Letters to the Editors

Investigate real interest of Multicultural Festival Committee

Dear Editors:

Re: “Reinforcing stereotypes” (Journal, February 16, 2007).

How ignorant does the Journal think the Multicultural Festival Committee is? There are problems with our campaign and we are working to improve our ads, but in the limited time we have, we cannot address all the issues surrounding such an ambiguous concept like “multiculturalism.”

No Caucasian person has taken interest in our committee, demonstrating that the term multiculturalism is commonly accepted as involving minorities only. There is a problem when we
use words such as “diversity” and “multicultural.” People are hesitant to get involved, fearing being
attacked or getting attacked. Our intended message is that everyone is diverse whether they are fifth-generation Canadian, Chinese or some exotic combination. Multiculturalism does not mean minority cultures only and we should transcend the mere connotations of “multiculturalism.”

Our message is that our collective identity is that we are Queen’s students and what makes us unique is not merely our racial identity rather our individuality. We wanted to create a Diversity Wall where we would take pictures of students, learn about their background and a fact about themselves.

The pictures and quotes would be up on display during the Multicultural Festival. Our intention was to show that one cannot merely look to someone’s appearance to assign them an identity, nor should this be the concern. We should strive to look past appearances.

We wanted to use different quotes for our ads. The first one was “I started a Tony Danza Fan Club
when I was in high school.” We were not mocking the “culture of whiteness” and I don’t believe the student who made the statement intended it to be somecrude remark.

Maybe before becoming critical, one should investigate the real interest of our committee.

Issues of diversity are significant at Queen’s but one should be sympathetic to the fact that the Multicultural Festival is in its first year. Mistakes will be made but misunderstanding our ad was something that could have been clarified if one took the time to ask.

The Journal’s remarks reinforce the reasons why people are anxious to deal with diversity issues. People are quick to attack as opposed to foster discussion, the appropriate means for change.

Anjala Kulasegaram
ArtSci ’08 and Queen’s Multicultural Festival club liason

Response to the Others

Dear Editors:

Re: “AMS debate visited by Other Campaign” (Journal, February 2, 2007).

The Other Campaign, in a recent press release claimed that “the most involved in the democratic process of the AMS elections this year” were members of their group.

While I applaud members of the Other Campaign for getting involved in the democratic process,
wouldn’t you say those that got the most involved in the democratic process are actually the people
that ran for office? Is that not the ultimate way of participating in the democratic process?

The Other Campaign’s claim is an unwarranted slap in the face to CMM, TPC and the trustee candidates. It is in fact them, and not Other Campaign members, who took a “bold” step. Anyone can
criticize, but it takes someone with intestinal fortitude to actually step to the plate and put themselves out there by running for elected office. Instead of writing letters, issuing press releases and complaining, the Other Campaign should actually take some pragmatic, positive steps to initiate change.

Not only were any of their members committed enough to run for office, but they weren’t even dedicated or organized enough to muster up 675 signatures to get a single question on the referendum ballot.

The Other Campaign has not been about trying to initiate positive change. Instead of trying to work with the AMS and the administration they have done nothing but insult everyone that doesn’t agree with them, only encouraging others to dig themselves in deeper. Ironically, all the Other Campaign has accomplished is to make students less likely to run for AMS office next year.

If this year’s campaign has taught us anything, it’s that running for AMS elections means getting mocked by the Other Campaign, as evidenced by their Facebook ads, amongst other things.

Yoni Levitan
Comm ’07

Dear Editors:

Re: “AMS debate visited by Other Campaign” (Journal, February 2, 2007).

I rarely feel inclined to voice my opinions on these matters, but I have lost a lot of respect for the
Other Campaign based upon their decision to support their members that participated in the slanderous
act of falsifying an association with the Journal and monopolizing upon its widespread circulation to spread their word. This act was so wholly inappropriate that it brings me to question the true motivations of the Other Campaign.

I wholeheartedly agree that the AMS is problematic and I constantly joke about my feelings that they should all be severely whipped for some of the things they do/don’t do. Voting and passing the bill on the new Queen’s Centre for one: a project we all have to pay for, but will never see.

In that way, I did in many ways support the beliefs of the Other Campaign, even though I could not support their destructive and, frankly, unproductively anarchist suggestion to spoil democratic ballots. If you disagree with the whole system, it is your choice to vote or not to vote. As other people have clearly pointed out: take action instead of preaching inaction or destructive methods.

Your members stepped far beyond the bounds of appropriate rebellious behavior. I hope that the Journal is successful in their action against the Other Campaign, as they are clearly justified in taking offense; especially after they provided so much objective coverage of the Other Campaign leading up to the election.

James Lumsden
ArtSci ’07

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