Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor for Friday, Sept. 12

Re:No stance is the wrong stance

In response to your article entitled "No Stance is the Wrong Stance," I would like to give my two cents on the role the SGPS takes as a student organization and their response to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I feel the Journal has become short sighted in their views on this issue, as only a mere 4 years ago, Rector Nick Day was first censured and then impeached based purely on his improper use of his title to represent all the students of Queen's University in his views on the Palestinian-Israel conflict.

Let me be clear, he was not impeached for his views on the conflict, but due to his representation of all of Queen's students in a foreign policy item that many students have differing views on and that does not directly affect the lives of students here at Queen's.

Let me also remind this publication that a year previous to that, the AMS passed a resolution committing to not take a stance on foreign policy items not directly affecting students. Although the SGPS is a different organization, it is clear that students at Queen's (especially the majority of undergrads) see getting moiled in a debate on a divisive foreign policy item not conducive to the mandate of their student government.

Having done research on this topic before, the votes and stances by Universities tend to divide school campuses rather than unite them, and turn academics away from institutions rather than invite them.

By stating in your article that the SGPS should have consulted its members in order to get a clear picture on how to vote on this topic. This would inevitably fall to a popularity contest and who could get the most people out to vote and overpower the other side. Once again, this would inevitably divide this campus, not unite it in the process towards peace abroad.

As well, this does this take away from the fact that this statement calls to take on an ad populum fallacy of just ruling by the will of the majority. The Journal also failed to take into account that the decision to not send representatives was made by an executive elected by the majority of SGPS students, and thus represents the majority opinion of students already.

If other candidates who wish to run next year want to campaign on the platform of Israel apartheid and BDS, let the democratic process take its course; but until then, the SGPS executive represents the graduate students of Queen's University and thus consultation on this issue can be taken at the next ballot in the upcoming year.

As well, if we choose to "stand in solidarity with education which knows no borders," we should equally stand beside our fellow Israeli students who had their classes and exams cancelled during the conflict. As well many students who serve in the reserves of the IDF were also called up to active duty and even perished in the conflict.

I've done significant research during a summer posting on this issue, and have seen the harm it has done the reputations of strong institutions across the continent. Queen's has been one of the few schools to avoid this reckless strife and use sober second thought when making decisions on foreign policy issues that have little to no effect on students lives, other than to disenfranchise potential academics and donors.

I am proud to be a Queen's student, and equally proud that Queen's has not fallen to peer pressure when making statements and taking a stance on the issue, much like you are advocating they do.

Grant Goldberg

Art Sci '16


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