Carleton University president Roseann O’Reilly Runte threatened students with fines, loss of academic status, or suspension of privileges after a student protest that caused the cancellation of a March 29 board of governors meeting.
In an e-email Runte sent out to the campus community on April 4, she referred to a protest led by Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA).
More than 200 students forced the cancellation of a board of governors meeting by blocking the entrance to the building where the meeting was to be held. Runte said the governors felt harassed and threatened.
SAIA and the GSA were protesting the rejection of a motion that called on the university to divest funds from four companies that do business with Israel.
In the e-mail, Runte said that “it is not the privilege of any group to threaten to stop the work of the university.” She added that students who threaten to disrupt meetings until they get their way “are participating in inappropriate bullying tactics.”
A statement posted on SAIA’s website said that “we are confident that the university administration will eventually bow to student pressure.”