On November 11, 2016, graduate students in the Department of Neuroscience were notified that labs in the Life Sciences Research Building must be vacated by March 1, 2017 in order to meet timelines for a new building project, ARISE.

Presently no detailed requirements or project plan has been provided to faculty, staff and students in Neuroscience. While stakeholders have been assured that a plan is forthcoming, there has been no explanation for the apparent secrecy of the planned relocation.

This proposed move would effectively displace research programs for a minimum of seven months, jeopardizing current student research and their ability to complete their degree requirements on schedule. Faculty risk losing grant funding if Carleton University fails to fulfill its obligation to provide appropriate facilities for wet lab experiments, and the welfare of animal subjects could be threatened. Additionally, labs in the Life Sciences Research Building contain specialized and very expensive equipment that require months of lead-time to book specialists to dismantle, pack, move, and then recalibrate and configure at a new site.

The Department of Neuroscience is a fast-growing department with over 550 undergraduate students, 49 graduate students, and faculty that have been very successful in acquiring external research funding.  As a result of this eviction, the reputation of Carleton University, and the Department of Neuroscience specifically, is being put at risk, threatening future grant applications, research productivity, student recruitment, and engagement. The mental health of students, faculty, and staff has also been negatively affected by the uncertainty surrounding the eviction and at its impact of their research and careers goals.

The GSA contends that a move without consultation is an eviction, and that a moving plan made without consultation, is an unacceptable edict. We urge the Carleton Senior Administration to sit down with key student, faculty, and staff stakeholders in the department.

Consult saveCUneuro.ca for further background and updates, and for ways you can help.

Read the CBC News story.