News  McGill’s highest governing body discusses McGillLeaks

Principal states Board’s position on unlimited student strike

The University’s Board of Governors (BoG) held its fifth meeting of this academic year to discuss recent incidents, including the breach of confidentiality in the office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) by the anonymous group McGillLeaks.

Chair of the Board Stuart Cobbett started the open session of the meeting by congratulating the members at large for “[the] exceptional job in…dealing with situations of 10 November, the Jutras Report…[and] creating open sessions around the campus.”

Cobbett then addressed Principal Heather Munroe-Blum.

“Despite the unfortunate occupation of February…you and your team have handled [the situation] well,” he said.

On the meeting’s agenda was a discussion concerning documents leaked from DAR’s portfolio.

“Immediate and aggressive measures have been taken,” Munroe-Blum said, but added that the investigation is not complete.

“[McGillLeaks] raises profound questions about our security measures,” she said.

In response to McGillLeaks, Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) President Roland Nassim questioned the administration’s decision to forgo issuing a public statement to the University community.

“Some members of the University society are trying to create stories with McGill’s relationship with the corporate world,” Nassim said.

Munroe-Blum responded that the administration does not “respond to every story.”

“If there is an academic intent to discuss McGill’s [relationship] with the corporate world, we’ll be happy to do that,” she said.

BoG members also discussed the subject of student strikes. The meeting took place as the Arts Undergraduate Society held a General Assembly with a motion to enter an unlimited student strike.

Munroe-Blum stated, “Two student associations have voted to boycott classes…[and] there will be other votes. Our position is that…anyone has the right to fulfill their work responsibilities. McGill will continue, and the expectation is that everyone will fulfill their [academic] responsibilities.”

After the meeting adjourned, Cobbett spoke to The Daily about BoG’s awareness of the student strikes against tuition hikes.

“The Board is very well aware of what’s going on and the Board is updated regularly,” he said. “But frankly, most of the immediate responses to any of those issues…are responses that come from the Principal and her team.”

Macdonald Campus Students’ Society BoG representative – who is considered a student observer by the Board – Audrey Hasegawa said that MCSS “supports the strike; we support the one-day solidarity.” As a student observer, Hasegawa has speaking rights as BoG but cannot vote.

“We have voted for a solidarity strike on Thursday. This is the first time that [a Macdonald campus GA] has reached quorum,” she continued.

“We feel that we don’t have as much communication with the downtown administration. There needs to be implemented…supplementary support for the Macdonald Campus,” she added.

The agenda concluded with a report presented by Dean of Arts Christopher Manfredi on developments in research and undergraduate programs.

The Board will hold its next meeting on April 24.