As is being reported (http://bit.ly/O3GEXh), student groups are refusing to allow proper media to cover their debates on whether to continue their outrageous and completely illegitimate class boycotts. As well, you can surely expect all votes to remain public instead of secret – defying an essential part of the democratic process.
I was a student at Concordia when the whole SPRH/Benjamin Netanyahu nonsense was going on. I remember clearly how the scene played out and the end result. This is much of the same story:
Concordia’s student association problem of 2000 in a nutshell:
A small group of angry, hostile “students” who had no interest in education, but merely to be professional-protesters-in-training and hate on Israel, corporations and many other things and people mobilized themselves to elect a student government that represented only their own interests. They took advantage of a politically-apathetic student body to push their own agenda and it boiled over when the SPHR and their sympathizers blocked Netanyahu from speaking at the university under the guise of their rights to free speech and the right to assemble – prohibiting others from enjoying their own such rights.
After that, the rest of the student body mobilized long enough to recall the reigning student union and went on to elect a more reasonable group who actually went about the business of trying to represent the whole student body instead of just their own selfish interests.
The reason for bringing up that sad episode in Concordia history is that I see a ton of parallels with the current, illegitimate student boycott movement, and the barring of major media from their activities only serves to reinforce that.
In a free and democratic society or institution, everyone has the right to see what’s going on publicly and vote in secret so as not to be coerced or intimidated by any group or individual. In the current student movement, dissenters are mocked, threatened and terrified. Would you want to raise your hand to vote NO to continuing the boycott in that group of people? You’d probably fear for your own safety. I’m not an alarmist, but I even worry that blog posts like this might result in threats or intimidation toward myself… but I believe people need to be able to voice their opinions without fear of such reactions.
That’s the Canada I grew up in and want to be a part of.
If the students refuse to have secret-ballot, independently-audited votes, then they should simply all be suspended indefinitely and failed.