QTS editorial ignorant
Re: “Time for last call, QTS” (Journal, March 28, 2008)
In the complicated world we live in, it’s necessary to take the time to step back and realize the context, limitations and real purpose of any situation; a concept so simple and yet, by yourself and others, so often forgotten. You didn’t put any well-researched thought into how alumni giving works nor the challenges behind it.
I realize that your intention was not to offend the QTS callers. But by writing an ignorant article about the seven hours we spend at QTS a week, you did. Those seven hours are spent raising money that goes towards funding your everyday life at Queen’s. I invite you to join me at work this week and perhaps actually listen to a quality conversation I often have at work, beyond “a telefundraiser’s anecdote about how he or she almost went to a Queen’s football game but decided it was too far.” If you truly believe “the best way for Queen’s to raise money from alumni is to create an experience that will make students want to give back when they leave,” then help Queen’s create that experience. Every day students work towards improving our community and uplifting the Queen’s spirit. Your editorial, like many articles that have appeared in the Journal this year, break down and diminish these efforts. If you took the time to write that editorial, I assume this is a topic that you are at least mildly interested in. We have a mutual interest in improving the Queen’s community, so let’s take the opportunity to discuss this and achieve what your article attempted to do but failed—understanding the challenges with alumni giving and how it can be improved.
Solidarity with Palestine
Re: “Remembering Palestine” (Journal, March 28, 2008)
We, as Queen’s University students and members of Queen’s Coalition against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination (QCRED) are in full support of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights and thank Dana Olwan for her piece. As members of an anti-racist collective our goals are directly aligned with the struggle of indigenous peoples, including the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation. Israeli apartheid bleeds out of South African apartheid and Turtle Island (North American) apartheid. We echo Nelson Mandela’s words by insisting that “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
We hope the University will choose to extend its Darfur divestment to a divestment from institutionalized, racist Zionism. We must do what’s in our power to discourage ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories. We will not allow Israeli bombs, soldiers and routine demolitions to be repackaged and sold to us as “retaliation.” We will not support the illegal and inhumane wars of the United States empire and the U.S. financial and political alliance with Israel. We’re equally appalled by Zionist efforts to obliterate the Palestinian people and their culture. Though it may seem encouraging to see many Queen’s students wearing the kaffiyeh, we hope its significance as a symbol of Palestinian solidarity and resistance won’t be lost or commodified for capitalist and Orientalist consumption.
We encourage students to familiarize themselves with the facts surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and seek an education free from settler myths and propaganda, allowing them to draw parallels between the situation of Indigenous peoples in Canada and those in Palestine. We extend an invitation to interested individuals to read The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappé.
We look forward to working with our anti-war, anti-apartheid allies at Queen’s and in other universities such as McMaster who have had their fundamental right of freedom of speech denied through the administrative banning of the term “Israeli apartheid” on their campus. This unlawful act highlights the repression bound up in Israel’s colonial project and exposes Israeli apartheid’s reliance on our silence here in North America.
As Audre Lorde said, “Your silence will not protect you.”
Darcel Bullen, ArtSci ’08
Aruna Boodram, ArtSci ’10
Display misuses Holocaust vocabulary
I was very disturbed by a recent display in the Upper Ceilidh of the JDUC. The display was erected ostensibly to commemorate the deaths of Gazans killed in the tragic conflict that affects both Israelis and Palestinians. But the effort was undermined by a misappropriation of the word Shoah, or Holocaust, that in this context isn’t suitable, and moreover is offensive to Jews. Translations and definitions of this word were supplied to display organizers, but they chose not to replace the word with a more appropriate one. This leads me to question the intent of this display: was it to commemorate victims or to provoke conflict and polarize campus? It’s incumbent upon all Queen’s students to champion tolerance, respect, understanding, dialogue and civil discourse to protect the community that we cherish.
Formal ‘do over’ a ‘pretentious attack’
I logged onto Facebook last week and was going through event invites when one particularly stood out amongst the rest: “ArtSci Formal DO OVER”! My initial reaction was one of excitement thinking maybe someone had heard me say, “I wish it was ArtSci formal every weekend!” I started reading the event description, where it became clear to me that this was some type of pretentious attack on the 2008 ArtSci formal committee from a group of individuals who seem to blindly believe they’re the only people who know how to throw a party on campus. They allege that for $25 event-goers will receive two free drink tickets and “Gift bags that Webster’s might actually define as a ‘gift bag,’” a blatant attack on the formal committee, which was unable to fulfill some promises they made. Despite the fact that they put “no offence to the organizers” in their description of the event, it’s hard not to be offended by this immature attack. It’s true some promises were made and not kept in regards to ArtSci formal, but everyone I’ve talked to managed to have an absolutely fantastic night without the small amenities promised. Because I’m a fourth-year student and graduating this spring, I made the best of the ArtSci formal and was able to successfully enjoy this event without the promise of a second drink ticket. This new event seems completely unnecessary and I’m quite displeased by it. While it’s no secret that two of my favourite things in life are Alfie’s and formals, I won’t be attending this event and I would like to take this time to sincerely thank the 2008 ArtSci formal committee for all their hard work this year. From experience I’m well aware organizing an event on campus can be quite nerve-racking and there’s always the possibility for unexpected errors that are oftentimes completely out of the committee’s hands. That being said, I had a blast, and it certainly was the memorable night my friends and I had expected.
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