|Year||University Policies||University Practices||Student Union Policies||Student Union Practices|
In Mount Allison University’s Racism and Racial Harassment Prevention and Response policy, there is a section titled “Respectful Dialogue & Freedom of Expression.” It reads:
Mount Allison affirms that it is the function of a university to contribute directly to building a society that espouses the principles of freedom of thought and expression. A community where teaching, research, and academic freedom flourish includes an environment where freedom of expression, speech, and belief is safeguarded and exercised in a culture of mutual respect; where an open exchange of diverse points of views is encouraged; and where every member of the community, including visitors, is able to work, live, teach, and learn free from harassment and discrimination.
The Racism Policy adheres to the principles of respectful dialogue and freedom of expression. It seeks to address and hold to account individuals who are responsible for demeaning, derogatory, or discriminatory actions or speech on the basis of race (see Definitions, Section 7). Such behaviour is not in keeping with Mount Allison’s standard for discourse, academic inquiry, and community living.
It should be noted that in the discussion of human affairs, it may be necessary to examine issues of race and racism. Such discussions do not in and of themselves constitute racism when exercised within a framework of and respect for the principles of academic freedom.
Academic freedom is fundamental to the mission of the University and is protected in agreements between the University and its faculty (refer to Section 14). Academic freedom allows for full intellectual inquiry, discourse, and critique without fear of institutional censorship. It does not, however, give license to denigrate or discriminate on the basis of race. In instances when academic freedom and the Racism Policy appear to be in conflict, the matter will be referred to the appropriate collective agreement for resolution.
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.”
The authors are not aware of Mount Allison University providing funding or resources to any university body that engages in ideological advocacy.
In 2011, Mount Allison University forced a student club, the High Society, to change its name in order to receive club status, and denied the club meeting space on campus until the name change had occurred. 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 the High 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.
There is no mention of free expression or academic freedom in any Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) policies.
MASU’s Operating Procedure II: Clubs and Societies requires the following criteria be met to be ratified:
1.4. club/society must be open to all Union members;
1.5. cannot participate in any acts of discrimination, prejudice or hate
The authors are not aware of any speech codes in the MUNSU election policies and procedures.
MASU advocates for positions outside its mandate, such as decolonization and climate change.
In the case of the student group High Society being denied meeting space by University administrators because of its name, the MASU spoke out in support of the High 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.
In the 2018–19 financial year,* Mount Allison University received $26,026,666 in taxpayer dollars in the form of government grants. These taxpayer funds accounted for 34.2% of their annual revenue.
*Mount Allison University did not make their 2019–20 financial statements available by the time of publication of the 2020 Campus Freedom Index.