Faculty petition against U of T G20 campus closure sign now


We, the undersigned faculty of the University of Toronto, write to express our concern and disappointment with the administrations decision to close its doors for the G20 summit meeting in June 2010.

On the following grounds, we urge the administration to reconsider its position.

1. Universities are spaces of learning and exchange.
It is the responsibility of the university to cultivate dialogue and debate on issues of public import. The University of Toronto should be leading in this effort and welcoming its own community as well as visitors to the city onto campus to discuss critical issues.
2. The global community is in dire need of new ideas in the realms of environmental, economic and social governance.
The University aspires to be a locus for the generation of new ideas, and the University of Toronto prides itself as an international leader in innovation. Conversely, the closure of campus communicates an unnecessary climate of fear rather than fostering creativity and responsibility for problem solving.
3. The closure of the University of Toronto encourages a culture of pre-emptory fear and communicates a bunker mentality.
The closure is in direct conflict with the universitys mandate of cultivating opportunities for education and dialogue and undermines rather than promotes a vibrant local public sphere.
4. The decision to close the University was neither consultative nor democratic.
The administration made no effort to consult faculty, staff and students in its decision, which stands in direct conflict with the desires of many in the University community. There are also concerns about how this decision will impact particular groups within the University of Toronto community for instance part time workers.
5. We ask the administration to:
- Ensure that the University of Toronto remains a place for political dialogue, learning and debate before, during and after the G20 meeting.
- Ensure that there will be no censure of students, staff or faculty who speak out against the administrations own actions, or who protest the G20 process.
- Support members of the University of Toronto community in their efforts to engage in G20 debate.
- Provide space and resources for the public to gather and engage in dialogue in connection to the G20.
- Ensure that there will be no lost wages for any of its own staff as a result of G20 campus management decisions.

Finally, we urge the University of Toronto administration to reconsider and reverse its decision to close campus during the G20 meetings.

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Vicky DavenportBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
University of Toronto

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