A college has been exposed after requiring students to sign a new contract saying they will fight colonialism, simply to join a Zoom class.
The IT department of George Brown College, which is based in Toronto, Canada, forced students to sign the waiver to sign into a class.
It starts out with an explanation of how the college is built on the land formerly owned by local tribes, describing the various natives and their political structures. It then goes on to say that the signatory acknowledges all “Treaty peoples”, which includes, according to the contract, immigrants, slaves, and settlers.
The statement then goes on to claim that all the students of George Brown College owe their success to genocide of natives, saying “As settlers or the displanted, we benefit from the colonization and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land. In order to engage in resistance and solidarity against the past and present injustices inflicted on the Indigenous peoples of this land, it is imperative we constantly engage in acts of awareness and decolonization.”
The actual agreement language makes the student sign a pledge while then claiming its purpose is not to ‘impose agreement’ despite the signature being required to even sign into the courses.
It reads: “By selecting ‘I agree,’ you are indicating your acknowledgment of this statement. Our intent is not to impose agreeance, but to inform through acknowledgment. This acknowledgment is to generate awareness and offer opportunities for personal reflection,”
The George Brown College website also has language on it acknowledging that the college was built on land stolen from natives of the area.
People sign digital agreements all the time without reading them. This one just happens to have been noticed and posted online. How many other common legal contracts for digital products do you think contain language like this? Would you let your kids sign in to attend the class?