McGill Students Barred From Admin Building

Tensions Remain Day After Tuition Hike Clashes

  • Photos Erin Sparks

UPDATE

Occupiers have drafted a letter addressing their concerns towards the administration and the police.

The Students’ Society of McGill University issued a statement regarding the events of Thursday night

In response to yesterday’s scuffle between students and Montreal police, several McGill graduate students and professors decided to bring a letter of demands to members of the administration, but were not allowed to enter the James Administration Building.

The letter demanded a full public inquiry concerning the events of Thursday night, as well as “formal university and criminal reporting procedures for all faculty and students abused by McGill security.” It also demanded “police and legal recourse and resignation of the administrator(s) that approved the SPVM presence on campus and McGill Security Services use of force.”

Students were denied access by security and couldn’t deliver the letter.

“The idea was that we would be allowed in, very peacefully, to bring the letter to either [VP Administration and Finance Michael] Di Grappa or [Principal] Heather Munroe-Blum, but essentially to deliver to the senior administration,” said Jessica Young, a graduate student at McGill.

Young stressed the importance of students meeting with the administration and delivering the letter in person. “Yesterday we weren’t even allowed on our own campus, and we were violently pushed,” she said. “Essentially, what we’re trying to do is start a dialogue.”

Several students confirmed that a crew from the CBC was allowed inside the James Administration building, while security was still denying access to students.

According to Young, a PhD student who was there to drop off his dissertation, independent of the protest, was not allowed inside.

Members of the administration, including Deputy Provost Morton Mendelson, left the building as students shouted “Shame, shame.”

“I don’t know who that is, which is the sign that students don’t know their administrators by sight,” pointed out Rebecca Dolley, undergraduate student and former SSMU VP University Affairs, as another member of the administration was quickly escorted by security outside the building.

“We’re here to tell them that they are being quite hypocritical. Since Sept. 1, the McGill administration has being saying things like, ‘We’re all McGill’ [and] ‘Violence is unacceptable on this campus.’”

The gathering then turned into a meeting for McGill’s anti-tuition hike Mob Squad. The group read aloud an email sent by Monroe-Blum announcing the creation of an independent inquiry regarding the events of Thursday night to all McGill students.

The inquiry will be conducted by the Dean of Law, Daniel Jutras. The report is scheduled for Dec. 15, 2011.

Stay tuned. More to come.

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