A recently obtained ATIPP request reveals the outcry of Memorial University Alumni members regarding the administration’s decision on December 3rd, 2021, to ban a student for a silent protest. See quotes from Alumni below:
“I understand that the university has decided to ban a student from campus because he has been critical of President Timmons and senior administration. This is disgraceful. The university community, students, staff, faculty and alumni can only feel threatened by this type of sanction. As an alumna, I am ashamed to be associated with Memorial. I have asked Alumni Affairs to remove my name from any distribution lists. Be assured you cannot count on my support if student protest is treated in such a heavy-handed manner.”
“As an alumni of MUN I am – I do not use this term lightly – disgusted.
You took a job as the president of a university. Universities are also known for social action and young people finding their voice to speak up and help solve world issues. One would (SHOULD) expect this when accepting the role.
You are in a public position. The decisions you make are put in the media, with your face alongside it. Yet the use of your picture on a placard by one of your own students is enough to be ‘interpreted’ as a threat?
This makes the University look pathetic (not to mention your obscene salary and tuition increases). I can attest as a professional that the actions of MUN on these and other issues have been noticed and with distaste elsewhere in Canada, especially among academic circles.”
“I just wanted you to know that in the 6 months since you’ve taken on the job as President at MUN, you have killed the reputation of this once beloved school; one which I look at with great fondness. Your behavior would not have been tolerated back then, and if you can listen to your students, and I’m sure your advisors, I think it would be wise to listen to them.
Before you completely crush the reputation of MUN, please change your ways. You might think you’ve been successful with your high Fall 2022 registrations, but that is only because we are in a pandemic, and things have been closed. I can guarantee that next Fall 2023, you are going to see new student numbers plummet, and you will be at fault for the ruination of this school. Please don’t simply scoff at this email, as I send it to keep a school I once loved dearly intact.”
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.