James Admin Occupation at McGill, Day 2

by Jonathan Sterne on February 8, 2012

Things you need to know:

1. Students are occupying the James Administration building in protest of Deputy Provost Morton Mendelson’s efforts to de-fund CKUT and QPIRG.

2. For reasons that will have to be considered in another post, all McGill faculty, staff and students will now apparently receive an email any time anyone at a university protests anything.

3. This morning’s email announcing the closure of James Admin (reproduced below) actually links to the Milton Avenue Revolutionary Press (yes, that’s MARP for short), which is liveblogging the occupation. If you follow the link, you will understand why I find this to be surreal.

I worry MARP may not be all that legible to people who aren’t already familiar with the local campus politics. I’m flying away soon, so if nobody else explains it clearly, I’ll try tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can follow the occupation on twitter via @6partylive and @miltrevpress

Today’s official communiqué:

Message to the McGill community
Update on the James Bldg occupation
From Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)

We would like to bring you up to date on the status of the occupation of the offices of the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) on the 6th floor of the James Administration Building and in the building’s first-floor lobby.

The James Building remains closed today, so alternate work arrangements have been made for the people who work there. James Building staff are relocated or working from home, continuing to provide services as best they can under the circumstances. Services normally provided to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the James Building have been relocated to Service Point, on McTavish Street in the ground floor of the McLennan Library Building. Graduate program offices should contact their normal GPS staff contact by email today. Students, faculty and staff who need to access other services can contact people or offices via email. If you cannot reach anyone, please send a note to info.mcgill@mcgill.ca, and someone will respond as quickly as possible with the appropriate information. Again, we regret any inconveniences or interruptions in service you may experience as a result of the occupation.

As yesterday’s email mentioned, the occupiers were given a notice from Provost Masi (found at http://www.mcgill.ca/channels/announcements/item/?item_id=213952). Yesterday, Professor Jim Nicell talked several times with designated representatives of the occupiers in an attempt to get the protestors to leave the building. The protestors are refusing to leave unless their demands are met, as listed on this blog (please note that the blog does contain profanity): http://miltonrevolutionarypress.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/live-partyblog-from-mendelsons-surprise-resignation-party-welcome-back-ckut-qpirg-party/

We will continue to attempt to talk to the occupiers about them leaving the building peacefully. We hope for a rapid, peaceful end to this unacceptable situation.

Message à la communauté mcgilloise de Michael Di Grappa, vice-principal (administration et finances)

Mise à jour sur l’occupation du Pavillon James

Voici une mise à jour concernant l’occupation des bureaux du premier vice-principal exécutif adjoint (études et vie étudiante) au 6e étage et dans le hall du rez-de-chaussée du Pavillon de l’administration James.

Le Pavillon James demeure fermé aujourd’hui, et des dispositions ont été prises afin que les employés qui y ont leur bureau puissent poursuivre leur travail. En dépit des circonstances actuelles, le personnel s’efforce de maintenir les services offerts en temps normal. Les services normalement offerts aux étudiants des cycles supérieurs et boursiers de recherche postdoctorale ont été déplacés au Point de service, situé au rez-de-chaussée de la Bibliothèque McLennan, rue McTavish. Aujourd’hui, les responsables de bureaux d’études supérieures doivent communiquer avec leur personnel régulier. Étudiants, professeurs et employés qui désirent obtenir l’un ou l’autre des services offerts peuvent joindre le personnel en charge par courriel. S’il vous est impossible de joindre quiconque, veuillez envoyer un courriel à info.mcgill@mcgill.ca, et l’information demandée vous sera transmise dans les meilleurs délais. Sachez que nous sommes désolés des problèmes et des retards causés par cette situation.

Tel que mentionné dans le courriel d’hier, les manifestants ont reçu un message de la part du vice-principal exécutif Masi, que vous pouvez consulter à : http://francais.mcgill.ca/channels/announcements/item/?item_id=213952. Hier, le professeur Jim Nicell s’est adressé aux occupants à plusieurs reprises afin de les amener à quitter les lieux. Comme vous pourrez le lire sur ce blogue – qui comporte des propos offensants – les manifestants refusent d’obtempérer tant que l’Université n’aura pas répondu à leurs demandes. http://miltonrevolutionarypress.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/live-partyblog-from-mendelsons-surprise-resignation-party-welcome-back-ckut-qpirg-party/

Nous poursuivons nos tentatives visant à convaincre les occupants de quitter les lieux dans le calme. Nous espérons mettre rapidement un terme à cette situation inacceptable, et ce, de manière pacifique.

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