So I decided to go to sleep early and wake up early instead of pulling an all-nighter. It never really works out, but when I eventually get on to campus, it would be nice to have a cup of coffee at Arch Café.
Oops, but this isn’t really about Arch Café.
It’s about the fact that our roots are being pulled out, and how that’s supposed to be a positive thing.
The administration seems to think it is a burden to give students access to University space. They think that it’s an outrage they should have to hand over student fees to student clubs without being able to control those clubs. Or if you’re like QPIRG, that being a student group should mean focusing all your time on campus to saving yourself. They are just so annoyed that they should have to figure out how to let the McGill community use bikes on campus. And undergrads should be happy that the admin were so nice to you during the tour, because you’re definitely not getting any funding or attention now that you’re here.
And if you’re a grad student who’s supposed to be the centre of this research-centred university, you’d better have your nose to the grindstone – but we really don’t care about the quality of your research, just that it’s being churned out.
If you’re a Muslim person at McGill, you have to file a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission, and the admin still won’t give you prayer space on campus.
If you’re in a union on campus (or trying to organize one) – don’t expect the University to be some sort of sanctuary – while the students are learning about social inequality, you’d better get your ass back to work.
The list goes on and on (we don’t have to listen very hard to hear these groups speak out for themselves) – and that’s the point, it’s not about specific policies, compartmentalizing us into interest groups, but rather about a total way of doing things – of calculating value and making priorities.
This column will explore how ways of thinking connect all the grievances above – not through some diabolical web of money and influence, but rather through series of compromises, processes with perverse trajectories, decisions that went through, rather than being fought out.
Maybe we should see that we’re not just at school, we’re also neck-deep in the machinery that makes the world turn, and maybe we should wriggle around a bit.
I work with Mobilization McGill (MM), a collective founded on the idea that these issues stem from a central source – so we need to work together and protest together. The strength of MM comes from the fact that everyone brings their own perspective and energy to the group. I bring my own perspective to the group and to this column.
Starting next Monday, we will be rolling out the boycott of McGill food services. It will end with another big, noisy rally during Senate next Wednesday at 2 p.m. in front of Leacock.
This isn’t just about food, this isn’t just about Arch Café: let’s show the admin that we can do more than choose from their “high quality and nutritious food selection,” let’s show them that we can fight back, that we can build something – build something that isn’t just for ourselves.
A bunch of us have decided to wear white ribbons. White so you can put whatever is bothering you on it, but also so that we can, in solidarity, protest the way the administration (for starters) interacts with the McGill community and people in general.