To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
I’ve covered a lot of student union embarrassments during my university career and my time with Maclean’s. The CUSA racist motion controversy is by far the worst. Most scandals only stain the students’ union and maybe, to a limited extent, the university. This one is completely destroying the reputation of Carleton and its students.
I was riding on the Hamilton city bus earlier tonight and the topic of discussion was “how stupid Carleton students are.” I went to Tim Horton’s, and the topic of discussion was “how stupid Carleton students are.” I was at an arcade tonight and even gamers knew of CUSA’s stupidity. (Of course, they are not blaming CUSA, they are blaming you, the Carleton student and your university.)
I was reading my morning feeds from influential US blogs and the topic was “how stupid Carleton students are.”
The Chronicle of Higher Educationblogged about the situation yesterday. Even Australian sites are picking up on the story. The reality is this story will be helping fill US 24hr cable news airtime today. The question is if the story will change or continue to get worse.
Here’s my free advice to the CUSA president. Please be quiet, stop talking, stop the doublespeak and resign. You’re making it worse.
Carleton students, please save yourselves. It’s time for a purge of CUSA. For too long, CUSA has been allowed to bunker themselves in the university centre and create an echo chamber of extreme viewpoints. Normally, their words stay inside the star chamber. This time, their words got out and you’re paying the price.
I’d hate to be a Carleton student planning a career in the United States.
Reputation is, unfortunately, a major factor in your degree getting you a job. By the time the cable news channels are done with this story in the early afternoon, Carleton degrees will be severely tarnished. I’ve been to Carleton a few times in recent years, I know your degrees don’t deserve this and I know CUSA is a radical minority that does not reflect the student population. The problem is that potential employers don’t know this. By 2 p.m. they will have learned from sources like FOXnews that your university is a hotbed of “radicial uninformed out-of-control liberal political correctness.”
The only way to put a stop to this is for people to hear one of two things. The CUSA president should resign after students collect enough signatures to impeach her or the CUSA president will soon find herself out of a job as Carleton students begin the process to fire her.
It can’t be that hard to gather the necessary signatures in time for the noon news cycle. Imagine how quickly the public sentiment about Carleton students will change if they show that CUSA doesn’t represent them.
At the very least, would somebody cut the microphone on the CUSA president. Listening to her talk about Robert’s Rules of Order, it’s clear she has no idea of what Robert’s Rules actually say.
The CUSA president’s doublespeak and spin is worse than Baghdad Bob’s. At least we could tell he didn’t believe what he was saying; the scary thing is CUSA actually believes their own BS.
Most importantly, after you clear out the current CUSA politicians, you must elect responsible mature students to represent you. The first order of business is implementing a proper culture and proper governance procedures. This problem could have been avoided if CUSA functioned properly in the first place. It was a train wreck waiting to happen, but nobody expected it would be this bad.
There is a message here for other universities with similarly disconnected-from-reality students’ unions: you may ignore them in the hopes they don’t interfere with you getting your degree. However, as CUSA as shown, your students’ union is very capable of ruining that degree while you’re busying studying in the library.
UPDATE: Just when I thought it could get any worse. Here’s CUSA councillor Donnie Northrup reportedly telling friends on Facebook that “I see no moral or cultural reasons to stick with Shinerama, to say because we’re been doing it for years, is the same mentality that kept slavery legal, and prevented the women’s vote.”