To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
Amy Cox, deputy chairperson-elect of the National Graduate Caucus (CFS) and president of the Post-Graduate Student Society of McGill University, is the listed contact on a news release entitled “Graduate students not laughing with CASA” that went out Tuesday. The release, which accused CFS’ rival federal student group Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) of making light of graduate student activism, only showed how childish student politics can be.
Earlier that morning, CASA had sent out a news release welcoming two new member students’ unions, including the University of Waterloo Graduate Student Association, the first graduate students’ union to join the organization. In what may have been an attempt to slight the CFS or only a careless slip, CASA’s release included this phrase, “With the joining of CASA’s first graduate student association, the GSA, CASA is working to fill the current void that exists in graduate student representation at the federal level.”
CASA has been representing graduate students at UBC and prior to that, represented graduate students at the University of Manitoba. So, to say their is a void is to say they were not properly representing those members.
But Cox decided this was an attack against the CFS and she needed to respond.
In her public mud-slinging, Cox said the CASA release “was presumably an attempt at an April Fools joke” and that it denied the existence of “three decades of work undertaken by graduate students at the federal level.”
“We appreciate the CASA’s attempt at humour, but it isn’t appropriate to make light of the hard work of graduate students that has been ongoing for decades,” said Cox.
I’m not defending either side here. It is silly battles like this that make it hard to take student politicians seriously.