CATs March Against School Administration
Demo Ends with Alan Shepard Nowhere to be Found
Following the tribunal decision which gave students letters of reprimand for striking in spring 2015, protesters delivered their own letter to Concordia University President Alan Shepard earlier this afternoon.
Concordia Against Tribunals held a demonstration at Concordia’s downtown campus with a message for Shepard and the administration. A letter of reprimand is the lowest form of consequence an independent tribunal at Concordia can issue.
In their letter, CATs says they’re tired of the administration disrespecting and targeting vocal critics of the school. The group issued the same letter to the Dean of Students, Andrew Woodall. Shepard wasn’t in his eighth floor GM building office to receive his.
“It’s [Shepard’s] administration that set up this entire process and that made it drag on for this long,” said Nora Fabre, a member of CATs. “It could have been settled in a much different way, instead of wasting time, money and resources.”
As the students gathered on the mezzanine of the Hall building, the letter they planned to deliver was read out loud. CATs called out the administration for a lack of transparency, being abusive to the code of rights and responsibilities, and the misuse of funds, specifically for hiring mediators.
Earlier this year, The Link reported that the school had spent approximately $26,000 on mediation.
Conveniently, Woodall was standing next to the CATs table and received his letter. The students then proceeded through the metro and climbed the stairs all the way up to Shepard’s office.
The glass doors were locked. Even though Shepard wasn’t there, Lisa Ostiguy, a senior administrator, arrived after majority of the marchers left.
“We should ask ourselves, do we really want to live in a world where the leader of an institution can go in and mess with independent quasi-judicial proceedings,” Shepard said in an interview the morning of the march. “I don’t think so, and that’s how I feel about it.”
The tribunals are all finished, but the appeal process is still ongoing for some of the charged students.