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School of Social Work Statement in Support of Students Protesting

School of Social Work Statement in Support of Students Protesting

The School of Social Work at York University condemns the university’s decision to charge a group of eight graduate and undergraduate students with violations of York's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (CSRR) in relation to their protest during the recent labour dispute with CUPE 3903.

We are concerned with many of features of the CSRR itself, (ie. how it is governed, the lack of due process and collegial decision making) and that it is being employed to intimidate and punish students who took on leadership roles during the CUPE strike. This is a deeply concerning and divisive precedent that sends a message to activists that they will continue to be targeted even after disputes are settled with the university.

In an open letter to York President Rhonda Lenton, the Canadian Association of Civil Liberties points to students’ right to protest and assemble are guaranteed by the Constitution. Despite the many statements and motions that demand these charges be dropped immediately, the university is extending the acrimony of the strike by pursuing and punishing these students. The School of Social Work demands that the charges be dropped immediately and that the use of the CSRR come under review.

Please see below for further information:

City News report, September 7

Radio Canada report, September 19

Link to York Student Code of Conduct and Complaint process

E. Brulé’s analysis of the history of the York University Student Code of Conduct (PdF access to the full article on the journal page)

Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s view on the York University Student Code of Conduct and peaceful protest

See also Osgoode Hall Law Union statement on these reprisals at