Statement of values to be subject to consultation

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Photo: John Kelsey

By McGill Reporter Staff

McGill administrators, citing feedback from the University community, have adjusted their course on the proposal for a protocol governing demonstrations.

In a statement to the McGill community issued Wednesday afternoon, Provost Anthony C. Masi and V-P (Administration and Finance) Michael Di Grappa announced that the previous protocol document, circulated to the community for feedback before the Christmas break, will not go to Senate on Jan. 23 as planned, but will be replaced by a “Statement of Values and Principles Concerning Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Peaceful Assembly.”

This new document, which will be sent to the community shortly, will be the subject of a renewed consultation process lasting until early March. That process will include consultation fairs at both the downtown and Macdonald campuses and the creation of an open website where members of the community will be able to see each other’s comments. The provisional protocol will remain in effect until the end of that process.

The document, with appropriate changes made following the consultation process, will then be submitted to both Senate and the Board of Governors later in the spring.

“We would like to thank those of you who took the time, to share your opinions concerning the Protocol Regarding Demonstrations, Protests and Occupations,” Masi and Di Grappa’s message said. “Your comments on the substance of the document and on the process itself were thoughtful. There was no unanimity on changes being sought.”

The protocol was intended to replace a provisional protocol which had been implemented following two occupations of James Building offices in four months: a brief occupation of the Principal’s office on Nov. 10, 2011, and last winter’s weeklong occupation of Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson’s sixth-floor offices.

The provisional protocol remains in effect.

A number of groups on campus voiced their concerns with the protocol proposals during the most recent consultation process.

“In further reviewing best practices in this realm, we have come to an understanding that the McGill community will be best served by an agreed-upon statement of values and principles, rather than a protocol of operating procedures, which, by definition, must be sensitive to context and determined by judgment,” Masi and Di Grappa’s statement said.

Here is the full text of their statement:

“We would like to thank those of you who took the time, to share your opinions concerning the Protocol Regarding Demonstrations, Protests and Occupations. Your comments on the substance of the document and on the process itself were thoughtful. There was no unanimity on changes being sought.

“We write today to tell you that as a result of these consultations, it has become evident that further discussion on this complex issue would be helpful, and, that in addition to written submissions, different types of exchanges on this matter would be welcome before final decisions will be made.

“As well, in further reviewing best practices in this realm, we have come to an understanding that the McGill community will be best served by an agreed-upon statement of values and principles, rather than a protocol of operating procedures, which, by definition, must be sensitive to context and determined by judgment.

“We will prepare a Statement of Values and Principles Concerning Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Peaceful Assembly that will be circulated to the entire McGill community. Dates and venues for the renewed consultation process will shortly be made available. The process will include consultation fairs and the creation of an open website allowing all comments to be made available to members of the University community. We urge everyone to participate in this important process, which will be extended until March 8.

“Following the consultation period, the Statement of Values and Principles Concerning Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Peaceful Assembly will be brought to Senate and Board of Governors for final deliberations this spring.

“We look forward to the discussions and exchanges to come over the next months.”

Share this article

Category: Headline News

Post a Comment

  1. You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>