A graduate students’ association that shut down a popular cafe at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., over a joke ad says to it aims to reopen the cafe in the new year.
Veritas Cafe’s contracted operator and 10 others lost their jobs last week when the Graduate Students’ Association abruptly shut down the business reportedly over an ad that Sandor Dosman, the operator, posted to Facebook on Nov. 22:
Dosman told media he was brought into a meeting with the WLU Graduate Students’ Association on Monday where he was told his contract was being terminated over the ad. The group wouldn’t get into specifics, but apparently found the whole ad offensive and harmful to the association’s reputation, CBC reported.
Dosman was then escorted off campus by security.
“This came completely out of left field. I’m still in shock,” Dosman said, as quoted by the Toronto Star .“It was just black and white, ‘You are done.’ Now I’m out of the job and I have no idea what I’m going to do next.”
The Waterloo campus of Wilfrid Laurier University. (Photo: Radagast via Creative Commons)
However, the other 10 employees of the cafe may get their jobs back. Four days after the Graduate Students’ Association shut down the cafe, it sent a statement to the Kitchener Waterloo-Record saying it is working “diligently” on a plan to reopen the cafe in the new year.
"A lot of people are emphasizing that they're putting 11 people out of work. In the big picture of things, it'll probably be just one person out of work — myself," Dosman said.
Dosman says he has been flooded with messages of support since the controversy became news last week.
Students at the school have launched petitions to have the decision reversed.
“We might not get the decision we want, but we would definitely like to look into the irrational and quick decision that we saw,” said political science student Michael Piaseczny, one of the students who launched a petition.
Some of the harshest criticism came from Laurier ethics professor Byron Williston, who wrote in a letter to the GSA:
“I suppose it’s a sign of the times, especially on university campuses whose student bodies — undergraduate and graduate — seem to have been taken over by the terminally thin-skinned and self-righteous … Perhaps you should direct your moral outrage at some of the many real problems in the world rather than behaving like petty bullies.”
“Given the importance that Laurier places on being an inclusive, welcoming and respectful community, the university supported the direction that the GSA chose to take."
But Wilfrid Laurier University’s administration stands behind the GSA’s decision.
“Given the importance that Laurier places on being an inclusive, welcoming and respectful community, the university supported the direction that the GSA chose to take,” a spokesperson told CTV News.
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