To Vote or not to Vote

Dawson students are voting whether or not to participate in the student strikes this week. If they vote yes, Dawson students will strike for one day, Thursday April 2. The classes they will miss as a result will be made up later in the semester: our calendar always makes a provision for the possibility of missed school time due to snow, since this semester delivered more cold than snow, we haven’t had to use those days. With the question of missed school time out of the way, students can vote according to their consciences.

At issue is the question of austerity. Austerity measures, Austerity Budgets: what, you may be asking, is austerity?

 From the Oxford English Dictionary:

austerity, n.

Pronunciation:  Brit. /ɔːˈstɛrᵻti/ , /ɒˈstɛrᵻti/ , U.S. /ɔˈstɛrədi/ , /ɑˈstɛrədi/
Forms:α. ME austerite, ME–16 austeritie, 15 austeryte, 16– austerity.

β. ME austernete.

Etymology:  < Middle French austerité (French austerité ) (of religious practice) severity, harshness, asceticism, (also specifically) self-mortification, (of a person) sternness of manner, mercilessness (all 13th cent. in Old French), (of a landscape) bleakness, roughness (1554), (of flavour) astringency (1596) < classical Latin austēritāt- , austēritās bitterness, astringency, (of weather) rigour, severity, strictness, sternness <austērus austere adj. + -tās (see -ty suffix1; compare -ity suffix).

1.  a. Sternness of manner, appearance, or disposition; severity in judgement; (esp. of a law or judgement) harshness, severity.

b. With reference to taste: astringent sourness or bitterness; harshness. Obs.

 c. With reference to the weather, landscape, etc.: harshness; ruggedness; bleakness.

 2. a. Severe self-denial or self-restraint; moral strictness; rigorous abstinence, asceticism.Chiefly in religious contexts.

 b. In pl. Severely abstinent or ascetic practices; mortifications (mortification n. 1).

 3. Severe simplicity; lack of luxury or adornment.In early use with reference to the outward signs of self-denial (see sense 2a); in later use esp. with reference to simplicity in literature, architecture, etc.

4. Restraint in public spending; spec. a programme of government measures designed to reduce public spending and conserve resources, esp. during a time of economic hardship; the conditions resulting from such measures.The term entered common use in 1942, and was freq. used in the context of rationing and other measures introduced by governments in the period during and after the Second World War (1939–45).

Now, here are some articles on the question of austerity. All of these articles originally appeared in French and have been translated to English.

Health Care

Artists and anti-austerity

Public services

Violence against Protesters

A few thousand of my closest friends


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