Decision to Change the Redmen Name Postponed
SSMU Releases Statement Responding to the Delay
In light of the decision to postpone the ruling on the Redmen name, the Student Society of McGill University responded in a statement on Friday.
On Jan. 30, McGill university’s vice-chancellor and principal Suzanne Fortier, who is tasked with making the final ruling on the name change, wrote in a statement that a decision will be made “by the end of the academic term,” instead of January 2019.
SSMU’s response to McGill’s “next step” stated that the decision to delay the name change is “disappointing” and “contradicts McGill’s core principles of equity and inclusiveness.”
“It’s a disservice to the notion that McGill is fully committed to ‘pursuing an unedited truth, about its historical and contemporary relationship with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples to meaningfully inform its goal of reconciliation,’” continued the statement.
Last November, over 58,000 students participated in a referendum vote, whereas 78 per cent voted in favour of the name change.
The reason for the postponement comes after Fortier received a number of messages regarding the team name. Fortier said she will take time to consider the messages that she’s received before making a final ruling.
Fortier expressed that the question needs “the time and space that it clearly deserves.”
“It is important for me to read, understand and reflect upon all the comments and points of view that have been expressed, and give them the level of consideration and respect with which they were shared,” she said in the statement.
“[The University] has chosen to prolong the feelings of isolation, anxiety, and discomfort experienced by Indigenous students on account of this name,” responded SSMU. “And it has chosen to defer an opportunity to take responsibility for its actions and to deconstruct stereotypes in our community.”
A decision is set to be made by the end of the winter semester, which officially ends on Apr. 12.