|Year||University Policies||University Practices||Student Union Policies||Student Union Practices|
Mount Allison University passed a new Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policy in March 2016. The Policy defines sexual harassment as:
Vexatious comment or conduct of a sexual nature that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. A vexatious comment or conduct causes humiliation and is offensive or abusive to the recipient because of their sex, gender or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment can also be more general such that it creates a hostile or poisoned environment to persons of a given sex, gender or sexual orientation.
Mount Allison University has a Gender Neutral Language Policy which is meant to be a “guideline” for students and faculty to use language that is gender-neutral:
Day-to-day oral communication should also employ gender neutral language. The guidelines are designed to be of assistance to members of the university community in every academic situation in choosing words which are accurate, clear and free from bias.
Terms such as “man the desk” or “the common man” should be replaced with “staff the desk” or “the average person” respectively. Other terms, like “act like a lady” should be replaced with “be polite” according to section 2.5 of the policy.
Mount Allison University’s Racism Policy states:
Examples of conduct that may amount to racism include, but are not limited to: remarks or gestures with racist connotations; racially offensive material (photographs, writing, graffiti, drawings, etc.); unwelcome questions or comments about a person's race; intimidation, physical violence, discrimination in hiring, discrimination in admission to events, clubs or societies, and unwelcome racial jokes or ethnic slurs.
The Racism Policy also states:
Any decision under this document about whether conduct creates an environment which impairs the full and equal participation in the affairs of the University community of a person or persons due to their race must take into account that Mount Allison University is a community which respects diversity; the responsible exercise of academic freedom; and freedom of thought and expression.
Mount Allison’s University Web Page Policy strictly prohibits “hate speech”, including speech that might run afoul of Provincial or Federal Human Rights legislation:
[Web] Pages must not offend University policies or the law, or link to sites that do so. Examples of pages that would violate this policy would be pages that contain hate speech that violates the Criminal Code, speech that violates the Human Rights Code of Canada [sic] and the Human Rights Act of New Brunswick, defamatory speech, and content that violates computer network usage policies.
The Use of Facilities and Services policy states that fees will be charged for events “when the use of facilities requires services, such as custodial and security services, beyond those required for routine University operations.”
In 2011, Mount Allison University forced a student club to change its name in order to receive club status, and denied the club meeting space on campus until the name change had occurred. The High Life Society, which aims to “educate and create discussions about all aspects of cannabis culture, activism, legislation and contemporary marijuana issues,” was told by University administrators that they could not be approved for official club status. This was after the student club had already been approved by the Mount Allison University Students’ Union.
Gayle Churchill, Mount Allison’s Director of Student Life, banned High Life Society from holding their first meeting at the Student Union building on October 27 and 28, which the group attempted to appeal. The group was allowed to continue operating, uncensored, after it changed its name to “Hempology 101 MtA.”
In November of 2010, a Coca-Cola employee was allegedly seen tearing down “Coke Free MtA” posters in a University building. The posters were placed by the student group “Coke Free Mount A” and were designed to raise awareness about the Coca-Cola Corporation. When this was reported to the University, administrators apologized to the group and contacted the Coca-Cola Corporation to protest this violation of freedom of speech at its school.
The Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) follows the same policies and procedures as Mount Allison University, including the Racism Policy discussed in section 1 of this report.
There is no mention of free expression or academic freedom in any MASU policies.
MASU’s Operating Procedure II: Clubs and Societies requires the following criteria be met to be ratified:
1.3. mandate must be unique to the club/society;
1.4. club/society must be open to all Union members;
1.5. cannot participate in any acts of discrimination, prejudice or hate;
Section 8 of the Operating Procedure V: Elections places a limit of $150 for Executive candidates, and $50 for council candidates, to spend on campaign materials during MASU elections. Furthermore, Section 8.11 mandates that the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) approve any events “deemed supportive” of a candidate, and Section 8.12 imposes physical limits on the number of banners, posters and “table talkers” that candidates can distribute. Under Section 9.2, the CRO carries significant discretion to disqualify candidates if their conduct, which could include speech, is deemed “inappropriate”.
MASU takes political stances on issues that are within its mandate, such as tuition, student alliances, transport and housing needs of housings and mental health, but it does not take positions on issues outside its mandate.
In the case of the student group High Life Society being denied meeting space by University administrators because of its name, the MASU spoke out in support of the High Life Society’s right to free expression on campus. MASU Vice President for Finance and Operations, Patrick Losier, stated in an Argosy article (the independent student-run newspaper) dated November 23, 2011:
Clubs and societies are formed around areas of student interest, and the SAC [Students’ Administrative Council] does not judge whether these interests are valid, so long as they are safe, lawful, and open to all students. So long as the High Society is open to all students, does not promote any illegal activity, and promotes discussion on an area of student interest, it has every right to operate as a SAC society.