An Open Letter to Our Campus Allies

Mr. Fahd Alhattab
President
Carleton University Students’ Association
Mr. Michael Bueckert
President
Carleton Graduate Students’ Association
Mr. David Duncan
President
CUPE 3778
Ms. Pam Griffin-Hody
President
CUPE 2424
Dr. William Leight
President
Carleton University Postdoctoral Association
Ms. Lauren Montgomery
Acting President
CUPE 4600
Mr. Devon Reeves
President
OPSEU 404
Mr. Art Ullett
President
CUPE 910

 

On behalf of the Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA), I’d like to express our appreciation to the unions, students and the public for their show of solidarity while we continue to defend academic freedom.

It is still somewhat of a mystery to CUASA as to how Carleton’s Board of Governors felt justified to scold and threaten Professor Gorelick with discipline and removal for blogging when recent news releases have shed light on much more egregious conduct of other governors. Just as CUASA condemned the Board’s attack on academic freedom, CUASA condemns the Board’s lack of action to protect the peaceful actions of students. The comparison of the exercise of legitimate democratic rights to the tactics of “Brownshirts and Maoists” is unacceptable.

Students have the right under Carleton’s ‘Human Rights Policies and Procedures’ to an environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, intimidation and censorious actions and comments. This policy was put in place to ensure that all members of the Carleton University community, including students, have a safe space to express contrary views in a peaceful manner and without fear of reprisal.

The Board cannot claim to operate in the best interest of the Carleton community if it continues to act surreptitiously. CUASA will continue to firmly stand in opposition of the Board so long as it purposefully ignores the principles of academic freedom and fails to apply its rules equally to all members of the Board.

I would like to extend our thanks and solidarity to our fellow unions who are actively defending the rights of their members who may feel insulted, harmed and intimidated by the Board’s actions. As well, we express our deepest sympathy to those students who themselves feel that their reputation, as concerned scholars, have been harmed when exercising their right to peacefully protest.

In solidarity,

Friskjen (Pum) van Veldhoven
President, Carleton University Academic Staff Association

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