Withdraw the discriminatory policies towards Engineering students which infringe on the rights of Canadian students.
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McMaster University has targeted and limited the freedoms of its students in the Faculty of Engineering which has resulted in the discrimination of these students. This was initiated in response to an issue that came to light earlier this year regarding a songbook, which was incorrectly associated with the McMaster Engineering Society (MES). Since that occurrence, McMaster has accused the Engineering society of funding and organizing unsanctioned alcoholic events with no evidence to support their claims and has pursued an investigation by an external organization. In fact, to date, no concrete evidence has been presented to substantiate these claims. During this investigation, the University has ceased to recognize every engineering students' ability to cooperate with the Faculty and the University in planning sanctioned events. As a result of this action, an entire faculty feels separated and discriminated against by both other faculties and their own Dean who was supposed to stand-up for their rights. In fact, the Faculty of Engineering and the University has decided not to work with the elected student leadership to continue its most valued services, withdrawing support for the student societies' Welcome Week events and failing to support a graduation formal that is appropriate for student's completing a professional degree.
To elaborate on immediate student concerns, the University administration has decided to forego a serious working relationship with engineering student leaders. This will have unfortunate long-term consequences that are out of the control of any one group of student leaders. The close working relationship that student leaders felt before the recent events has been severed and the University is demonstrating no interest in repairing it, but will hold the student society leadership responsible for any consequences of this failure, for years to come.
In the short term, the University has banned alcohol at the Engineering Kipling formal for graduating students, a sanctioned off-campus event celebrating the accomplishments and hard work of the graduating engineering students who will soon be given professional degrees, which follows the traditional Canadian iron ring ceremony. This event has had significant oversight from the Faculty of Engineering in the past, and deeming it "unsafe" to serve alcohol at a rather expensive, licensed banquet hall is unprecedented. McMaster University's actions to limit the freedoms of students during this off campus event are also irrational given the Faculty's own history of supporting, assisting in planning, and even attending the event.
McMaster has set a standard in which imposing sanctions against groups of individuals, while performing an investigation, will create a disconnect with student leadership. This petition is relevant to those outside of engineering then, as it affects student leadership's ability to self-govern, and to be taken seriously by the University administration.
Currently, more than 4,000 McMaster Engineering students have been found guilty and incapable of operating in a professional manner; none of these students will be treated equally until an investigation is complete. This contradicts the values of those people and organizations that fund McMaster, and even goes against the ideals that McMaster itself was founded on. It is time to act and show that McMaster University is not above the law.
If you support the serious working relationship between student leaders and the University; the fair treatment of all engineering students; or the elimination of discrimination between Faculties, then please sign this petition to have the University and the Faculty of Engineering continue working with the engineering society and its most important services, through the investigation.
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