Created on February 25th 2001 during a mobilization against the Summit of the Americas and the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the Association for Student Union Solidarity (ASSÉ) includes over 70 000 members from various Quebec college and university societies. In comparison with other provincial student associations, the ASSÉ has a more active and participatory approach to student union action, which regularly leads to demonstrations or other forms of student action.
Its primary mission is to “allow all Quebec citizens to have access to a free, public, accessible, secular, high-quality, and discrimination-free education” . Decision-making takes place in the congress according to the mandates determined within each member society, which can also choose to dissociate from any decision.
An openly feminist organisation, the ASSÉ also follows a number of principles that go beyond the most basic form of student politics. Thus, it explicitly positions itself against the current neoliberal form of globalisation and supports all progressive struggles that seek to better society. The ASSÉ specifies that it is not associated to any political party.
Over the past few years, the ASSÉ has stood out during two major student mobilisations, in 2005 and more recently, in 2012. Under the banner of the Broad Coalition of the ASSÉ (CLASSÉ), the Together, block the hikes! campaign contributed to bringing together hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of Montreal in response to the 75% increase in tuition fees announced by the liberal government at the time.
While the SSMU has never been a part of the ASSÉ, the VP External executives of the last few years have generally worked to ensure the development and maintenance of good relations with representatives of the Association.
To learn more about the ASSÉ, please visit their website: http://www.asse-solidarite.qc.ca/