Laurentian Barrie students pass 24-hour mark at sit-in to demand fairness

BARRIE, ON, Feb. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Starting Thursday, February 18 at 8:30AM, the Laurentian Students' Union began a sit-in inside the administration offices of Laurentian University in Barrie, to protest the schools insufficient program completion options offered to students in light of their decision to close the Barrie campus by May 2019. Students have occupied the office for over 24 hours now and are prepared to stay to continue putting pressure on the Board of Governors to allow all Laurentian Barrie students to complete their programs on the Barrie campus.

"Though some students will be able to complete their programs and graduate on the Barrie campus, there will still be 220 students left essentially in academic limbo as they see their programs come to an end in Barrie and are forced to move their studies elsewhere," said Melanie Van Ameron, Vice-President Campaigns & Advocacy at the Laurentian Students' Union. "We are here to stress that there is still time for the Board of Governors to right this wrong and ensure fairness for all Laurentian University students at Barrie."

The Board of Governors has offered a number of solutions for these 220 students but they are not nearly sufficient. A town hall hosted by Laurentian President Dominic Giroux to explain the Board of Governors' decision filled the Rowntree Theatre beyond capacity. The answers provided by the Board were sorely lacking in substance and actual solutions for the very real concerns brought forward by students.

The Laurentian Students' Union has requested that the Board of Governors change their decision and allow all programs to continue running until 2019 so that all students can finish their degree at the same campus at which they enrolled. Since the decision was released publicly last Friday, the LSU has launched a petition online which has reached over 1000 signatures and we will continue to gather support until the next Board meeting in Sudbury, on April 15. There, the students of Laurentian will demonstrate their mass discontent, and demand to remain in Barrie until 2019.

"With no student consultation and no prior notice of their decision to close the Barrie campus, Laurentian University backed students into a corner," said Jeremy Ross, President of the LSU. "After a town hall with the administration that provided no real redress for students' concerns, we were left with no other choice but to peacefully occupy this space until we get fairness for all Laurentian Barrie students."

The Laurentian Students' Union is the central body representing all Laurentian University students at the Barrie campus.

SOURCE Laurentian Students' Union

For further information: Jeremy Ross, President, Laurentian Students' Union, or 705-618-7666

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