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Remember the fear, says student
I am a second-year communications
student. All I have seen on the news is that Concordia University is
banning free speech and we students are somehow prisoners of the schools
Just a reminder to every student who was trying to be in class on Sept.
9 at 1 p.m. at the SGW campus: Do you remember how many of us couldnt
get inside the building? Remember those who got stuck inside the building
and couldnt get out? Remember the pepper gas?
Remember the students in the halls and in the stairs, completely confused?
Remember being afraid because of all the yelling and noise going on
outside? Remember all the classes that were cancelled? Well, let me
tell you something, I do.
I remember that when things cooled down, I was at the mezzanine, and
all I saw was dust, garbage everywhere, and I felt a strange breeze
coming inside from the broken window. I felt I was in a war zone. But
no, it was my school.
Dont you think it is time we became responsible for our actions?
The fact that this protest became violent affected many people who had
nothing to do with the event that was going to take place. Because we
attend Concordia does not mean we all agree on everything that goes
on on campus.
There should be enough space for everyone to believe in what they wish,
but we must not forget that our freedom ends where the freedom of other
Invite Netanyahu back: Student
The CSU is constantly promoting the importance of free speech on campus,
yet has not condemned the SPHR leaders and members who organized the violent
rally preventing the free speech of ex-Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The leaders of the SPHR have said they organized the rally to prevent
Mr. Netanyahu from speaking, by whatever means necessary. Some SPHR members
and leaders allegedly assaulted students, broke the Hall Bulding window,
broke Canadian laws as well as Concordia laws.
If they are responsible for violence, the SPHR should be banned from our
campus, for breaking all these laws and for violently preventing the free
speech of a speaker. The SPHR has lost their right to be a club on campus.
The CSU should apologize to Mr. Netanyahu and invite him to come back
Michael Harris, Political Science student
CUPFA: Kate Bligh responds
At Gary Schwartzs suggestion (CTR Nov 7) I am more than happy
to provide some constructive suggestions for improving the way that we
part-timers are represented by our union:
constructive, actual, two-way (rather than virtual) consultation between
part-time reps and the executive
cross-departmental discussion groups for the identification of common
concerns at representative level
attention to points and examples provided by spokespersons for the
union to the press (it was the embarrassing content of an article
about CUPFA which prompted me to write in the first place)
increased receptivity to
and consideration of the contrasting and sometimes opposing priorities
and needs of the
more recent generation of union members.
I also have some suggestions as to how part-time hiring committees
might be enabled to function more broadly in the long-term pedagogic
interest of all, rather than in the present, short-term interest of
part-timers with high seniority ratings:
an improved, more sophisticated
teaching evaluation system which calibrates excellence and inadequacy
in teaching with far more accuracy than the present one
the inclusion of such a
system for consideration alongside seniority credits at hiring time
a greater flexibility on
the part of the union with regard to evolving or departmentally-specific
suggested, Perhaps Ms Bligh has had the misfortune of teaching
different courses every year at Concordia or has been passed over for
her preferences during the hiring period.
Yes, I have taught different courses almost every year of the last five
years; but I would not consider this to be a misfortune. It has been
my choice, borne out of a deliberate intention to expand my teaching
skills and practise. During this time I have occasionally been passed
over for a course preference; in each case, this was because someone
with higher seniority had also applied for it; a direct result of part-time
already have a good degree of job security at Concordia, and I am cognisant
of the fact that this is a result of hard-won battles by senior union
members. However, the sort of security which is now being demanded seems
to be little short of tenure-by-the-backdoor.
When an increasing number of enlightened academic institutions across
North America and Europe are in the process of abolishing this medieval
practise altogether, it feels to me to be a retrograde step for part-timers
at Concordia to be attempting to shore it up. Yes, I think that time-servers
(as opposed to excellent, seasoned, experienced teachers) should be
rooted out at all levels. I believe that bad teaching is not just unfortunate
but is actively harmful both to individual students and to the future
Canadian society that we all have a stake in.
As far as the suggestion that I need a severe reality check:-