David Mulroney, the President of the University of St. Michael’s College (SMC) announced Monday his intentions to reform the university’s relationship with its main student groups: the St. Michael’s College Student Union (SMCSU), The Mike newspaper, and the St. Michael’s Resident’s Council.
Mulroney plans to report to the Collegium — the highest governing body at SMC — Wednesday about the creation of a “new constitution” aimed at correcting a disconnect between the university and its student groups. The announcement was made in the form of an article on the university’s website and refers to this disconnect as the existence of “two solitudes.”
Mulroney’s article focuses on what he calls “disconnects between SMCSU’s program of activities and our mission as a Catholic University,” and says that SMC’s “dubious” reputation as U of T’s party school has come about as a result of events held by SMCSU.
“I was struck by the number of events I had attended where I saw many staff and alumni, but at which students were largely absent,” he wrote. “Similarly, SMCSU’s program of activities had almost nothing to do with the life of a Catholic intellectual community.”
Mulroney also called Brennan Hall — which houses a lounge space and the SMCSU offices — an “unfriendly territory for all but a small group of insiders.”
“I rarely completed a circuit of Brennan Hall without stopping to talk to students about inappropriate language and anti-social behaviour,” he continued.
He also expressed concern’s over the SMCSU’s financial management and transparency, which is the focus of an ongoing investigation that the college is conducting.
“[S]tudent government was, at its highest levels, embracing a closed, entitlement culture that actually parodied what good government is all about,” Mulroney writes. “As a former public servant who cares deeply about these things, it pained me to see SMCSU’s senior leadership adopt—and enforce—a lifestyle and practices that would be more suitable at a fraternity house,” a portion of the article reads.
Mulroney indicated that his report will be made public once it is reviewed by the Collegium.
This story is developing, more to follow.