Sackville — Still reeling from accusations of “blatant misogyny” following its decision to axe the gender studies program, Mount Allison University has become embroiled in yet another controversy.
A group of gender studies students is demanding the removal of Acadian poutine from the Jennings Hall cafeteria menu, calling it an example of “cultural appropriation by the patriarchy.”
Group spokesperson Megan Hornsworthy said: “As victims of misogyny, we have common cause with the oppressed, and this is yet another instance of cultural abuse by the anglophone majority.”
Hornsworthy pointed out that these types of “cultural micro-aggressions” still permeate society despite the fact that the era of English colonial domination is long over.
Food Services director Steve MacDonald said the university meant no disrespect and is simply trying to offer a diverse culinary experience. MacDonald explained that the majority of Mount Allison students are from outside the region and the university wants to introduce them to local delicacies.
“We know most of our students are familiar with Quebec poutine, with its fries, gravy and cheese curds; we thought we would show the Acadian version with its grated potatoes and salty meat.”
MacDonald admitted that this is not the first time local culinary delights have been on the menu, noting that the cafeteria has served fried clams, donairs and Dixie Lee-style fried chicken on previous occasions without incident.
But this wasn’t good enough for Hornsworthy. “We won’t stop until we get a formal apology and a menu approval process in place to avoid any such incidents in the future.”
When asked for his comments regarding these events, former Mount Allison president Dr. Ian Newbold was dismayed.
“Where are we at in society? We used to pride ourselves in producing graduates that were ready to take on the world and all its challenges,” he said. “Now, we’ve turned them into squeaking gerbils who can’t deal with basic life events without being soothed and coddled.”
Current president, Dr. Robert Campbell, said the university “takes these allegations very seriously,” and will move swiftly to address the incident.
“We embrace a culture of continuous consultation leading to concerted action, and we fully intend to establish a culinary review board to avoid this type of situation in the future,” Campbell said.
Campbell added that the university will also consider hiring additional grief counsellors and establishing on-campus safe spaces complete with Play-Doh, calming new-age music, pillows and a video of frolicking puppies to allow students to recover from the trauma of these emotional triggers.