This Monday, an indefinite strike will begin by student consensus with final evaluations and taking over of the facilities at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE). It is the first time that students from a public research center, belonging to the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) perform an act of this nature after ensuring that they have been ignored by their authorities.
Francisco Barragán Sánchez, student of the degree in Economics of the CIDE and member of the assembly of representatives, talks with The Economist on the process that emerged inside for decision making.
“After being ignored by the authorities it was decided to seek the creation of a student assembly, which is precisely this mechanism to be able to have a voice and vote within the decisions that concern us within the CIDE.” However, the constitution of this could be seen as a long-term plan and at this time urgent decisions were required, so currently the students decided to organize themselves through a group or assembly of representatives (around 40 people) that includes every program and generation.
These representatives do not make decisions at the moment, but they are the direct communication of what is agreed in the assembly, this seeks to give legitimacy to the movement. Today the student community is united and in frank communication, ”says Barragán Sánchez.
So far, three organizing exercises have been carried out, the first was to find out names and surnames of the student community and the programs to which they belonged. Bachelor’s degrees predominate, then masters and doctorates; Active students are 484 of which 424 voted, “it is 87% of the student population that gives legitimacy to the movement and the actions to be followed.”
There were also two important consensuses; one to know what measure to take in case the request document is not fulfilled and the last one to know if they agreed with the taking of facilities as a measure. “The results favored the action of making a strike without classes, but with evaluations, this to protect the master’s and doctoral students, since they have to be directly accountable to the Conacyt, and that they had no problems for the process of their scholarship ”. Other options were total unemployment, which was 20 votes from the final decision, followed by active unemployment and no unemployment.
Regarding the taking of the facilities, 70% of the student population agreed with the measure. The duration of this was also agreed and in the vote, 45% opted for an indefinite strike, 30% for a significant 24-hour strike, and the other options were one week, or three days.
“This is not what we would have wanted”
These measures arise after trying a dialogue with the authorities through virtual meetings that did not bear fruit, later there was a demonstration outside the Conacyt on Insurgentes Avenue (November 20), but also without success, as the request form was not received despite the fact that a meeting was being held at the same time to meet the candidates to lead the CIDE.
“The strike is not what we would have wanted as a student community, but they have forced us to do this, which is totally legitimate. Before that there was a good reflection on the measures to be taken and although there are opinions of all kinds, we managed to get this student movement to reach agreements and strengthen us as a plural community ”.
Barragán Sánchez assures that this exercise is “very important” because in previous moments it had not been possible to achieve a legitimate student position, “we are motivated to be part of this and defend our institution, which in the short term has suffered various blows, such as the elimination of trusts without integrating a new mechanism of action, which caused a mobilization of various Conacyt centers ”.
He concludes by explaining that those who think that the Conacyt Centers are only for research “are wrong.” “There is an active student community in training, which of course investigates, but which is also a fundamental part of the work of these institutions, education. In this sense, although we are united to the various internal movements such as teachers and workers, we also seek representation, voice and vote ”.
Although they are aware that they are part of an organic structure of the government, they also consider that they must have their own criteria to be able to investigate the country’s problems. “Something must be very clear, the Conacyt through its centers produce public knowledge and in favor of improvements for the country”, it is enough to access the digital repository to realize the diversity of topics, discussions and visions that are present throughout throughout the various theses.
Around what will happen this Monday there is tension and fear, because after students placed signs in the offices of the general direction of the CIDE (Thursday, November 25), showing disagreement, a group of custodians was installed at the entrance of this space.
Given this fact, the student community showed a video “in which one of the guards is observed ready to draw his weapon.” This is something that in no past administration had been observed and was recorded through a statement disseminated on networks.
“We hold Dr. José Antonio Romero Tellaeche directly responsible for any harm or repressive measures of which we may be victims and we ask the federal authorities and public opinion in general, the absolute condemnation of these intimidating measures; especially within the educational centers of the country ”, concludes Barragán.
Academics position themselves
Along with the members of the Permanent Academic Assembly of CIDE On November 26, they issued a request form addressed to the next director general of the institution.
From the outset, they ask for an end to workplace harassment and freedom of expression in accordance with the decisions of the current interim director, José Antonio Romero Tellaeche, which they claim have affected the development of the center.
Through 16 points they advocate for the guarantee of their rights, as well as the integrity of the students at all times, in addition to the unrestricted respect for academic freedom, and research.
They also request the appointment of an academic secretary and the management of the Central Region Headquarters as soon as possible.
The regular functioning of the Academic Council, the Administrative Academic Council (CAAD); the Academic Council for Divisional Evaluation (CAED), and the Academic Judging Commissions (CADIs).