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    Mar 29, 2018

    How Well Do You Know McGill University?

    Test your knowledge about McGill's lesser known history! Sources and further reading: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_uNfuok9PMBscp6CI22yS1014fIizLeQr56l4Jrysmw/edit?usp=sharing

    1. Cynthia Price Verreault, the head of CAMSR (The Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsiblity) used to work for which Canadian oil company for over 10 years?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Petro Canada

      Cynthia Price used to work for Petro Canada (part of Suncor) which is the largest oil company in Canada! As chair of CAMSR, her job is to advise the McGill Board of Governors on social and political issues such as fossil fuel divestment.

    2. Last year, how many Suzys worked in Suzy Fortier's office?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Three!

      Principal Suzanne Fortier's executive assistant was Susy Ricciardelli and her chief of staff was Susan Aberman. That's three Suzies!

    3. Until what decade did McGill impose quotas on how many Jewish students were admitted?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      The 1960s!

      McGill began imposing quotas on how many Jewish students were admitted in 1920 due to an apparent overrepresentation of Jewish students. The quota limited the Jewish student population to 10% at most. Most faculties lifted these quotas after World War II, but the quotas didn't end for medical students until the 1960s.

    4. Was James McGill a slave owner?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Yes.

      James McGill owned Black and Indigenous slaves, and his prosperity in the slave trade enabled him to found and finance McGill University.

    5. What is happening in the basement of Macdonald Engineering?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Explosions for the Canadian military!

      Professors in McGill's Department of Mechanical Engineering use front companies to sign contracts with the Canadian military for research on explosives. They regularly conduct experiments involving explosions in the Macdonald Engineering Building basement!

    6. Which of the following is true?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      All of these are true!

      David Harpp is a member of both the Board of Governors and the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility, the group that decides on divestment for McGill University. He has received a large amount of funds from Imperial Oil in the form of research grants. After a $1 million donation from Petro Canada through their Emerging Leaders Awards Program, McGill implemented a Petro Canada Day. This is only part of the story of the close relationship between McGill and the fossil fuel giant. And as for the Koch brothers: Charles and David Koch, of Koch Industries, own the second largest private corporation in the United States and are best known for their highly controversial financial support for the Tea Party and conservative causes in the US. Organizations that the Koch brothers help fund have been active in questioning global climate change. They have a vested interested in climate denialism, because Koch Industries is primarily an energy and petroleum company. They are also the largest landholder in the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta. Greenpeace has compiled a database of their donations to various universities, including McGill.

    7. What CIA operation was McGill involved in?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      MK-ULTRA

      While all of these operations were real and horrific, McGill housed research for MK-ULTRA, the infamous CIA mind control program. MK-ULTRA was run by Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron out of the Allan Memorial Institute at McGill’s Royal Victoria Hospital from 1957-1964. Cameron was on McGill’s payroll throughout. Through MK-ULTRA, Cameron aimed to alter brain functions by studying mind-control and mental illness. He employed a variety of methods including non-consensual administration of drugs (particularly LSD), electroshock therapy, sensory deprivation, and isolation. His research was influential for the U.S. government and is foundational for torture methods used in Guantanamo Bay today. In 2008, an independent Tribunal revealed the location of mass graves of disappeared indigenous children from residential schools. One of the locations discovered was the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill, suggesting that these bodies belonged to Indigenous children who were likely victims of Cameron’s MK-ULTRA experiments.

    8. In what year did 100 riot police tear gas McGill students in front of James Administration?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      100 riot police invaded McGill's campus in 2011, while students protested tuition hikes.

      On November 10th, 2011, over 20,000 students marched through Montreal to protest proposed tuition hikes. While many protested at McGill, several students occupied the James Administration building. According to CBC news, McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum contacted police regarding the protests. Shortly after, 100 riot police tear gassed, pepper sprayed, and clubbed students and professors in Community Square. Among those brutalized was Professor Greg Mikkelson, who was clubbed with a baton and pepper sprayed on the face on his way to pick up his daughter from the McGill daycare. Students were also barred from entering midterm exams and university buildings.

    9. Which prominent McGill alum founded Birthright, a free 10-day trip to Israel for young Jewish adults?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      Charles Bronfman

      Charles Bronfman, son of Samuel Bronfman, Seagram's businessman and Bronfman building namesake, co-founded Birthright. Birthright offers young Jewish adults a free 10-day educational trip to Israel. While millions of Palestinians are denied the right to even travel to their former homes, non-Israeli Jews are given the opportunity to travel to Israel free of charge. Although Birthright purports to be an educational trip, it does not acknowledge or discuss the Israeli Occupation or Palestinian human rights.

    10. How much money in reparations does McGill owe to the Six Nations of Grand River?

      Correct! 
      Wrong! 

      $1.7 Billion

      In its first 40 years as a university, McGill went bankrupt and borrowed money from the Canadian government. The Canadian government took the money out of the Six Nations' trust fund. They were never repaid and McGill denies any further responsibility. Adjusting for interest, the estimated value of money owed since the 1850s is $1.7 billion.

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