Letters to the Editors

Studio Q responds to editorial

Dear Editors:
Re: “Studio Q’s stability” (Journal, March 9, 2007).

This letter is written on behalf of the Studio Q executive committee for 2006-07.

Based on the Journal’s editorial, it’s evident the Journal has neither watched our show, nor has any clear idea of what Studio Q actually does.

The purpose of this letter is to set the record straight. Despite the Journal’s claim, Studio Q did not ask for “the intervention of a larger body.” By no means is the AMS intervening in our operations. On the contrary, the Studio Q executive decided internally that a change in hiring policy would secure a stable future for the service. A hiring panel will ensure that the producer is a qualified manager with the best long-term interests of Studio Q at heart, not the winner of an acclaimed election, or worse—a popularity contest. We recognize the concern about editorial autonomy, but the fact is that the change in hiring has nothing to do with the responsibilities of the producer, or the boundaries of the AMS. The AMS constitution clearly outlines both the mandate of the show and rules regarding editorial autonomy—these will not change.

The Journal’s claim that we “appear unable to turn the service around” on our own is, fortunately, untrue. Not only did last year’s staff restore Studio Q from near oblivion, they did so without the benefits of training and institutional support.

Go to myams.org/studioq and see for yourself the improvement in programming quality over the past three years. This turn around was completely independent. In short, the assumptions the Journal has about Studio Q’s “current state” are alarmingly inaccurate and outdated. We welcome a dialogue with the Journal, and any interested parties, in the spirit of accurately depicting the condition of the media at Queen’s.

Tristan Moran
ArtSci ’07 and outgoing Studio Q executive producer

Dear Editors:
Re: “Studio Q’s stability” (Journal, March 9, 2007).

I am very concerned with the message that you are sending about Studio Q. For one, as a volunteer for Studio Q and political studies student, it’s the best decision for Studio Q to consult with an AMS panel in the hiring process.

The informal voting process that picked managerial staff in the past was highly inefficient. Voting in such circumstances can be driven by popularity or picking the lesser of two evils. Having an AMS panel choose managers will avoid these vices that we face through a direct voting process.

As well, Studio Q will not compromise its integrity as an autonomous organization because students will still choose the subject matter of segments for our shows and still have a say in the direction of the program itself. There should have been more research on how decisions are made in Studio Q as well as more consultation with volunteers before printing this piece in your paper.

Personally, I find the Journal’s views to be a classic case of “yellow journalism”—twisting the truth in order to gain readership.

Mike Kenney
ArtSci ’08 and Studio Q volunteer

AMS should lobby University to issue letter of regret as well

Dear Editors:
Re: “AMS considers letter of regret,” (Journal, March 9, 2007).

I applaud the efforts of AMS Social Issues Commissioner Allison Williams, who would like to see the AMS issue a letter of regret to black medical students expelled from the Queen’s School of Medicine
in 1918.

It’s far past time that the blatant racist treatment of the 15 students affected be formally addressed by the University.

However, I think Williams should take her initiative one step further—present the letter to AMS Assembly for (hopefully unanimous) approval, and then table similar language for votes at the next meeting of the Faculty of Health Sciences Board and the Queen’s University Board of Trustees.

This is a similar process to Sutherland Task Force had its final report approved unanimously by AMS Assembly. Motions were then set forth at JDUC Council and the Board of Trustees later that year, leading directly to the establishment of the Robert Sutherland Room and the Sutherland Visitorship.

Those actions made it possible for Williams and Afua Cooper to meet and discuss the black medical students in the first place. Acting Assistant Dean Lewis Tomalty’s assertion that racism in the Kingston community, and not racism at Queen’s, was behind the School of Medicine’s actions does not explain why the University had not yet named anything on campus after Sutherland, the University’s first major benefactor, by 1918, nor is it an adequate excuse for the expulsions.

Since pressures based on overt racism were brought to bear on the School and they responded by kicking the students out of Queen’s, the decision to expel was a racist one. The University is directly responsible for racial discrimination against those 15 students. Nearly 90 years later, clearly the School still doesn’t get it. So force the University’s governors to deal with the actions of their predecessors head on. Present a motion at the Faculty Board through the Aesculapian Society’s representative and at the Board of Trustees through the AMS President. That is the best way to issue a meaningful apology on behalf of all members of the Queen’s community, and not just its students.

Greg Frankson
Con-Ed ’97, AMS President 1996-97, Robert Sutherland Task Force Chair 1997-98

Sodexho contract provides ‘no barriers’ to sustainability

Dear Editors:
Re: Letter, “Challenges to eating locally are due to motivation not accessibility” (Journal, March 9, 2007).

In Jessica Chu’s letter, she said “While Queen’s Food Services has worked to incorporate some fair trade and local foods into Queen’s, the students need to let them know that this is what they want. The
Sodexho contract expires in 2010 and students should let Queen’s know that they are interested in ensuring that more just and sustainable food is incorporated into our system.”

I certainly agree that students need to engage in the discussion regarding sustainable food on campus, however, I wish to point out that Queen’s Food Services has implemented a fair trade coffee policy and buys a wide variety of local items. Some items (apples, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, etc.)
are purchased locally year-round and others (celery, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, basil, etc.) are purchased locally when in season. The Sodexho contract provides no barriers to our progress toward greater sustainability. The nature of our contract with Sodexho allows the University to make all the decisions necessary to move forward. In fact, Food Services has formed a committee to review the many aspects of sustainability as it pertains to food on-campus.

On March 2, 2007, Jane Kirby’s op-ed titled “Looking beyond coffee,” said, “Campus coffee shops have been reluctant to expand their fair trade product lines beyond coffee.” In fact, The Lazy Scholar in Victoria Hall and the Library Café in Stauffer both stock fair trade hot chocolate, fair trade sugar and a selection of fair trade teas.

I’m very pleased with the dialogue on campus regarding sustainability and food and want to ensure that complete and correct information was available.

Bruce Griffiths
Director, Residence and Food Services

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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