Old Sock Drawer

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#082: Further notes on the UN debacle…

November 30th, 2009 by Mary Leong

Currently listening to: “Here It Goes Again” – ok go

This email emerged in my inbox about an hour ago. I have taken the liberty of print-screening it and uploading it here. (Click to enlarge to read full text and witness rubbish Photoshop underlining.)

not appropriate!

I pause to point out the irony that this email was sent out with an AMS header.

In any case, classic example of framing the issue for something it isn’t. With this email, from which I shall quote liberally,

“…your AMS Student Council is seeking to impeach your elected AMS President, Blake Frederick and Vice-President of External Affairs, Tim Chu who are taking action against the high cost of education,”

Frederick is trying to make the issue one of tuition costs by diverting attention away from the inappropriate manner in which he “took action”. Deliberately blurring the lines between procedure and policy by making the issue about One Man’s Crusade to Lower Tuition, he confuses readers about the reasons which led to the AMS council’s call for his resignation. By looking at all the surface arguments presented, it’s hard to disagree. Nobody likes higher tuition costs! Here’s someone doing something about it! Who wouldn’t agree with that? And that is precisely what this email is trying to do – trying to make students sympathetic to his cause. Look, Freddy (can I call you Freddy?) I don’t like higher tuition, but I also don’t like how you didn’t ask people what they thought about it…and went off to the United freaking Nations about it by yourself and then called it an AMS decision. The situation needs to be described in clear terms, which this email fails at doing. Without stating my own opinions on impeachment, the more we allow this to be misrepresented as an issue surrounding lowering tuition, the further we drift from the fact that the recall is about the undemocractic means by which he decided to act. Case in point: as a strong proponent of left-wing ideas (and it dismays me that this debate seems to be heading down the Right vs. Left alley), I would simply like to point out the “democracy” in “social democracy”.

“The reason why he is being recalled is because he circumvented the AMS. He never came to us to present the human rights complaint for debate, and by neglecting to do so he took away the representation of students through their elected officials. The AMS is a democratic institution where all directors come together to debate issues and then proceed with policies that pass with a majority vote. The issue of tuition has nothing to do with Blake’s or Tim’s recall. It is their actions that council is judging.”
– Katherine Tyson, Arts Representative

Frederick implores readers to write their AMS representatives with their opinions on tuition fees. I, too, would like you to do so: write them about tuition fees, as it is definitely an important issue facing students, and I am all for reduced tuition fees. But also write them about what you think about all these shenanigans and let them know how you’d like them to proceed.

EDIT: Case in point: the new profile picture of the Facebook group opposing impeachment. As previously stated, this is not about the supposed preferences some people have for higher tuition fees vs. the preference for lower tuition. Must we exhaust the point?

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