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.
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