Chrisjohn to meet with faculty union

    Roland Chrisjohn is remaining silent on the possibility of a hunger strike until he meets with the faculty union.
    “[The] meeting keeps being postponed; I won’t be saying anything official until at least the afternoon of Feb. 17,” wrote the Native Studies professor in an email to The Aquinian.
    Chrisjohn has been contemplating a hunger strike since Feb. 1. when his colleague Shaunessy McKay posted and emailed members of the Native Studies department about the dispute between the university and Chrisjohn. The post suggested the professor was already on a hunger strike, but Chrisjohn seemed to dismiss the notion. In his email, he said he wasn’t willing to call it a fast until he knew himself if it was a fast.
    Last week The Aquinian reported the dispute was over a social work course. The university said a grievance process was filed with the faculty association and the process had been going on for weeks. This week the university said, “There has been no change from its comment last week.”
    “It seems to be a bit of a limbo because remember what I said about the particular issue at play,” said university spokesman Jeffrey Carleton last week. “The teaching of the course we have been involved with intimately. It is now part of a grievance process with the faculty association. So on the specific issue we’ve been dealing with the issue and interacting with professor Chrisjohn.”
    The university maintains the course is being taught by a professor who previously taught the course and has met the requirements to teach that course. Carleton also said the course requirements were reviewed and approved by Senate. He never clarified what the specific requirements were to teach the course.
    A group of students who are planning to circulate a petition in support of Chrisjohn are still awaiting a press release on the issue. Other students in the program weren’t willing to talk, saying things weren’t clear enough about what was going on to go on record.
    The press release is expected to clarify the situation, but it may not come until the meeting between Chrisjohn and the faculty union on Feb. 17.