Ontario students stand behind Carleton students and faculty challenging Board of Governors "gag order"

TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario students are gravely concerned about the possible removal of Carleton professor Dr. Root Gorelick from the Carleton University Board of Governors after he refused to sign on to a new Fiduciary Statement which would prevent him from speaking openly about non-confidential Board of Governors meetings and business. Dr. Gorelick and other groups on campus have argued that the Statement basically amounts to a "gag order," preventing Governors from engaging with the constituencies who elected them. The Board of Governors is the highest decision-making body at the university and accountability and transparency are crucial to the democratic process on campus. 

"This case is about much more than one person taking a principled stance against censorship, it is reflective of an alarming trend at governing bodies on campuses across Ontario that is seeing a rise in secrecy and closed-door decision-making," said Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Students, faculty and community members have a right to know about the important decisions being made by their institutions, especially when it comes to financial matters like funding and tuition fees."

In response to this threat to remove Professor Gorelick, the Carleton University Graduate Students' Association along with five other campus organizations has released a series of recommendations to make the Board of Governors more open, democratic and transparent to the Carleton community. Students strongly encourage the university to take these recommendations seriously and begin to rebuild trust with students, faculty, staff, and other community members.

At the most recent Semi-Annual General Meeting of the Federation, student representatives from across the province voted to condemn the new Fiduciary Statement, support Professor Gorelick and demand that Carleton University take immediate action to address the concerns put forward by students, faculty, staff and community members regarding the Board of Governors and the democratic process on campus.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's largest student organization, representing over 350,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students from Thunder Bay to Windsor.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: Alastair Woods, Government & Media Relations Coordinator, at a.woods@cfsontario.ca or 647-378-8942

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