minutes of questions were asked of me after my 13 minute presentation. I’ll give you the play by play and score my the questions and my responses, as well as augment my comments now that I have the benefit of time, and my body of work, to rely upon.There were a lot of questions, so this break down will be in 3 parts.
Question 1: Antonio Sergi, Board of Directors
Topic: You’re not elected
Sergi asks if I was ever elected, and I tell a good news story that getting involved with BUSU by seeking accountability was successful. He follows up “Right, but you didn’t actually represent students. You were never elected — “, Sergi prods, which I retort, “I find that journalism is a form of representation. So I’m still representing students… even to this day.” Score: Not too shabby. And while pithy enough, I could have fired back with the fact that Sergi himself didn’t go up against anyone for his seat in the Board of Directors. So, he seems to represent students the same way I do, by walking up and saying, Ok, I’ll do it. He was a councilor last year and I think worked in the advocacy department for a while. I met him while I was ranting against the Student Life fee in March 2013. Anyway.
Question 2: VPEA Drew Ursacki:
Topic: You’re not a student, why do you care?
“You’re not a student. You haven’t been a student for a very long time. What is your tie and why do you care?” My answer: If it wasn’t of service to people, I should quit. I do this because people continue to bring me questions and information. Score: Pretty good. But: could have fleshed it out a little more. I was put on edge by the tone of the question, but I have to accept that this is the dominate question of my existence. Of course, I don’t even believe one needs to be a student to care about student politics or provide the service I do.
Major flaw in my response, of course, is I didn’t pull out my Brock student card and waive it around saying that I can still swipe it, I can still log in on the computers, and I still haven’t finished my degree. So there.
Not a student? I say, once a student, always a student. How so? I have experience both in the life and dealing with the burden of taking responsibility for it. I’ve been a student “proper” for five years of my life, and involved in campus activities and campus politics for maybe a decade. I was a very involved student at Niagara College. Wait wait, is this about elitism? I don’t pay the fee so I don’t get to have fun on all the rides? Get real. I’m just as Ontarian as you are — where does most of the operating money for this institution come from, after all? — and this is my future too. My OSAP debt is real. My student experience is real, too. I have a valuable voice and those who hear it send me accolades. And they poo-poo anyone who tries to shut me down.
And, more significantly, even if not, you don’t have to be gay to fight for gay rights. You don’t have to be black to fight for equality. And you don’t have to be a student to fight for empowering students. Knowledge is power. And I’m redistributing the wealth.
We’re talking about a system that is admittedly in crisis, which is the gateway all young humans must pass through. Keeping that system in check is important because it is important. Not because I’m carrying a valid student card (which I am, by the way).
I believe my work is empowering. Others agree. The fact that Ursacki doesn’t agree causes one to question if he wants to keep people in the dark about everything? Bar none, no one has gone as far and as hard on bringing light to BUSU — BrockTV, Brock Radio, Brock Press, and, to a lesser but not insignificant degree Brock administration — than I have.
How is that possible? Because I’m not a student, I don’t have to juggle the courseloads of four ridiculous classes. I have a job. I devote my intellectual capacities towards helping people deal, cope, grapple with, something they otherwise would be clueless about. I serve a symbol of their right to be informed. They care about information. Not whether or not my BUSU fees have been paid lately.
Question 3: Kyle Rose
Topic: Tell us something good
He asks if I’d be willing to highlight the positives of BUSU, and I note that I’m entirely volunteering my time while thousands of dollars are spent to promoting the good side. I then list off Car Share as “very cool” and pat everyone on the back for O-Week. “We have a pantheon of voices in the world. I’m a voice that says a particular perspective. If you thought I’m expecting you like I’m preaching gospel… I assume you’re listening to me with a skeptical ear.” Score: Fuck ya. Bonus points for dropping “pantheon” like it ain’t nothing.
Question 4: Roland Erman
Topic: What can we do better with the AGM?
What can we do better at the AGM? Well, I’m sure to spread the responsibility around and by mentioning that the media has a responsibility to continually educate the public. Here, I’m able to provide a good suggestion — which it looks like they’ll be following – to provide an agenda in advance. I cover this a bit on a recent question on my Ask.fm/BrockBUG page.
Question 5: Chris Yendt
Topic: will you admit what you said and apologize to Tyler Evans for it?
“The Gadfly is somehow a different entity than busuleaks,” Yendt intones, suggesting it is not. Busuleaks was dropped because I didn’t want to pigeonhole the reporting to just BUSU, and I thought adopting the Socratic metaphor was fitting. Yendt continues, “You have necessarily taking a lighter tone and a more professional attitude in your reporting.” Well, shucks, that’s almost an endorsement, buddy. Considering I’m the guy you came to in 2012 — when I was at my so-called worst — to start a new newspaper at Brock, a fact I included in my presentation.
Then he says, “So, I will ask you, on the record, to recognize a statement that you made, regarding Mr. Evans, and issue a public apology … where you called him a disabled individual with a bunt up arm. Do you accept that is something you said, under the Brock University Gadfly, and will you issue a public apology to Mr Evans?! And if you deny it, I have photos.” Amazingly, this has to be in the public record now. Okay then. So, in March 2014, Jason Tucker was in a debate and Tyler Evans remarked “Who invited the cave troll” to which I was shocked and responded something to the effect of “I can’t believe you are making fun of people’s appearances considering you are a disabled individual with a bunt up arm.” I didn’t bother providing the context, instead called the comments “reprehensible”, and left it at that. Score: Decent. But weak. I could have taken responsibility, defended my self, and gone on the offensive.
How? Well, First, Tyler Evans is currently a collaborator. We talked frequently. We work together on a political projects. He hasn’t mentioned that comment, and I believe I apologized for it pretty much minutes after I said it. Sometimes you say crazy things when your friends disappoint you. So what? And really, so what — after months and months of my writing about BUSU, BUSAC, and Yendt himself, the first question he gets out is — why are you a dick to Tyler on Facebook? Of course, 2 years earlier Tyler mocked me on Chris Yendt’s Facebook wall, telling me to “get a life, get a girlfriend”. Yet somehow, despite chirping each other over the years, we are friends.
Of course, my perceived objective was to expand my social reach within council, therefore Yendt made it his object to undermine my social credibility, not my work, in an entirely false connection between The BUG, which is a media outlet, and those comments, which I made in a personal capacity. As if being a jerk on Facebook taints the veracity of this website. Thank you, try again.
Tyler tells me, “He tried to use that as a bludgeon, but obviously didn’t care about my feelings. He never talked to me about it.” He later defended me towards the end of the meeting. Since this, I’ve been taunting Yendt on Twitter to provide the screenshots.