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The guy who wrote those absurdly ill-informed and racist two sentences about Montezuma is a grad student at U of C? A grad student? In what discipline?

And then there are his problems with women, whose lives he seems to think he personally should be defining and controlling.

I don't know what to say. I don't know how people like that get out of high school in this country. And I would sure want to be keeping my distance from him, Polly.

I think he is in Computer Science. I am sure that there are many great people in that department, but there is a crew attached to the GSA executive that often leaves me asking: are these grad students?

The president could not even answer the simple question: "In your view, what is the scope and mandate of student politics?"

Of course, I believe they do not support the CFS, which unlike CASA, runs date rape awareness campaigns and promotes safe campuses for women and the LGBTQ community.

Of course, to the GSA these are not REAL student issues. Indeed, they supported the U of C's decision to host Condi Rice!!!

There are a lot of stupid people dominating the executive. My teenage nephews are truly more sophisticated thinkers!

Please find something better to do than dig up 4-year old articles that basically slander someone for espousing his personal pro-life views.

My teenage nephews are more mature.

How is examining political views and condoned methods immature?

I am not a lawyer, but this post is treading dangerously on the Canadian laws against slander and libel. You didn't just examine political views, you are strongly insinuating many slanderous things from his simple letter to the article espousing pro-life beliefs.

The fact that it's come up now and out of the blue seems to indicate this is part of an effort to dig up dirt on the guy. And for what purpose? I ask you that -- what is the purpose of this post if not to defame the character of this guy? The fact that the defamation is completely unsupported is what makes it slander.

For the record, I do not know this guy nor am I a current student at the UofC. I'm an alumni who is watching this drama with great interest, but starting this mudslinging is embarrassing for the UofC, the CFS, and -- I would hope -- you personally.

The purpose is to raise awareness about the political views and accepted practices of my student representative.

I am not breaking any laws and I am acting in accordance with my own moral compass.

My stats counter indicates that your comments have originated from the U of C; if you can't be frank about who you are and what angers you about this post, you are wasting space.

Check your stats counter again. I am posting from Toronto (Scarborough specifically). The question is, did you know that, or are you trying to mislead again?

For a post that speaks of integrity you are certainly doing yourself a disservice here.

If you have no argument to make, Dave - move on.

Proving, yet again, the point that student politics are almost as bad as government politics. It’s unfortunate to see representatives so focused on their ideological agendas that they fail to act in the interests of their constituents.

I don't think bringing up an old article necessarily has a lot of relevance to the current debates, although I can see that it does provide a bit of a character reference (and I'm referring to the part in Bidulock's own words, which cannot possibly be slanderous - at least against himself).

Given what I've seen as a GRC rep, it suggests that Bidulock will fit in with a GSA exec that tends to see things in very polarized terms. The divide between pro-life and pro-choice is politically fruitless, and we know that common ground is distinctly possible; a pro-choice person might not think an abortion is justifiable in some situations, and a pro-life person can have moral doubts about whether every pregnancy should be brought to term regardless of its impact. Meaningful discussion and action arises when we set aside the "partisan" element of this debate and focus on the underlying ethics.

Similarly, the GSA exec has (in my view) treated the views of representatives and members more as nuisances or as proponents of wrong-headed thinking than as meaningful contributors of student voices. In other words, the Exec has an agenda that it wants its constituents to support, and is frustrated with members when they disagree. Rather than opening further discussion so that flaws in the Exec's plans can be solved or members can see the wisdom of the Exec's ways, the situation has devolved into recrimination and closed-mindedness.

I don't know "who started it," but it's hard not to feel that both sides are participating. I'm guessing that some of the language I'm responding to comes from lots of frustration, and I really respect Joanne for having the guts to swim upstream all year (and beyond!) the way she has. The way they decided to resolve their electoral dilemma - itself a product of idiotic bylaws that somehow failed to consider the possibility of 3+ candidates - was totally wrong. However: I don't think the protests to the Exec policies have always been registered in ways that invite discussion. There, I said it. Now I run.

And yeah, that Mexico statement was racist. I guess we didn't all make it through Latin American Studies, but really. I'm pretty sure you don't need higher education to recognize that the "ignorant savages" thing is out of style (thanks for demeaning my ancestors, Dan!). So is "abortion demeans mothers." The new thing for preventing abortion? "FREE CHILD CARE NOW!" Let's stop the sacrifice (by savage colored people) of all those cute little babies on the altar of economics.

I won't play nice with people who have spread lies about me simply because I have the audacity to have my own thoughts regarding the CFS. The executive created a climate of hostility. If, however, you feel I am part of the problem, you can describe how in detail here. I, for one, support open discussion. I have tried a number of strategies with the executive and I am sure that I could benefit from feedback, but to say that I've devolved into close-mindedness when I continue to participate despite being explicitly made "the enemy" seems rather unfair.

It is very sad, Grant. It seems that little effort is made to seek student input and REPRESENT the student body. The GSA has not received any approval from the student body to divert their levy. To me, it is unethical and, perhaps, illegal.

Dang. I had a response all worked out and then I lost it. Let's see if I can summarize, since brevity is obviously not a strength for me.

I want to apologize for sticking my oar in. I know that I am quite distant from this situation, and I was providing input from that perspective. I know that non-conflictual discussions are more productive than conflicted ones; however, I also know that some people cannot understand the idea of not competing with or tearing down someone who disagrees with them (and I'm definitely not referring to you!). Non-conflict doesn't work if the other side isn't interested in participating. I'm sorry, because it sounds like that's the situation you, Paula, the GRST student whose name is escaping me, and the other people really working for this are in. Like I say, I really respect your activism, and I thought you were very articulate and open at the meeting. As I say,

I also work at a pregnancy counselling center (the pro-choice one), so I was reeled in by the article quoted, not the CFS debate; it composed a substantial part of the post, so I figured that would be okay, but in retrospect I guess it wasn't on topic.

I think a lot about activist techniques - the "fighting for" metaphor vs. "nonviolent communication" vs. democracy vs. consensus etc. - and I wrote more from a place of pondering these strategies than specific criticism. I didn't intend to be disrespectful of the effort you've put in and the shit you've put up with, but I was, and I apologize for that. I definitely didn't intend to imply that you were not open-minded; I called the debate/discussion closed minded, and because I honestly believe that a discussion between people can be closed without the people themselves being closed - or wanting a closed discussion - I stick by that.

Based on Rithesh's needlessly angry, and very anti-democratic "if we can't make decisions without the student body's input, why are we even here" comment at the last meeting - among others - I find it pretty easy to believe that he's created the hostile situation you describe. Since I don't know the details, I wrote on the limited information that I do have: that meeting and the updates that you (generously! thank you!) provide for the faculty.

I'm pretty classically good at sounding like an ass. For a while, I just had a "Victoria's not allowed to talk on the internet" policy, but that seemed like I was cutting myself out of an awful lot of discussion. So I thought I'd dip my toe in here. I am sorry about that, and sorry for not making it clear that I support you and your actions so far.

I think I've re-proved my brevity point.


Your input is valued. There are a lot of things about the GSA and its members that I have been told that I can't say on this blog not for fear of a lawsuit but because people's identities need to be protected and I cannot fight personal fights for others.

Among the things that I have had to deal with are the GSA threatening to sue me, Ritesh inviting me to a private meeting only to accuse me publicly of having CFS lawyers and so on...

I have lived in Alberta my entire life and have a reputation for laying my cards on the table and certainly no one can accuse me of partisanship because there is not a single political party or ideology that I see as fixed or perfect nor give my unconditional support.

I have done nothing other than express my opinions and document what I have seen.

People are entirely free to challenge anything I say right here on my blog...

...but the GSA does not because they count on winning their debates using strategies like closed meetings; slotting important topics/issues at the end of meetings; misleading people with ghastly Power Point presentations and so on...

Quite frankly, I think they are scared to engage me in any real dialogue because I think my insights have been pretty dead on.

They only wish that I worked for the CFS...
I am just a student with an opinion and that is the biggest threat to that GSA right now because its agenda relies on student apathy.

Also, unfortunately for the clan, the GSA is not my raison d' is a tiny part of my activism. So, if they want to waste student dollars to build a lawsuit against me, print off my emails, etc., let them...they're small potatoes when in comes to the larger picture.

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