In his September 13 diatribe (“A personal attack from behind a screen,” Commentary, page 6) on the value and place of sarcasm in civil discourse, Morton Mendelson stated that during orientation, “a world-record fruit salad was prepared…to promote the values of inclusivity.” Like no doubt at least a number of other people who have passed through McGill’s gates over the years, I suffer from a digestive disorder that prevents me from eating fruit salad: had I been a student at orientation week this year, I would have faced the choice of being excluded from the festive conclusion to the activity that all my peers would be allowed to partake in, or suffering in pain and discomfort for a number of days, just for the privilege of taking part in the activity all my peers were. Is this how the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) – with his PhD in psychology and expertise in adolescent psychology – defines “inclusivity?” Or are those of us with chronic diseases (Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, et cetera) simply not considered worthy of inclusion?
To the McGill students who experienced a similar sense of exclusion and devaluing of your personhood while reading Professor Mendelson’s piece, please accept my most heartfelt wishes of solidarity and strength. In four years, you can finish at McGill and move on to an institute of higher learning where your presence and participation will be valourized, rather than shunned.
In other words, it gets better.
B.A. (Honours) with Great Distinction, Canadian Studies, 2010;
Civil Law candidate, Université du Québec à Montréal;
Columnist, McGill Tribune, 2008-2009; 2009-2010
Vice-President (External) – SSMU 2006-2007; 2007-2008
Councilor, Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) 2005-2006;
Founding President, Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE);
Worm Compost Workshop Facilitator, Gorilla Composting McGill, 2004-2005