Message to the McGill community
Update on the James Bldg occupation from Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)
The James Building will remain closed today, and staff will be working from home or an alternate location to continue to provide services. As with Tuesday, graduate students can go to Service Point on McTavish Street. Students, faculty and staff who are unable to contact offices or individuals directly via email can contact info.mcgill [at] mcgill.ca. and your request will be forwarded to the appropriate person.
In terms of the occupation, this is the latest update. Around 11:20 a.m. yesterday, the protestors occupying the first-floor lobby voluntarily and peacefully left. Some protestors remained outside.
Professor Jim Nicell talked several times over the course of the day by phone to the protestors occupying the sixth floor. Around mid-afternoon, some of the protestors on the sixth floor invited him to come speak with him at around 5 p.m.
They had a lengthy conversation, but were unable to move forward on the issues. The protestors who talked with Professor Nicell wanted to negotiate their two demands, and felt that the administration was not offering them anything. The administration, on the other hand, has said to the protestors that these demands will not be negotiated, as we will not negotiate with anyone disrupting university activities in this manner. We are interested only in talking about a safe, peaceful end to the occupation. In addition, we do not feel that these individuals have a mandate to represent students. We had been discussing the referenda issue directly with radio station CKUT and the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) since before the occupation started and we intend to continue our discussions.
As part of the preconditions to the dialogue, Professor Nicell and the individuals who had invited him to talk with them had agreed to hold the conversation in another office on the sixth floor, and agreed that the protestors would leave the office after the discussion, as had happened on Tuesday. As the conversation was concluding, the protestors made it clear that they intended to remain in the office, which gave them access to a window.
We will continue to be open to finding a peaceful end to this occupation. Again, we regret any inconveniences or interruptions in service you may experience as a result of this occupation.