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CAUT Bulletin Archives

December 2000

Trent University Moves Ahead with College Closure Despite Protests

Peter Robinson College will close as early as next summer, Trent University President Bonnie Patterson told a packed forum on campus Nov. 16. Trent intends to relocate the college on to the Symons campus as part of its Build 2000 initiative.

Just over a year ago, Trent's board of governors overruled the university's senate and voted to go ahead with a capital expansion plan which includes the closure of the school's two downtown colleges. Catharine Parr Traill College is slated to be moved in five to six years under the university's controversial development plan. Earlier this year Trent received $26 million from the Ontario government's SuperBuild program for its development proposal.

At the November meeting almost 200 angry students packed the meeting room and demanded a voice in the decision-making process. Students said their main concern was lack of information about the way the capital plan is carried out. On Nov. 12 students set up a tent city and camped out for five days in front of the university's Bata Library to raise awareness about the capital development strategy.

More than 80 faculty have signed a petition calling for the downtown colleges to be kept open for at least the next six years.

A court challenge launched by two Trent professors to halt the project was lost in September, but Ian McLachlin and Andrew Wernick with the help of supporters, including CAUT, have sought leave to appeal the ruling.