As I have previously discussed, one of the aspects I found most worrisome about the Memorial University Student Code of Conduct process that got me banned from campus was who initiated the complaint. While not in attendance at the event where I protested Vianne Timmons, Chief Risk Officer Greg McDougall filed the complaint rather than the since-removed president herself. Having these powers set a dangerous precedent and led me to see the Chief Risk Officer as akin to a prosecutor at the University.
With this in mind, on July 14th, 2023, I filed an access-to-information request seeking the total number of Student Code of Conduct complaints filed by Chief Risk Officer Greg McDougall since January 1st, 2020.
On July 27th, 2023, I received a response from Memorial University’s Information Access and Privacy Office that they reviewed my request and were pleased to inform me that MUN decided to provide access to the requested information. They stated, “In accordance with your request, we can advise that there was 1 Student Code of Conduct complaint filed by the Chief Risk Officer, Greg McDougall.”
Given that the CRO apparently has the power to initiate a complaint against anyone they deem to be violating the Student Code of Conduct, it is interesting that I was the only person who received a complaint from the CRO in three and a half years. Has the CRO not been able to find a single other unreported incident on campus that deserves a complaint?
I believe I was the only person in three and a half years to receive a complaint from the CRO because I’m one of the administration’s most vocal and effective critics.
It’s quite telling that Memorial University did not discipline students for similar protests before mine, like the Kachanoski pink slip or the storming of a Board of Regents meeting. The University also did not discipline students for serving former President Vianne Timmons with a pink slip one year after my protest.
During Memorial’s investigation of me regarding other protests, they hid behind the lack of an individual complaint filed while stating that the administration, through its Chief Risk Officer, Greg McDougall, can undertake the Student Code of Conduct process. It does not appear that the Student Code of Conducted was drafted and implemented with the intention of the complainant as a prosecutor.
Because I was a single protestor and I am on the autism spectrum, I believe some people at MUN may have seen me as an easy target. Undergoing the Student Code of Conduct process, I felt an element of animosity against me and a sense that the complaint was unduly targeted.
I have filed a total of 257 access-to-information requests since 2017 and published over one hundred articles on MUN focusing on financial mismanagement. My most notable discoveries through this process include publishing Dr. Timmons’s employment contract, travel expenses, and office renovations.
See ATIPP below:
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.