Following Laurentian University’s administrative decision to completely close its Barrie campus by May 2019, UTMSU called on its board and staff to partake in a demonstration planned at the Barrie campus earlier this month.
In an email to UTMSU staff, executives, board members, and volunteers, UTMSU executive director Walied Khogali called on the members to attend the full-day February 18 demonstration demanding that Laurentian University allow students to complete their degrees prior to the closure of the campus.
In an email to The Medium, UTMSU president Ebi Agbeyegbe decried the closure of the campus, but did not answer any questions related to the demonstration or how many UTM students traveled to the Barrie campus to take part.
“The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union proudly stands in solidarity with the students studying at the Laurentian University Barrie campus, who have been given the option to either uproot their lives and move to Sudbury or take courses online in order to finish their degrees,” said Agbeyegbe. “We are appalled that such a dramatic decision was made to terminate classes at the campus without any prior consultation with students.”
According to multiple media reports, the Laurentian Students’ Union claim they were excluded from meetings held by school’s board of governors to decide on the closure of the campus.
In a news release published by Laurentian on February 12, the university made public the way in which students will be able to complete their studies.
“All students currently enrolled in Laurentian’s programs in Barrie will be able to complete their studies and graduate with a Laurentian degree through a combination of on-campus, online, and distance courses. Individual meetings are being scheduled with every student currently registered at Laurentian in Barrie,” read the release.
In response to the decision, the Laurentian Students’ Union has started an online petition demanding that current students enrolled at the Barrie campus be allowed to complete their education at the campus. The petition has over 1,300 signatures so far.