Editorial: The BoG should take the GSA’s open letter seriously

Carleton’s Board of Governors’ (BoG) decisions to prevent board members from speaking publicly about board meeting decisions has attracted the attention of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), which is threatening to impose sanctions on the university. In an open letter to Carleton released earlier this month, the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) urged the university to carefully consider the impact censure would have on both students and faculty alike.

The GSA’s strong stance on potential censure, not to mention previous student protests at BoG meetings, shows that many students do not support the board’s gag order on members and want more transparency from the university’s governing bodies. If Carleton is sanctioned by a large and powerful organization like the CAUT, it will have a negative impact on students’ ability to learn and faculty’s ability to teach at Carleton. It would tarnish the value of students’ degrees and professors’ credentials if the university’s reputation becomes that of a dishonoured outcast.

It would be in the BoG’s best interest to take the GSA’s open letter seriously and review its freedom of speech policy before the CAUT makes a potentially damaging decision in November.