Opinion: Brock is broke but still colonialist

By Mehmet Emin “Memin” Boyacioglu | The BUG

Brock University is going through a financial crisis and all members of its community are being made aware of this in various ways. Tuition fees are being raised recklessly which makes higher education even less accessible to masses. Vital employees are being laid off which decreases the quality of education that is being received by the ones who can afford it. The administration is proud of saving money by deferring maintenance while the ceilings of the lecture halls leak when it rains hard.

The financial situation must be pretty serious, because some of the measures taken by the administration are too ridiculous to be true. For instance, full- and part-time employees have received an e-mail signed by Jack Lightstone, President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University, asking them to give Brock “financial support” through “payroll deduction” or an “online giving tool.” So Brock University asks its employees, whose salaries cannot be legally reduced, to renounce part of their labour’s worth and calls this “giving a gift to your home institution.” Embarrassing, eh?
On top of all these, Brock University is waiting for the arrival of a huge statue of Isaac Brock that will be placed right in front of Schmon Tower. The sculpture cost $ 1.2 million which was donated by David Howes. That is a generous donation to an institution that is going through a tough time indeed, but is it really a statue what we need at this point? How does a giant sculpture of Isaac Brock solve any of our problems? Can Brock University not find any donors who would donate money for causes that actually matter, such as keeping the facilities intact (instead of deferring their maintenance) or paying the salaries of the employees who keep the educational standards high (instead of firing them)?

Financial issues is an important reason to raise an eyebrow about this statue, but it’s not the only reason. Brock University, as well as pretty much the rest of Canada, rests on First Nations’ land which was seized by colonialists through overtly or covertly violent means. The real owners of the land, First Nations people, have been subjected to a very cruel treatment ranging from massacres to involuntary cultural assimilation at residential schools. Even today, First Nations people are deprived of access to many resources and services that the average Canadian citizen enjoys.

Social sciences departments at Brock University are full of professors who strive to make their students aware of this colonialist history of Canada and oppose contemporary colonialist discrimination in every possible way. It is a hypocrisy for the University to erect a statue of a British general, fuel patriotism, and celebrate Canadian military victories that meant oppression of First Nations people and many others, while its politically progressive professors promote critical thinking and social justice, actually fulfilling their duty as academics.

Many who embrace Isaac Brock as a “hero” would protest and remind me of the common narrative about him, how respectful he was towards First Nations and his alliance with Tecumseh. What is missing from this narrative is that, since the arrival of the European colonialists at their land, First Nations have been drawn into various wars in which they were bound to lose, no matter which side comes out victorious. These wars only determined by whom they would be exploited. When this history is considered together with the contemporary lack of access to higher education among First Nations youth, it is evident that Brock University is creating an even less welcoming environment for this already marginalized and deprived group.

A feminist critique of this situation is also necessary. Brock University owes its very existence to Flora Egerter’s vision, but her name is barely heard of. She is not even mentioned in the history section of the University’s website. She almost receives a consolation prize by the renaming of Meter Road as Flora Egerter Way, while a tribute to militarist masculinity is present at every corner of the campus.

As students and workers at Brock University, we have a lot of reasons to be cynical about the giant statue of Isaac Brock that we will soon be exposed to. I call everyone to be vocal about their opposition for the sake of helping Brock University become a politically just institution that prioritizes education over cosmetics.

Un-cool Runnings: Timeline of the Brock “Blackface” story

the jamaican bobsled team

This image was sent to me by a confidential source. It was originally published on @BrockBUG on Twitter — then copied by Larry Savage — and is now being used in mainstream news reports. #ThatsWhyGadfly

Thursday Oct 30:
“Cool Runnings’ Jamaican Bobsled Team” wins $500 at Isaac’s “Threesome Thursdays” Halloween Costume Contest, with three white males are wearing black face paint.

Friday Oct 31:
Incident first raised on Overheard at Brock.
Source sends picture which The BUG posts to Twitter
BUSU issues a statement

Weekend: 
Dylan Powell writes a report: Blackface Wins Top Prize at Brock University Club
Gadfly continues on Twitter to press the topic

Monday Nov 3:
BUSU releases 2nd statement
Labour Studies professors release a statement
BUG wonders where the mainstream news is

Tuesday Nov 4:
Niagara Falls Review: Brock students in “blackface” come under fire
CBC: Brock University students in blackface win Halloween contest
Toronto Sun: Brock U takes heat after ‘Blackface’ students win campus Halloween contest
Reddit thread
Brock University President Jack Lightstone: Blackface Halloween costumes, and a lesson in historical consciousness
CHCH (TV): Brock University controversy

Wednesday Nov 5:

The Brock Press: Students Wear Blackface, win BUSU Halloween Contest
BrockTV: BrockU students react to blackface Halloween costume controversy
Sun News TV: Blackface at Brock
St. Catharines Standard: LAFLECHE: Ignorance is no excuse
Hayley Malouin: It’s On Us: Racist Rhetoric as Perpetuated by the Academic Institution

Thursday, Nov 7
CKTB Newstalk 610: Member of Jamaican Bobsleigh team weighs in on Brock U costume controversy

BUSU Fall 2014 AGM

busu agm oct 2014

The Brock Press provides a recent statistical history of the attendance of the AGM.

Jan. 15, 2014: 26, Oct. 8, 2013: 34; Jan. 15, 2013: 16;  Oct. 17 2012: 13; March 22, 2012: 25

And now Oct 8, 2014: 36.

BrockTV: Livestreamed the BUSU Fall AGM. 

 

Everything waiting to be answered on Ask.FM/BrockBUG

I haven’t been prepared to answer these questions. But I’ve been working towards being able to. Some of them should really never be answered, but demonstrate the range of views that are coming to me. Some of these questions have pushed me into researching things I wasn’t aware of, while others are simply waiting for me, or someone, to source the video clips, transcribe, pull out quotes, and produce reports and social media. To those who are reading between the lines, you’ll perhaps glean something by which questions I have not yet answered; can assume which ones I will not answer; and note which ones I did — and did not — ask at council.

These are 100% submitted to me through Ask.FM/BrockBUG

In regards to your latest response… man ‘Isaac Brock Superstar’ would be a great musical
about 5 hours ago

ASK AT BUSAC? Last BUSAC meeting, the President (& former VPUA) was rather quiet when the issue of CASA was discussed. I wish to know the following from the President: a.) how much student oversight is there? b.) the benefit CASA provides c.) thoughts on a referendum? -thought it was gonna last yr
about 11 hours ago

There have been significant changes to staffing at BUSU over the last several years. No more Government Operations Manager. No more full time clubs director. A new position of Executive Assistant. How do these changes impact students?
4 days ago

During the BUSAC meeting Stephen Tulloch said “I think both pro and con CASA sides should support [sending it to RILRC] to give both sides a chance to debate in an objective body.” You have notably been con CASA for a long time, what do you think about Tulloch’s motion?
6 days ago

Now that CASA is going to RILRC, do you think BUSU is trying to join CFS instead?
6 days ago

Paul said the Catholic Student Group should get funding $1500 in club funding because “they keep to themselves”. What about keeping to yourself makes a good club?
7 days ago

Why does Tyler even want CASA to go to referendum? It is going to RILC, they know what they are doing. A referendum causes needlessly commotion at BUSU and for students.
7 days ago

What the fuck is rillerk? What is Chris’s role in it? How does it supposedly have more access to information?
8 days ago

VPSS “said he was confident the fee is being spent well but wants to put to rest any concerns that it is not.” – Is it in BUSU’s best interest to avoid any conflict with the university over this fee? When you ask someone “what’s up?” and they blurt out “not guilty” it is suspicious. Who reviews it?
9 days ago

You’ve said watching BUSU is important. What would BUSU as a corporate system do unwatched? What is there to watch except BUSAC?
15 days ago

What happened at the last Brock Radio AGM?
18 days ago

So what happened at this last Brock Radio AGM? I heard rumors that they acknowledged the violation of the 2012 MOU but have decided to do nothing about it. Is this true? Could you shed some much needed light on this?
19 days ago

What does Drew do? How are the actions of Drew and Chris intertwined? Who hired Drew after he left the Board of Directors and and before he joined the executive?
19 days ago

I’ve seen Drew be hostile to many people at BUSU. Why is Drew so hostile?
19 days ago

Paul said BUSU was not planning to run the Programming Fee referendum again. Jimmy Norman was the main person behind the Programming Fee referendum that failed by a huge margin. Now that Jimmy is back in a position of power over elections, what plans does BUSU have for referendums this year?
19 days ago

The CRO oversees elections for the BUSU Executive and Board. The CRO is hired by the BUSU Executive and Board. BUSU hired Jimmy as Special Events Coordinator after he oversaw the election that saw them all elected. Is the election system corrupt at BUSU?
19 days ago

Jimmy is/was roommates with Drew (VPEA) and great friends with Paul (VPSS). Who was on the hiring committee for the CRO?
19 days ago

What is the total budget size the BUSU Board of Directors manages?
22 days ago

If OUSA and CASA have not been approved as a fee, is the work that the VPEA does, legitimately representing students?
22 days ago

BUSU supported sling-ride which flopped. Is the new car share any different?
22 days ago

Is BUSU a puppet of the administration? Do they focus on small fish like CFBU instead of large ones that would put them at odds with the administration?
22 days ago

What is BUSU?
22 days ago

yendt is a fucking snake. i dont feel comfortable with him at the reigns of the board of directors, pretty much doing whatever he wants.
24 days ago

Why the focus on Chris? He is one of the most reliable people in BUSU. He got more done than Kyle. He might bend the rules but that is only because he wrote so many of them. He knows what is good for BUSU.
25 days ago

The GSA seat is empty at BUSAC for the same reason the BUSU seat was empty at CFBU. BUSU executive do not play well with other people. Do you see the efforts to centralize student life under BUSU as problematic?
25 days ago

How invested in students drinking is BUSU? The largest piece of space it has is a bar. With so many under-aged students and a sizeable portion of the students who don’t drink, why have a bar? Why not an opium den, cigarette shop, or strip club?
25 days ago

The most likely group of people who win BUSU executive elections were previously executive or other paid employees of BUSU. How much power do you think the hiring committee has at BUSU? Who is on it? Are the same people on it from year to year? Are hiring practices ever audited at BUSU?
25 days ago

Deferred maintenance happens because of mismanagement. How much has BUSU spent on Union Station and Isaacs? Their profits should pay for the maintenance of their building. The juggling of money via the deferred maintenance fee seems to be a way to compensate for the fact they lost their party fee.
25 days ago

What is the biggest change in BUSU/BUSAC would you like to see?
29 days ago

Brock Inquirer, whats up with them?
29 days ago

Fedup proposal, whats up with that?!
29 days ago

It seems as though BUSAC this year is more willing to work with the press, and a lot more gung-ho about outreach to the community. Do you think they can be successful? What boundaries do you think they might run into? What would you do?
29 days ago

I hear you’re a member of the Brock Bloc, what is it and what are you planning on doing?
29 days ago

It seems as though there is a lot of student apathy in BUSU related matters in general. What do you think BUSU needs to do to help get more students involved?
29 days ago

Who are some individuals that you expect to have big legislative impact this year? Who are the “key players” as it is?
29 days ago

just so you know..that 7k renovation project that was promised by sep 1 (which looking at the minutes is the reason the board chose yendt for that project), wasn’t completed until second semester
about 1 month ago

4. If the membership fee incurred by BUSU/Brock Students to be part of any provincial or federal student associations has increased cumulatively by more than 20% since initial approval of membership in that association it must be re-approved via a student referendum. (End of MOU – This is for BUSAC)
about 1 month ago

3. No sitting member of provincial or federal student associations may use the financial or personnel resources of BUSU to participate in a Yes or No side in any referendum relating to membership in any provincial or federal student associations.
about 1 month ago

1. All memberships in student associations including CASA, OUSA, and CFS must be approved by a student referendum. 2. Any existing membership that has not been approved by referendum must discontinued within the year.
about 1 month ago

BIRT BUSU will send the following question to referendum in the October – Do you support that all memberships in provincial or federal student associations (CASA, OUSA, CFS) maintained by BUSU must be approved by student referendum as per the memorandum of understanding? (4 point MOU in next message
about 1 month ago

What do you think about BUSU’s membership in OUSA and CASA?
about 1 month ago

What will the exec attack this year? 2012 – Sexual Violence Centre 2013 – CFBU 2014 – Fedup.
2 months ago

BUSU calls itself Brock’s Student’s Union but they never poll students to see what they want. Exec who love sports can focus entirely on helping varsity teams and exec who just want parties can focus on that. Who has the ability to hold them to actually doing the right work can BUSAC or BUSU Staff?
2 months ago

Is there anything stopping exec from completely ignoring student interests? They seem to focus on work that they are most interested in without much care for what students want. Are there any formal channels of communication between students and executive? Can executive ignore students if they want?
2 months ago

How centralized is the power of execs and board members? Last years VPFA had a vote on BUSAC, at Exec meetings, at Board Meetings, on governance, hiring, and how many more committees simply by winning one election? Is influence only possible in BUSU if you commit to it full time?
3 months ago

BUSU’s Ombudsperson’s website description: Office is independent of the faculty & all admin. structures and student gov’ts. with funding received from an annual student levy put in place by a referendum. What referendum is referenced & how indep. of student gov’t if they pay salary? Reporting line?
5 months ago

When one reads through the entire text of the BUSU Ombudsperson’s description under “Why We Do What We Do” on the BUSU website, why is it all from the perspective of the University as if she is the University Ombudsperson? The text is based on Ryerson’s Nora Farrell. Are each others job desc. same?
5 months ago

Do you think the Senate Scandal will influence future political affairs as BUSU? How so, or why not?
5 months ago

What do you think will be BUSU’s most pressing issue in the upcoming year?
5 months ago

A referendum question & its rationale has to go to BU’s VP of Fin. for review prior to submission & approval by BUSAC. Why is that vital step not reflected in BUSU By-Laws relating to referendums? What happens at the “review” stage? Does it require Brock Admin. approval? Do students know all steps?
5 months ago

Note: the questions about CASA, and the Motion, were not submitted by councilor Tyler Evans, he says.

 

Also be sure to read ask.fm/brockbug for the 35 answers that have been posted!

BUSAC Preview for Sept 22, 2014: BUSR update, Student Life Fee, and motion to Remove CASA

The fourth meeting of the Brock University Students Administrative Council (BUSAC) for 2014/15 is Wednesday, September 24 at 7 p.m. in the 13th floor council chamber. Open Question Period is at the beginning of the meeting.

The agenda says that BUSU President Roland Erman will provide an update about BUSR (Brock University Students Radio), after he was tasked last week to approach Brock radio in an effort to find a path to “reconciliation” between BUSU and BUSR. There is no PowerPoint presentation included in the pre-council email, so it’s unclear what his presentation will cover. His presidents report he writes, “I will save my BUSR news for BUSAC.”

Last week’s tabled motion to send the Student Life Fee (SLF) for review will be back. Current VP Student Services who formerly was on the campaign which brought SLF into existence, last week said he was confident the fee is being spent well but wants to put to rest any concerns that it is not. He said the SLF committee, created late last year by request of the admin, has not met more than twice. Last year on POV Radio, then-president Cooper Millard spoke about the committee and remarked, “One executive [on the committee] does mean you have oversight” For more information about SLF, listen to last year’s feature interview the admin.

CASA — the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations — will begin to face scrutiny this week as councilor Tyler Evans is motioning to put the organization to referendum. Some controversy exists around this fee because it was never approved by referendum. The issue was raised by last year’s VP University Affairs Roland Erman at the BUSU Fall AGM, which suggested a new referendum could be coming. Last year on POV Radio, then-senator Kevin Wilson noted that CASA is being paid for out of BUSU Division 1 after past referendums failed to achieve quorum. This year, Erman became BUSU president and was asked “Will CASA ever go to referendum?” Erman said, “It’s something that we can look in to and consider. It’s something last year that I was looking into and considering doing — referendums were coming up a lot last year. I felt like it was really the place to do that last year, but certainly I can re-evaluate and sit down, and get back to you with that further.”

Club funding: Catholic Students Association, $1550

The email sent out to councilors today did not include a report from the VPFA, VPSS, VPEA or General Manager. Probably because it was Brock homecoming.

Brock Press randomly prints “Show Us Your Dicks” poster

what-world

Last Thursday evening, after a photo circulated on mainstream media of a group of off-campus Brock bros with a sign that read, “Honk If You’re Dropping Off Your Daughter”, a group of young women confronted motorists with signs of their own: One of signs said, “Show us your dicks (Chop! chop!)” with a large illustration of a pair of scissors. The image was then posted to Rose DV’s Facebook page, and was supported and defended by those close to the feminism community.

One wrote, “I wish they had invited me, and more women across Brock who feel the same threats when we walk around at night or participate in the drinking culture (that our school embraces so fondly) to join them. More voices need to start speaking up about what is going on here.. I think here is a lot of silencing going on when it comes to sexual assault on Canadian campuses. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Plus the threat of having your dick cut off is very much less real than the threat these men posed by proudly holding this sign.”

However, this “counter action” was viewed by some with derision and disdain because its message is blatantly violent. The image was posted to Overheard At Brock. Predictably, one comment said That escalated quickly, and another wrote, “Honk if you don’t want violence threatened against men at Brock.”

A commenter wrote, “I hope Brock reacted the same with these chicks as they did with those guys. Actually these girls are actually threatening violence so i hope they get an even stiffer punishment.”

That question — was there an intervention from security upon the women — was why I followed-up with Brock University.

When I asked via email, Brock University communications rep Jeff Sinibaldi told The BUG and BrockTV, “This second incident was brought to the attention of Brock’s Campus Security and they responded immediately a little after 7 p.m. last Thursday night (Sept. 4). The one sign you mention was offensive and, when asked by Campus Security to do so, the individuals immediately took it down and we’re co-operative. They then peacefully remained for about 40 minutes.”

I made the inquiry at the time of the incident, but decided then not proceed with publishing a story then. I saw no value in discussing nor critiquing the image, although I did prepare a few paragraphs for a wouldbe editorial which asked “What world exists between these two images?” I didn’t know how to answer the question, and I still don’t, so I shelved the piece.

The only reason I’m publishing anything about it now is because the image re-appeared again this week in The Brock Press, and in a very problematic way.

Show Us Your Dicks (Chop Chop)

Where I prepared to publish the image — with permission of the photographer — and did research with the University to find out the rest of the story and then decided it was best for me not to publish it … The Brock Press published the image without permission, without research, and without providing any context as to what the image contains.

In fact, it was inserted into a Letter to the Editor which had nothing at all to do with the image itself. The letter talks about how men shouldn’t degrade sex by pursuing it as if it were a “win”. It’s about intimacy, respect and love, and did not even mention the image which is included with it.

Actually, the other story on the page which highlighted “ways Brock is keeping you safe”, did mention the reaction, in passing.

The author of the Letter to the Editor, Memin Boyacioglu posted to his Facebook

“I did not send that photo of the counter-protest with my article. I think it is very inappropriate of Brock Press to use that photo with my article without asking permission either from me or more importantly the women in the photo. I think it also defeats my purpose of being accessible and not freaking people out. I’m not happy with it.”

He told me, “I did not [contact Brock Press] but I talked to Rose. In fact she messaged me to ask if I submitted the photo myself. She said that she was going to complain so I didn’t contact them. It’s more offensive to her (and to the other two women on the photo) than it is to me. Their photo is being used without their permission after all.”

That Letter to the Editor would have been much better served by something like this.

So, what does it mean? At bare minimum, it’s shows a level of inexperience and — worse — thoughtlessness with the Layout Editor and management of the Brock Press. What in the world are they doing printing such a charged image without any thought for its significance? #BrockPressProblems

There’s nothing wrong with printing the image. There’s something wrong with not telling us the rest of the story.  #ThatsWhyGadfly

 

Exhibit A: “Honk If You’re Droppin’ Off Your Daughter”

984230_736300789757201_4208760156203857165_n

 

Exhibit B: “Show Us Your Dicks (Chop Chop!)”

Show Us Your Dicks (Chop Chop!)

* Image used by The BUG with permission of the photographer. It was shared to Facebook, but the post was subsequently deleted or removed from public privacy settings, but I grabbed a screen shot before that. The woman on the left shared the image with the following message:

the-first-still-burns

FAIL SAFE: The Speaker Explains Power Of Quorum AGM

Cue the Snap, because you’ve got the power. Yes, I just made a reference as old as the average Brock student. Great song to read this article to.

So it’s that (bi-annual) time of year, and this time BUSU is ahead of the curve on promoting it’s Annual General meeting. (Thursday, October 9, 5 p.m. in TH325)

In past years, observers have decried BUSU’s efforts as constitution-breaking afterthoughts, but we can’t say that about this year, as early in September they’ve got a Facebook event page. And, another new development, they promise an agenda, which is another Gadfly win.

But what CAN the AGM even do?

Well, as much as I’ve read the blasted document a billion times, I can’t say I’m the ultimate authority in interpreting it. That would be BUSAC speaker, Chris Ventura, who is the ultimate authority in legislative interpretation. I emailed that guy for clarification, and I even threw around some sample motions to see if they would or would not be possible. He graciously provided me with the insights afforded by his position.

He says that other student unions’ AGM attendance is “low across the board” — unless there is a scandal. He notes my repeated argument of it being a venue for “direct democracy” but cautions that 2% is far less meaingful than 20%, the new average for BUSU referendums and elections, a number he notes would like see higher.

He calls the AGM a “fail safe” which is “a weapon of last resort”.

BUSU Constitution: Article 8.3
Such a meeting may, under approval by a majority of the members of the Corporation (students) present, make recommendations, policies, amendments, or bylaws that are binding on the Corporation, the Board, and the Brock University Students Administrative Council.

Ventura writes:

“Basically, it can be a tool to accomplish sweeping changes within a student union. That being said, here’s some context on that. To have Quorum at an AGM, you need 2% of the student population, with is obviously a lot less than representative amount of the student body to make substantial changes in a democratic fashion (Even elections are at least 18-20%, more representative by nearly 10 fold).

So, why does the AGM grant such sweeping powers to a small amount of people? The short answer is a fail safe. You’ll recall those student executives from U Ottawa a little bit ago who were in some hot water over a leaked Facebook chat about another executive that was very hurtful, sexist and really bad? Lets say they decided not to resign and keep their position, in the face of a school who’s membership wanted to remove them. An AGM could be the tool the general membership uses to remove them (considering that the vast majority of the student population wanted them gone). I use a rather extreme example to illustrate that this is a weapon of last resort. It circumnavigates much more representative democratic bodies (Exec elections, BUSAC, Board), and should be used as a last ditch effort in the event of a catastrophic failure of one of the three branches of government.

I know you are much more of the opinion that it represents an opportunity for direct democracy by the students and that is also a fair point. In a perfect world, this would be another arena for the people to participate in an institution that they could use to debate sweeping issues and make a direct impact on the organization. However, in reality, the 2% vs the 20%, even though the 20% is well, well below where I would like to see representation, I’d stake my claim with 20% over 2% any day of the week.

All of  that being said, am I not going to take the AGM seriously and not promote it?

Absolutely not. This tool is part of our democratic process and it should get equal face time as every other governance venture. Would I love to see an AGM meet quorum? Absolutely! Looking at other student unions’ AGM records, unfortunately they are low across the board, unless there is a huge issue, such as removing a rogue exec or staff person who is misappropriating funds/power.

I hope that this context paints a better picture of what an AGM’s purpose and direction really does.

Looking at your BIRT statements, I think all of them except the MOU approval one would be possible, even the Isaacs one!

Examples Be It Resolved That… (BIRT)

Green are good to go. Red is not.

BIRT – To remove Board Member X.
BIRT – To remove Executive X
BIRT – Approves political policy to direct BUSU to leave OUSA.
BIRT – Direct BUSU to leave OUSA.
BIRT – Isaac’s renamed to The Starship Enterprise.
BIRT – The MOU to fund X Third Party is approved, and
BIFRT – And will go to referendum at the next election period.

 Why not those last two? Ventura clarifies, “Looking at article 8.3, in this regard, I think the best you could do is recommend that BUSAC should approve it. Since its not a bylaw, policy or amendment. Doesn’t mean they have to listen…. But it would have to be discussed for sure.”

 

Council and the Gadfly: Analysis of questions (Part 1 of 3)

45 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.

2 ‘community’ seats added to BUSR Board on NCRA recommendation

Brock University Students Radio Board of Directors community member Matt Dalzell motioned Thursday at the BUSR collective meeting to add two community seats to it’s Board of Directors.

“I want you to keep in mind that this has absolutely nothing to do with the recent changes to our board, even if we had BUSAC and BUSU still on the board, we would still be out of balance, we would still have the same five and only two community, and so this is an attempt to right that, if you will. We’ve received guidance from the NCRA which is the National Campus/Community Radio Association which has said that we are not in balance and we should be, should they review our board structure, it’s too heavy I guess on the student side, so that’s what this bylaw is proposing to do, is add two new community members to the board,” said Matt Dalzell.

Deborah Cartmer, “The timing does, I’m sure, seem suspect, for people who think there is a conspiracy, um, but it really has nothing to do with the current situation. This came about because last year I was informed by the NCRA — who is any governing body by any stretch — they are an association of campus and community radio stations. We have known our bylaws our out of whack for a long time. So they told us last year that we were out of balance a should fix this, and so we checked again this year after that change was made, the recent one, okay, so are we still out of balance? The answer was yes. Basically, they’re strongly recommending — they have no authority to do anything — but they’re strongly recommending to correct that imbalance, because it jeopardizes us federally. There’s supposed to be a balance and the community and the university they represent, and ours has always be lopsided.”

The motion passed.