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Greetings Myles Files readers,
Wikipedia says of “Selling Out”:
Selling out refers to the compromising of one’s integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money, ‘success’ or other personal gain. It is commonly associated with attempts to increase mass appeal or acceptability to mainstream society. A person who does this, as opposed to following the original path s/he laid (or claimed to lay) out for him/herself, is labeled a sellout and regarded with disgust and immediate loss of respect.
And, by definition, one could say that I’ve sold out by agreeing to jump over to the Acadia Student Union’s Strike Website and become their official Strike Blogger. And, on the surface, this might be the case: however, at a certain point, a blogger needs to go where they can make the most difference. And, in this case, this is working in conjunction with the Acadia Students’ Union.
The ASU Strike Information Site
[Welcome to the Liveblogging of the October 10th Negotiations Update from the Myles Files. This meeting was called as a way to update students on the state of negotiations that started this morning between AUFA and Acadia University. If you couldn’t make it due to class, here’s the lowdown.]
3:53pm: And the Michener Lounge is slowly filling as the presentation is set to begin in only six minutes.
3:57pm: This location is great for a quick meeting of this size, but I worry that first year students will get lost on the way.
4:00pm: The main level of the SUB is empty, so a majority of people in the building are here. I’d say that’s a successful turnout, all things considered.
4:01pm: From Kyle Steele, the two sides went back to the table and talks did NOT break down today. This is good news, even considering the strike vote falling 75% in favour. Further information will be provided at http://www.theasu.com/strike.
4:02pm: The Plan of Action is the current big issue in terms of strike plans from the ASU. Erin Benner, VP Campus Life, will be providing non-academic events for students, while Colin Hoult (VP Academic) will be focusing on academic events for first year students.
Today at around 12:30pm, the Myles Files (In the form of I, Myles McNutt) will be speaking to CBC Radio One’s Maritime Noon about the possible faculty strike at Acadia University. So, if you’re on the east coast, tune in to listen to me (likely) talk way too fast.
90.5 FM in Halifax, 106.5 in Wolfville
Will Myles be able to talk slow enough to remain discernible? Will he manage to pimp his blog? And does he have any breaking news about his future involvement with the strike communications effort?
You have to tune in to find out!
The ASU, as if listening in on my earlier commentary, has revealed their plans for the next week in regards to the strike.
Information Meetings – 4pm on Wednesdays
Every Wednesday during this period, they will be holding an information session at 4pm in the Main Level of the SUB for students who want to learn more about the situation. This is a way that, on a non-electronic level, they will be informing students.
They also have some information on a strike website being set up (Stay tuned for more on that), as well as some frequently asked questions, including some of those I posed earlier today.
You can read The ASU’s full post at the link, but here’s an excerpt as well.
Will there be a strike? A deal can be signed at anytime, including the night before a strike. This has happened in the past at Acadia and elsewhere. Until the morning of the 15th, nothing is for sure.
How long will a strike last for? If there is a strike, it is impossible to tell how long it would last. Traditionally (Acadia and elsewhere), strikes have not lasted for more than two weeks.
Should I go home? The ASU recommends only those who are able to return to campus within 24 hours go home if they wish. Those who would require planes, etc, to be able to go home are advised to stay on campus, as a strike can end suddenly.
[For information on the Myles Files’ strike coverage, regarding the purpose and intention behind it, please refer to the Strike Mission Statement]
Students at Acadia University are supposed to be worried about midterms right now. As courses begin to pile on the tests and quizzes, and as we reach that lovely point halfway through the term, this is usually a hectic time.
However, most students are able to overcome this deluge of material with some hard work and good study habits. But this year, there is another problem that hours of studying won’t fix, and that students are not currently able to fix. Entirely out of their hands, students are now pondering what will happen if faculty goes on strike on October 15th.
The problem with this is that students are faced with a lack of information: while bits and pieces are making their way into the pipeline, for the most part students are left piecing together whatever they can through MSN and DC++ Conversations. While these have a great deal of value, they are also provided to an extremely limited audience. And I, as well, can’t possibly reach enough of the student body to answer the questions floating around.
Are they going back to the table? What does a strike mean for us? How long will they be out for? When will we know if there’s a strike? Should we go home?
Those are just an assortment of potential questions, and I will be honest with you: some of them can’t be answered. There are too many variables at stake: the state of negotiations is such that a single comment or statement could fundamentally change the answers. For the short term: Rumours have them scheduled (with no promises) to negotiate tomorrow, a strike could mean a lot of things, no one really knows how long, they have to give 48 hours notice so by Saturday morning, and only if you live nearby in my personal opinion. Not really satisfying, are they?
However, I believe that it is possible for someone, anyone, to start informing students. Because as far as I can tell, those streams of communication are not open as much as they could be.
This was the number of students who felt that a possible strike at Acadia University was worth a few hours of their time on a Friday evening. This is, actually, an impressive number, and I would like to extend my personal appreciation to each of those individuals. An especially large amount of appreciation goes out to the Frosh who have had the least amount of time to become part of this community, and yet still came to voice their opinion. Kudos.
I was going to attempt to write this blog post without contributing to the conversation during the meeting, so as to be able to establish my own neutrality, but anyone who stuck around knows that this didn’t last very long (I’m weak). But, first off, I have a fairly simple message for those who didn’t feel the meeting was worth their time:
Your affliction is apathy. We don’t have a cure. We really wish we did.
The people who didn’t show up to the meeting aren’t “stupid,” “ignorant,” or in any way terrible people: they are simply apathetic towards this cause (To those who had other commitments, I’m not including you in this distinction). Actually, I’d argue that most are likely apathetic towards all causes, but that’s another story. This was about the academic future of this university and a potential strike, and quorum could not be reached. My faith in stopping apathy’s slow march across our society is, well, waning.
For those who couldn’t make it due to work or illness or any other reason, or to those who want to do something about your apathy, you can still make your voice heard. Contact your SRC Councillor via the ASU website, or go to next Thursday’s council meeting to become part of this discourse (I’ll have a summary of events below).
But I don’t need to harp on about that, because there is one thing I really want to deal with.
I want to talk about how inappropriate and classless it is to heckle during a public presentation…while apologizing for doing it myself by the end of the meeting. During the presentation of the second motion, I reacted with laughter at a comment and Alex (rightfully) called me on it. I apologize for this, as it was both hypocritical and inappropriate for the setting.
This being said, there is a major difference between laughter and even a short one-sentence remark such as “Do some research.” Rather, what I want to address is those individuals who, while the Director of Public Affairs Scott Roberts was speaking, yelled “Shut up.”
Unlike the apathetic people, I am more than willing to call these individuals classless. It is one thing to stimulate someone for more information in a quick statement, but it is entirely another to inform someone who has agreed to speak to students to shut up. I don’t care if you think that Roberts is nothing but a PR flack or that his stance is the wrong one, but treating anyone willing to step in front of an obviously hostile crowd like that is disrespectful beyond laughter or a short statement. It is disruptive, rude and reflects poorly on our ability, as students, to be willing to at least hear someone out on their side of an issue.
As for the meeting itself, for those who either didn’t attend or left before the presentations finished, here’s what went down from as neutral as perspective as someone with opinions on the issue can offer.