McGill social work students plan to quit in-person classes and stay online
Discontent that had been simmering for weeks at McGill’s School of Social Work led to a rebellion, with undergraduates voting Monday to refuse to return to in-person classes for at least a month past the scheduled Jan. 24 date. .
Details on the strike vote are still unclear. A student body for undergraduate social work students will officially announce the news on Tuesday, according to a brief statement from one of the student leaders.
A general meeting held for the student association had a high turnout, said student Jo Roy, and the vote passed with 95% support.
Roy told CTV the student society estimates there are 140 students in the bachelor’s program and just over half, 73, attended the meeting. Among them, 70 voted in favor of the strike.
It’s a margin “I’m sure it would be consistent with the rest of our program,” Roy wrote.
The McGill administration has not yet responded to the student union or indicated whether it plans to accept its decision, said another social work student who helped advocate for the vote, Codey Martin.
McGill has not yet responded to a request for comment from CTV News.
Roy said it seems unlikely that McGill will decide to fail or punish the entire cohort for refusing to show up in person, if the vote has that level of support.
“We are entering a workforce that desperately needs social workers,” Roy wrote, saying McGill would risk a black eye not just in its public image, but with the Canadian Association for Labor Training. social.
“McGill would have a lot to lose if they tried to force us back now.”
Under the terms of the strike vote, students would continue to learn online until February 25, a month after the school’s planned return to class date, and then they would reevaluate at a new general assembly on February 25.
Students say they worry not only about their own risk of infection, but also about their clients. Third- and fourth-year students spend much of their time in internship-type settings, working in the community.
“Telling students that they have to come to class in poorly ventilated and poorly maintained buildings, only for McGill to send these students to work with vulnerable people on other days of the week, is a risk and a threat to the communities we serve,” the student said. the company wrote in its strike resolution.
The vote also came in response to McGill’s decision to cancel administration of the School of Social Work earlier this month, the student society wrote.
The social work students were informed by their school principal on Jan. 4 that the school “has independently decided to continue online learning for classes until Feb. 25,” they wrote.
Two days later, the director emailed them again explaining that he had learned that he was “not authorized” to make this decision and that the faculty of social work had to respect the rest of the university timetable.
“The [School of Social Work] and faculty are more than capable of making sound decisions about pedagogy amid this public health crisis,” the students wrote.
This is a developing story that will be updated.