My alma mater has been international news for the past two days because our students’ association did something that was thoughtless and fundamentally stupid.
I have been infuriated since I heard the story, and not just by the motion itself which was poorly researched and badly presented. The thing that is making me even more angry is the student representatives have absolutely no understanding of what they did wrong.
The motion put forth said that Carleton would no longer participate in Shinerama, a nationwide fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis that students take part in every frosh, because CF is not an inclusive enough disease and all students taking part in the fundraiser should feel connected to the cause they are helping. The president said the preamble – the part that was factually inacurate and explosive in the media (left and right-wing) – wasn’t what the vote was actually about, they were only voting on whether they would continue to take part in Shinerama and the preamble could have said anything.
I,for one,have never heard of voting for a motion without voting for the wording of the motion – Shouldn’t you agree with the “whereas” if you’re going to support the conclusion?
The kid who drafted the motion has apologized for mis-interpreting the word Caucasian and nothing else. In fact, he’s made in worse by saying that continuing to support a cause that saves the lives of children across the country reflects “the same mentality that kept slavery legal and prevented the women’s vote.”
As well as improving his vocabulary and research skills, he might want to work on a little bit of history.
With this motion CUSA managed to hurt the school. Alumni are worrying about the value of their degrees and wondering if they’ll ever again be moved to donate money to the school, the members of CUSA seems to be looking around at the world and thinking: “What?”
That is what makes me so angry. In fact, that is what has made me angry about CUSA every year since I enrolled at Carleton in 2004 – through the ridiculousness of the ‘Save student space’ campaign, through the ‘anti-choice’ free speech debacle, and now here we are. They always seem to choose a cause and then fight for it with all their might, even after they’ve been proven wrong, even after the students they’re supposed to represent start fighting back.
I was giddy yesterday that CUSA was finally getting its cumuppance for being so “activist” I guess they’d call it, but then more and more media outlets started covering the story and they weren’t writing about CUSA, they were writing about Carleton students that did this. They aren’t making the distinction and I can’t make them. CUSA doesn’t understand Carleton students aren’t all like them and neither does the mainstream media, and that hurts me and all my friends who went to Carleton or are still in the process of getting their degrees.
I am left to wonder what these execs have done to their own futures through this whole situation. I think they’ll be hard-pressed to find an employer who wouldn’t at least google them, and then they’ll have to explain themselves all over again. Maybe in a few years they’ll have had the chance to give it some more thought, but right now they’re not apologetic in the least.