News | Negotiations continue as food dwindles

12 students remain on sixth floor

On Wednesday night, students outside the James Administration building attempted to deliver food to the 12 students who remained in Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson’s office on the sixth floor.

A makeshift pulley – a bucket and rope – was lowered out of a sixth floor window to students waiting below. Security agents cut the rope before any food could be supplied to students within the building.

“Security guards at the lower level grabbed the bucket and the rope, and destroyed them,” said student and Daily staffer Ethan Feldman, who was, at press time, still occupying Mendelson’s office. “Right now all we want is to eat.”

At 9:40 p.m., the students tweeted that they were on their last sandwich. One student on the sixth floor told The Daily that they have some additional food, though the supply is limited.

After the attempt to obtain food was obstructed by McGill Security, Feldman spoke to future efforts. “We have more rope [and] we’re attempting to build something. Students still have the space underneath our rope, but it is just not something that seems possible,” he said.

Students on the sixth floor gained access to a window after their negotiation team refused to exit the designated negotiation room. The students’ negotiating team has met with Associate Vice-Prinicpal (University Services) Jim Nicell.

Nicell was no longer negotiating with students as of 9:30 p.m. Feldman said that Nicell told students on the sixth floor that he would be a “phone call away” if they wished to contact him.

Earlier in the day, a student announced outside of the James building that Nicell told the bargaining team that he “doesn’t have the power to grant them access to food.” Nicell was unavailable for comment at the time of press.

Reports from the sixth floor said that the students had only planned for food provisions to last until Wednesday night.

On Tuesday night while participating in negotiations with Nicell, student Amber Gross attempted to bring food from the lobby of James to the sixth floor. She was informed by Nicell that she could not bring food with her to the students.

Director of Media Relations Doug Sweet said that, although students on the sixth floor have access to washrooms, in terms of food provisions, he stated, “My understanding is that they had brought provisions and were planning to settle in for some length of time, if they didn’t have sufficient provisions, they also have an option: they can go outside the building.”

“They’re not allowed to re-enter the building [if they leave],” Sweet added.

Reports from students who were outside the James building said their attempts to deliver food to students on the sixth floor were ongoing. At least three students planned to spend the night camping outside of James.


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