Disrupt class? You may be charged: Concordia
Published Saturday, March 24, 2012 1:15PM EDT
If you interrupt class, you may be charged – that's the message officials at Concordia University are warning students protesting tuition hikes.
They warned students that as of Monday, they will press charges against those who disrupt classes or block access to their facilities, because it violates the Code of Rights and Responsibilities.
Charges under the university's Code can result in suspension, expulsion, or a fine.
"Students do not have the right to interfere with the classes of their fellow students," said Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota. "That is simply not an option."
The university issued a statement, reading:
"Anyone found to be obstructing or blocking access to campus buildings or classrooms will be required to present valid Concordia ID and will be charged as an offender under the Code."
Those who refuse to cooperate will be photographed and charged once they've been identified.
Estan Beedell recalled having one of his classes interrupted by a group of student protesters.
"Some people came in and made a lot of noise and then the class had to be cancelled," he said.
The notice encourages students and staff to file complaints against anyone being disruptive.
The move is controversial, and some feel it pits the university against student protesters.
"The university is supposed to be for us. They should be in our favour. Their mandate should be education," said student Megan Keenan.
The Concordia Student Union said it is a heavy-handed approach, and the wrong way to apply the Code, normally reserved for serious offences like assault or sexual harassment.
"This is effectively a fear tactic to stop students from engaging in the strike," said CSU President Lex Gill.