TORONTO—A report released this week capped off a Dean’s office investigation of allegations against the student union surrounding the wire-tapping of Victoria College students. The report addresses allegations against the student government, specifically their consideration of using the UofT Astronomy department’s observatory as a surveillance device. This would allow them to tap into student’s phones in order to insert subliminal messages promoting VUSAC-sanctioned events.
A source on VUSAC, who spoke to The Strand under the condition of anonymity, told us that they became alarmed after discussions during a non-publicized February VUSAC meeting. “Certain members of council were becoming increasingly concerned with hostility towards the Council on behalf of constituents, and were willing to explore what some of us considered to be extreme measures,” the source told us. “These extra-judicial actions are a direct violation of our constitution, and as a result cannot go un-noticed by the VCU.”
The Dean’s office report confirmed the allegations, revealing emails between a VUSAC member, whose name was redacted, and the Astronomy department. An undisclosed amount of VCU funds were offered to the department for unrestricted access to the observatory. In one of the emails, a staffer of the Astronomy department, whose name was also redacted, asks pointedly what VUSAC intended to do with the observatory, to which the un-disclosed VUSAC member responded, “just don’t worry about it.”
The report goes on to explain that despite the student government’s efforts, it would be impossible to use the observatory as a surveillance device, as there is no possible way the device could be configured for such use.