Gimme a break, Scottie

There’s some bad blood in the William Shatner building at McGill, and it shouldn’t have made as much national press as it has.

Heavy-handed grandstanding on the part of the McGill student union, and apparent stubbornness on the part of a student-run paper have given other student papers around Canada, including The Journal, a meaty story to sink their teeth into.

The Students Society of McGill University (SSMU) solved the problems they were having with The McGill Daily, a twice-weekly (go figure) student-run newspaper, by locking the doors on The Daily’s offices in Shatner, the McGill student centre. The Daily’s lease had expired in May and was not renewed.

For SSMU to take the step of a full-fledged lock-out of a newspaper, and to tell interviewers that they are planning to build yet another place for McGill students to drink coffee, was a rash political move. When seen in light of some past Daily editorials that have criticized SSMU, it looks like a government silencing the media to protect itself.

And on the part of The Daily, a newspaper that has to live in close quarters with a government, to be filing injunctions with a provincial court judge to fight a loss of 220 square feet of office space is uncooperative. To be told by their SSMU landlord in July that their offices might be affected by proposed renovations, and then to face a lock-out after not responding for over a month is irresponsibly stubborn.

The McGill Tribune, The Daily’s competition published by SSMU, will be right to criticize both parties for their actions. Other student papers will be right to print the news, but should remember that the story is not so much about freedom of the press, but rather miscommunication, stubbornness and grandstanding.

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