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October 24, 2002 Letters


We welcome your letters, opinions and comments at BC-121/1463 Bishop St., by fax (514-848-2814), or e-mail (barblak@alcor.concordia.ca) by 9 a.m. on the Friday prior to publication.

Student apathy is more serious than protest noise: CSU councillor

This is to address some of the comments made in a letter by Steven Rosenshein in the last issue of the Thursday Report, (CTR, Oct. 24).

Rosenshein sounded like a nagging mother when he stated that the protests “caused a commotion when many students have exams and are trying to study.”

The walls of the library, rest assured, are thick enough to block out most noise, and especially that of a megaphone used at a protest rally. The fact that people are allowed to protest university policy or government policy is something to be cherished. In fact, it is a healthy indicator of our Canadian democracy.

As a councillor in the CSU, I have often found my opinion differing from the majority of my colleagues that sit around me. The CSU is not an “oppressive, authoritative force.” It cannot be oppressive when the vast majority of Concordia students do not vote in their student union elections.

Students were given choice in their Union, as the 2002 elections were completed without incident. Elections were open to all, and carried off without a hitch. I even won my election as a result of a recount!

I do not advocate all of the policies that the CSU has pursued [but] I would ask that Mr. Rosenshein reconsider questioning the legitimacy of the CSU, and instead focus on criticizing their policies. It is a fallacy to criticize a body’s representativeness when voter apathy is the real problem.

John Gravel, Political Science, CSU Councillor

Member supports part-time union

I am writing in response to Kate Bligh’s thoughts in the Thursday Report (CTR, Oct. 24, page 4).

I have been teaching in the Music Department since 1979 (senior PT in Music) and have been an active member of the Montreal music community for the last 35 years. My choice of a life in the arts was based on the joy and happiness that my participation in music gave me and, of course, the possibility of making a decent living. I feel that I have been extremely fortunate to be able to continue performing and composing.

During my teaching career, I have seen “time servers” at all levels of the university system, and I do not support their way of doing things or their mediocre participation in the educational process. However, I can’t understand Ms. Bligh’s unrealistic slamming of job security proposed by our part-time faculty union (CUPFA).

Is there something wrong with having a minimum of security in our workplace? At least at that level, we can have greater choices in the organization of our lives. Continuity and consistency will be easier to maintain over a longer timeframe if we know our course loads in advance.

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. I was instrumental, along with Louise Samson (Music) in establishing the first PT hiring committee in the Department of Music and I am well aware of the protocol involved.

Perhaps Ms. Bligh would like this body to have increased powers, i.e. get rid of the “time servers”? Does she have any concrete suggestions about improving the way that we are represented by our union as opposed to griping about an idea that will help us? Sounds like Ms. Bligh needs a severe reality check.

Gary Schwartz, Music