|Year||University Policies||University Practices||Student Union Policies||Student Union Practices|
Université de Montreal includes freedom of expression in its mission and values statements:
“We defend the freedom of thought and expression and the independence of the university when exercising its roles or teaching and research. We also recognize the critical value of intellectual work and its role as a social watchtower.”
“Nous défendons la liberté de pensée et d’expression et l’indépendance de l’institution universitaire dans l’exercice de ses fonctions d’enseignement et de recherche. Nous reconnaissons également la valeur critique du travail intellectuel et sa fonction de vigie sociale.”
UdeM further commits itself to defending Charter freedoms, in the Politiques sur les droits des étudiants et étudiantes de l’Université de Montréal (Regulation 20.9) which stipulates that all rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are also guaranteed by the Université de Montreal:
“Every student enjoys the rights and freedoms as recognized by the law, especially those recognized by the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
“Chaque étudiante et chaque étudiant jouit des libertés et des droits reconnus par la loi et, en particulier, par la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne.”
The Politiques de sécurité states that, “None can restrict the rights and freedoms of a member of the university’s community.” / “Nul ne peut porter atteinte aux libertés et aux droits d’un membre de la communauté universitaire.” This could be interpreted as a loose anti-disruption policy.
In April of 2013, the University of Montreal’s Armenian Students’ Association (UMASA) asked the University’s Action Humanitaire et Communautaire (AHC) to put a small banner on the AHC website, informing the University community of the anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24. UMASA’s request was rejected because the University refuses to take positions on political issues.
In December 2012, the UMASA requested the University’s authorization to show a film, discuss different topics related to their club’s mission, and collect funds. After initially approving the activity, the University authorities realized that collecting funds was against the University regulations and cancelled the activity. The UMASA decided not to collect funds, but to only ask for an amount of money to finance the group itself and its activities, which the University rejected. After several exchanges by e-mail and in person, the request was approved by the University because it was no more in contradiction with the University regulations, as the UMASA accepted not to collect funds.
The Federation of Student Associations of the Campus of the University of Montreal (FAECUM : la Fédération des Associations Étudiantes du Campus de l’Université de Montréal) states in its mission:
“The Federation’s mission is to represent, through its member associations, the University’s students in order to defend their rights and interests, most notably in the academically, but also socially, economically, culturally and politically.”
“La mission de la Fédération est de représenter, par l’intermédiaire de ses associations membres, les étudiants et les étudiantes de l’Université de Montréal afin de défendre leurs droits et intérêts, principalement dans le domaine universitaire, mais également sur les plans social, économique, culturel et politique.”
FAECUM requires all students to pay membership fees to their student associations. Student associations – along with FAECUM itself – take political positions on various issues that are not directly related to its mandate, including national and international politics. As students do not always have the same views on public policy matters, this requirement has the effect of forcing students to pay for political expression with which they disagree.
In November of 2012, the political science and international studies students’ association (AESPEIUM: Association des étudiants en science politique et études internationales de l’Université de Montréal) voted to strike on the 14th and 22th of November. The majority voted in favor of the strike, but the results were controversial, since the AESPEIUM did not control the identity of the participants. In fact, only AESPEIUM members can legitimately vote on propositions concerning positions that the group will hold in their name.
Each year, the FAECUM propositions are discussed during the annual general conference (Congrès general annuel). The process of the conference can limit free speech. For example, in March 2012, the conference was very long (March 30 from 1.30 p.m. to 6 p.m.; March 31 from 9 a.m. to midnight; and April 1 from 9 a.m. to 12.30 a.m.). In order to ensure a participatory conference, each local association needs to bring a certain number of representatives to vote. The long duration of conferences is a dissuasive factor for some individuals to stay all day-long and express the opinions of their local association.
When voting took place during the 2011-12 year in regards to the student strike against the Quebec government’s proposed tuition increases, students who were against the strike were frequently denied the right to speak at these assemblies.
 “Mission, vision, valeurs”, Nos valeurs, Autonomie universitaire – Université de Montréal, consulted on 2016-07-31 at (http://www.umontreal.ca/plan_strategique/vision/vision.html)
 “Politique sur les droits des étudiantes et des étudiants de l’Université de Montréal”, Article 1 – Université de Montréal, consulted on 2016-07-31 at (http://secretariatgeneral.umontreal.ca/fileadmin/user_upload/secretariat/doc_officiels/reglements/enseignement/regl20_9-politique-droits-etudiantes-etudiants-universite-de-montreal.pdf)
 “Politique de sécurité : Éléments d’une politique générale de sécurité”, Principes généraux, Article 2 – Université de Montréal, consulted on 2016-07-31 at (http://secretariatgeneral.umontreal.ca/fileadmin/user_upload/secretariat/doc_officiels/reglements/administration/adm10_9-politique-de-securite-elements-politique-generale-securite.pdf)
 “Mission” – FAÉCUM, consulted on 2016-07-31 at (http://www.faecum.qc.ca/a-propos/mission)