Joke Issue: NUMAKA worker swept away in Fleuve McTavish

Count Reynolds / l’Autoroute 720 Chronicle

A NUMAKA worker swept away by the McTavish Flood in early September has resurfaced months later to find campus in a radically (no pun intended) different state of political turmoil.

Robert Gelinas, a support worker in Information Technology Services, was picketing at the McTavish entrance to campus on the bright morning of Sept. 9 when 500 gallons of water from a watermain leak (see “Concrete rain a growing problem in Montreal”) sent him flying, or, um, flowing, all the way across town. At the time, some strikers suggested that the popular picketing spot was targeted. 

Little is known about Gelinas’ wherabouts in the time since he was swept away. There were reported sightings of him, soaking wet, staining the leather couch in Mikael De Rippa’s office in late December. McGill’s SWAT team was allegedly called.

Upon his arrival back on campus just last week, Gelinas noted being utterly perplexed by the change in picketing. 

“The buttons have been replaced by these odd red pieces of felt,” he said. “And where are my fellow strikers?” 

I explained that the picketers were students striking for lower tuition.

“Is this some sort of joke?” he asked. “We were on strike for our livelihoods and our futures.”

The cycle of heated rhetoric in public emails, people banned from campus, (see, “What the *bleep* is an injunction and other useless words I learned from the NUMAKA president”) bear an uncanny similarity to events on campus in early fall 2011. At least NUMAKA didn’t try to publicly censure their VP. Then again, it’s not like they consulted with many of their members.

For most McGillians, it’s hard to imagine a time when some part of campus wasn’t on strike.

Share this:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Read the latest issue