MAC: Mines and Communities

Student leaders boycott degree for Inco boss

Published by MAC on 2005-10-21

Student leaders boycott degree for Inco boss

Oct 21 2005

CBC News

The students' union at Memorial University will boycott convocation ceremonies Friday because the university is awarding an honorary degree to the top executive at Inco Ltd.

The Memorial University of Newfoundland Student' Union (MUNSU) says it's inappropriate to present an honorary doctor of laws to Inco chairman and chief executive officer Scott Hand because of the company's record on environmental and human-rights issues.

EXTERNAL SITE: Memorial University: Convocation

"Mr. Hand really is, individually, underwhelming, and we think that the culmination off all this, put together - does a disservice to the university," said MUNSU president Cletus Flaherty.

He says the award speaks poorly to the university's view of corporate accountability.


"I think it cheapens, in fact, the accomplishments of the real graduates who will be convocating there," Flaherty said.

A spokesperson for the university says it stands behind the decision to award Hand the honorary doctorate.

The boycott means student representatives will not take part in Friday's official convocation procession.

Inco Ltd. is the owner of Voisey's Bay Nickel Co., which has developed the giant nickel and copper find in northern Labrador.

Inco has long been criticized for its environmental record, for both its domestic and international operations.

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