Commentary | Dear Professors: an open letter

Turbulent is one of the only ways to describe the last two months at McGill. We’ve had MUNACA on strike since September 1, and now tuition is set to rise. The inaccessibility, created by the tuition hikes, will hinder thousands of students from obtaining higher education. Further, we’ve lost the ability for campus groups and non-varsity sports teams to identify as McGill. The voice that both academic and students have is non-existent, we lack the proper checks and balances that an institution should have, and we lack the ability to gain them. And now we lack a campus where students can feel safe.

On Thursday November 10, 14 students occupied the office of Heather Munroe-Blum. While you might not agree with the students’ occupation, the actions from McGill security, administration, and the Montreal police greatly exceeded what they should have been at a peaceful protest.

Students inside were kicked, pushed, and dragged by McGill Security. Students outside were pepper sprayed, tear-gassed, swarmed, and beaten by the Montreal Police. This all happened on McGill’s campus, a place that should be for discourse.

We need accountability.

We need transparency.

We need safety.

We need discourse.

We need free speech.

We need to mobilize.

We need professors.

Professors need students.

Please cancel classes on Monday November 14 and encourage students to come to the We Are McGill rally from 12:00 p.m. onwards – the starting point will be the Roddick Gates and we’ll be moving from that point. This is our University – we should feel safe exercising our voices on campus without worrying that the riot police will show up. Students,
professors, and non-academic staff should have appropriate voices on campus, yet, we don’t. The executive of McGill University needs checks and balances that transcend the 5th floor of James Administration. And lastly, on Monday let’s keep it non-violent.

Additionally, I encourage both students and staff to write letters to Munroe-Blum, Di Grappa, and Mendelson with our displeasures on how the institution is being run.

Andrew Childerhose
U3 Canadian Studies and Sociology

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