McGill students hold sit-in on campus

February 8, 2012

A student occupation over funding for 2 campus organizations entered its second day yesterday at McGill University, with a tent set up, apparently overnight, outside the James Administration Building. The sit-in had started late Tuesday morning, when 2 dozen students sprang what they call a "surprise resignation party" on the sixth floor of the building. The protesters are seeking the ouster of McGill's deputy provost for student life and learning, as well as continued funding for the Quebec Public Interest Research Group and CKUT, the student-run radio station. Students want McGill to ratify a referendum held last fall regarding the place of the 2 groups on campus. The institution contends the wording of that referendum question was confusing, and it wants a second referendum to take place. In a statement Tuesday, McGill's provost said the students' "occupation of the premises a violation of the law," and complaints about their actions will be filed against them and will be addressed in accordance with the code of student conduct. The Montreal Gazette reports that 22 protesters left the building's ground floor before noon Wednesday, while at least another 20 remained on the sixth floor. A Montreal police constable says there has been no request for municipal police to enter campus or otherwise become involved in the situation. "It's an internal problem" for the university, he says. McGill Statement (Tuesday) | McGill Statement (Wednesday) | Montreal Gazette | CBC

Postscript: Feb 14, 2012

A group of students who had occupied part of McGill University's administration building since last Tuesday ended their sit-in Sunday morning without incident. The 9 students left after McGill asked Montreal police to assist in the eviction just before 9 am. One protester says no meaningful negotiations took place while they were in the building, which was completely closed off to staff and other students for 3 days. McGill's VP of administration and finance says that "keeping the building open also posed the risk that the occupation would spread to the other offices." McGill Statement | Montreal Gazette