LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Letters to the Editor/Opinion by

An open letter to Students’ Society Vice-President University Affairs Rebecca Dooley by former student Senator Nick Wolf regarding his resignation.

Dear Ms. Dooley,I would be less hesitant to bring my resignation to SSMU if I were not afraid of what SSMU would do with my vacant seat. I, as you know, lean conservatively, when viewed with SSMU as the centre. SSMU is in the grip of radical organizations, and as such is highly likely to choose a successor who reflects the views of these organizations. While it may happen that you go through my faculty association to find my replacement, being the third senator from the Arts faculty I was afraid that your organization would handpick a follower who would more vocally espouse your views. While my fears may be unjustified, I do not believe that they are unfounded.

With services like Queer McGill approving election candidates and meetings being conducted at the behest of fringe organizations, it is difficult for an alternative viewpoint to be heard. And it seems to me, and the students I have spoken to about the subject, that the alternative viewpoints – the voices silenced by the majority at SSMU – are conservative. Most of those who run for SSMU have an agenda that in the real world would be considered extremist. Some wondered why there were four acclaimed positions in the last election. The answer is simple; nobody wanted to work for SSMU.

What happened to battles over policy – where students actually had a stake in the issues? We simply do not need another radical voice screaming for radical changes, lunging at invisible oppressors, and disrespecting the very people we are trying to represent.

Having sat on Senate, and in the meeting rooms and committees, I have seen a good deal. SSMU is inherently disorganized. Its policies and its goals are scattered, and forgotten from week to week. There is almost no foresight, and even less hindsight. Different things anger SSMU each week, yet it never makes a real stand on an issue. Sure, you’ll ask “tough” questions at Senate, but they aren’t effective. The administration gets tougher questions from smarter people all the time. Pick a target and fight for it.

If you want people to respect SSMU’s authority, you need to earn that respect, to prove that you are really fighting for what students want. Choose Life was handled poorly. Simply dealing with it internally would have solved a lot of issues. Instead, the executives gave an upstart club with delusions of grandeur the spotlight for weeks. We should be celebrating diversity on campus, not oppressing it. If their events are objectionable, don’t go. Oh, they violated the equity policy? Maybe it is the equity policy that needs to be reevaluated. Why make an internal matter a street brawl going all the way up to the Senate floor?

The university is laughing, but you can’t see it because you’re too blinded by self-righteousness.

Our enemies at the university are highly intelligent, do not suffer from the yearly attrition that we do, have years of experience fighting our predecessors, and have a cohesive plan for every meeting – a real plan, not one stemming from an hour-long caucus where we discuss things and then hug. Where is our year-long plan? What is the final objective? Oh right, we have neither. If there is one, it should be shared with the Senators. Otherwise, if we’re encouraged to think for ourselves, let us represent our constituents, not just SSMU.

So consider this my official resignation from the organization that once represented students at this university. Consider this a call to change, a 95 Theses nailed to the glass doors of Shatner. Student politics have degenerated into ineffectual yelling over stupid issues. Want some advice on how to run a student movement? How to protest? How to kick and scream until the opposition breaks? Ask the administration. They did it right when they were in our shoes, and they are kicking our ass now.

– Nick WolfFormer SSMU Senator