At a time when the rights of on-campus workers are being more and more discussed, McGill’s rats have become part of the conversation. Last Wednesday, campus rats interested in unionizing met in Leacock 132 to discuss the possibility of affiliation with an on-campus union.
Some parties suggested reaching out to AGSEM, with the argument that “we [as rats] are in classrooms just as often as TAs, graders, and student note-takers, so it’s only fair that we are equally protected.” Others believe that another union, such as MUNACA might better suit the needs of the rodent community, because, as one participant remarked, “we’re not all academic types.”
Others felt as though affiliating with a pre-existing group might not serve the needs of all campus rats. “I like the idea,” said one attendee, “but what about the rats scuttering around the RVC caf, or those who make the rounds through the professors’ offices in Leacock looking for crumbs? Where do they fit in?” Because campus rats are truly everywhere, doing just about everything, it’s clear that a diverse group will need to represent them.
Whichever union they decide to join, one thing is evident: McGill’s rats have strength in numbers. By all available estimates, rats outnumber all other employees on campus by around 300%.