November 29, 2016 7:18 pm

English CEGEP campuses want independence

For more than a year, students and teachers at St. Lawrence campus in Quebec City have been fighting for independence. Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

Jean-Vincent Verville/Global News
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The Champlain network is a familiar institution in English CEGEP circles, but if some people have their way, that network could break up.

For more than a year, students and teachers at St. Lawrence campus in Quebec City have been fighting for independence.

Currently it is one of three campuses joined under the Champlain Regional College and students say this model is preventing them from getting important services.

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“(We need) another guidance councillor. We only have one right now at St. Lawrence and she’s overbooked all the time,” Emma Couture, student representative on the school’s board of governors, said. “She’s doing an amazing job, but she’s only one for 900 students, which is not enough.”

The teachers’ union said St. Lawrence has to chase federal grants in order to provide basic services like counselling.

“Students in Montreal can also be interested,” Benjamin Huot, St. Lawrence’s student association president, said. “Near them, they have the St. Lambert CEGEP and and the Lennoxville CEGEP, which isn’t too far away. So it’s not only in Quebec City, it’s for the three campuses and it’s for the best of everyone.”

Students say independence would also mean better student representation on the school’s board of governors. For example, Couture says she routinely misses meetings.

“I have one this week, tomorrow, which I won’t be able to attend because it’s at St. Lambert which is two-and-a-half hours from here and it’s on a school night,” she said.

“We’ve been talking about the structure and structure issues since I started teaching at St. Lawrence, believe it or not, 30 years ago,” Lisa Birch, the Champlain St. Lawrence teachers’ union president, said.

Birch said the higher education minister needs to make the decision to get rid of the multi-regional college model.

“It’s an anachronism. It’s the only one of its kind left. All of the others disappeared decades ago and for good reason.”

 

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