I have given the senior administration at Memorial University every benefit of the doubt. However, many persons with disabilities have approached me, expressing concern with the targeted and discriminatory way the administration has responded to my journalism and activism. I have an obligation to speak out about this matter.
The university has tried to present me as “dangerous” and “unhinged” without any supporting facts. These are disablist stereotypes and could have a chilling effect on other students with disabilities participating in protest actions on campus.
Many argue that my December 2nd action of silencing holding up a protest sign was mild, especially compared to previous protest actions on campus.
It is wholly inappropriate for the administration to use disablist oppressive strategies to smear a student, and prejudicial thinking must be challenged. The administration’s actions to date are a form of severe bullying and harassment.
I encourage students, the university community, and the people of the province to hold President Vianne Timmons and her lackeys Director of Student Life Jennifer Browne and Chief Risk Officer Greg McDougall accountable.
Other people have expressed that they also experienced harassment from these individuals. They use intimidation to create an environment where members of the university community are fearful of them. If anyone is experiencing mistreatment from MUN’s top brass, feel free to contact me, and I can provide you with the resources to stand up against their abuses of power.
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.