protests has students preparing for a school wide walkout.
“We’re thinking of just not showing up to classes for a few weeks from December to January. That should show them,” said Sidney Lacker, a third-year business student.
While the date for the walkout is still undecided, sources say that it will be held directly after final exams.