Concordia, McGill criticized over response to students' on-campus protests

March 28, 2012

Some Concordia University and McGill University students and professors are accusing the institutions of using scare tactics and intimidation in response to peaceful protests on their campuses. The criticism follows smaller but more militant groups of students opposing tuition fee increases targeting business and educational institutions. At McGill, 3 students have been barred from campus for 5 days for their strike-related activities. McGill's associate vice-principal sent a memo to students and staff stating that disruptions of university operations -- such as preventing classes from continuing -- are a violation of the student code of conduct and subject to discipline. At Concordia, a McGill student was reportedly hit in the face by a security guard when she tried to film him. A YouTube video of the incident led to an impromptu protest at the university. Students also criticized a new Concordia policy that threatens disciplinary action against students who block access to campus premises. Students and some staff call the reactions excessive, while the institutions say they are trying to protect the rights of students who want to go to class. Montreal Gazette