Hard Line From Admin

A Ban at McGill, Alleged Assault at ConU

  • Concordia Security films students picketing in the Faubourg Building.

Update: In an email to The Link Concordia University spokesperson Chris Mota commented on the incident.

“The video posted on Youtube is inconclusive. The individual has been invited to file a formal complaint if she believes that one is warranted. Once a complaint is filed, it will be fully investigated in accordance with our procedures.”

Mota added she wasn’t aware of any complaints being laid as of press time.

Concordia Security is under fire after one of their personnel allegedly hit a student on Monday morning.

The incident occurred in the Faubourg Building where geography classes were being picketed. A video was released later that day showing security agents watching picketers.

“He hit me across the face, pretty hard,” said Amber Gross, a student at McGill University who was filming security guards.

Around 00:40 into the video a security agent tries to hide his face and says “Don’t film, it’s not allowed,” before the camera falls on the ground. Gross claims this was when the agent hit her.

“I heard a clack [and] I saw the girl who was hit, her face was down,” said the Geography Undergraduate Student Society Vice-President Finance Trevor Smith.

“I wasn’t at the right angle for it, but I just remember this security personnel lifting his arms and it looked to me like it might have been punching towards the student—a right hook towards the student, but I don’t think it was a punch,” Smith said.

Some GUSS members were organizing picket lines when the alleged assault occurred, the student union having voted on a strike mandate on Feb. 29.

Picketers were met by security guards who filmed them and asked for their student ID numbers.

Gross explains she was videotaping the agents because they did not identify themselves. ”We wanted their ID card, which they are required to have under Quebec Law.” Smith confirmed the agents refused to identify themselves.

These incidents happened a few days after Concordia released a statement announcing it would charge students under the Academic Code of Conduct if they were blocking classes.

“Those unable or refusing to identify themselves will be photographed and charged once they have been identified,” the statement read.

Banned at McGill

Incidents involving picketing also happened at McGill University today and several students were banned from campus. One of the banned students, who wished to remain anonymous, explained he joined a group of students picketing a class.

“Some people started doing a hard picket to let students but not professors in.

I was standing about five feet away from that.”

“The Dean of Arts called me over and said that was not allowed on campus for five days and that I had to leave immediately,” said the student.

The Link came into possession of confidential documents notifying the students of their temporary expulsion. “I have reasonable grounds to believe that your continued presence on campus is detrimental to good order,” reads the letter signed by Associate Dean of Arts André Costopoulos.

McGill University responded by updating their “Demonstration FAQ” later that day.

“No students have been suspended from the University for participation in demonstrations or student strike-related activities. Most circumstances that lead to exclusion from campus under Article 21a involve allegations and reliable preliminary evidence of repeated and systematic infringement of the rights of others in one form or another,” the statement read.

A spokeperson for Concordia University was not available for comments at press time and Concordia Security did not return our calls.

-with files from Julia Jones, updated on March 29

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