Story by Emily Haws
A video showing the director of the Department of University Safety, Allan Burns, forcefully pushing student protestors out of the entrance of Richcraft Hall circulated online on Dec. 1, following a Board of Governors (BoG) meeting held the same day.
The meeting saw the approval of the highly-debated sexual violence policy. Students were outside Richcraft Hall to protest the policy during the BoG meeting.
The video was posted online by Jenna Amirault, the vice-president (external) of the GSA, and has since been taken down.
Steven Reid, Carleton’s media relations officer, said in an email that student protestors were dangerously attempting to climb the overhang of the building, and Campus Safety officers were required to take action.
“As a result, Carleton safety officers marshalled the students outside to maintain a safe environment,” Reid said. “Carleton has reviewed the matter and is satisfied that the safety officers acted appropriately in the circumstances.”
Allan Burns was contacted by the Charlatan, but all requests for comment were forwarded to Reid.
Greg Owens, an undergraduate representative on the BoG, said the allegations of Burns removing students are concerning due to Burns being one of the Carleton staff members sitting on the policy’s review committee.
“He was forcibly removing students from the Richcraft Hall building . . . and this is one of the six people who is supposed to sit on the sexual violence review committee when people bring cases of sexual violence to the school,” he said. “So we’re talking upstairs and approving this policy to protect students from violence, and downstairs one of the people tasked with that is pushing students out of the building.”
But Owens said the rest of the security staff were doing their jobs well, and commended them on their conduct and assistance after he experienced a panic attack during the meeting.
“I do commend the work that they do,” Owens said. “They’re doing their job, and if you watch any of the other videos of the protest . . . you can see all they’re doing is creating a barricade as they’re trained to do.”