On Wednesday, as part of the McGill24 campaign, Principal Suzanne Fortier received an email demanding a $2019.03 donation to the Counselling Services.
A screenshot of the alleged email thanks Fortier for serving the University for six and a half years as the Principal. The email then proceeds to ask for a “gift of $2019.03” on this anniversary, claiming that such a donation will “make it possible for students to receive the support they need.”
McGill students have spoken out against such a demand, branding it a “scam.”
“They’re asking for too much,” said James Campbell, a Management student whose father owns a number of top Canadian corporations. “That’s more than 0.5% of her annual income, and they’re acting like they won’t be able to afford these services without the two thousand dollars – which is total blackmail.”
His friend in Engineering, who asked to stay anonymous, expressed concerns for the ethics of Counselling Service’s existence. “I’m not trying to be stigmatizing,” he said. “But people who have mental illnesses just aren’t strong enough to be in such a competitive University. If the University pays to make everyone feel good, we’re basically coddling ourselves as babies.”
Fortier agreed to a brief phone interview and confirmed that she was touched by students’ outrage on her behalf. “I am grateful for the overwhelming support I received, and I will certainly not budge on this request. I will not disappoint my students and supporters.”
“Besides, I can’t make the contribution by principle – no pun intended,” said Fortier. “My administration has destroyed funding for student mental health, and I am certainly not paying for it.”