e x p l o r at i o n w i t h i n t e n t i o n
The Inquirer The official student newspaper of canadian university college
a n au ro r a c h ro n i c l e s pu b l i c at i o n
Dear Mr. Hunter, It was my understanding that you were the one to go to regarding the school newspaper. I attended amateur hour a couple of weeks ago, a night that was greatly enjoyed by myself, and what seems to be a lot of other people. A copy of the school newspaper was given to me and I was very disappointed at what was printed regarding amateur hour. First of all I would like to say that I did not realize that amateur hour was supposed to be a disaster relief fundraiser for the Philippines. I came under the pretense that it was going to be an evening of people performing what they personally felt to be their talent. It takes a lot of courage to stand on a stage and perform in front of a crowd, and rather than acknowledging that, the writer insulted certain performances. It is wrong that the writer of this article has taken it upon herself to deem certain acts to be of talent vs no talent, and can accuse those that were performing of being less considerate to the catastrophe that happened. I think that it is great that in spite of the tragedies going on around the world, Canadian University College can bring together a group of people for night of entertainment, not to forget or avoid the sadness of the world but allow us to remember that there is hope, love, community, and laughter in the midst of despair. The writer seems accommodating to those acts in which female’s perform and horribly against those in which male’s perform. She goes on to call the last performance one that was far from talent and begins to racially profile the performers. It is absolutely unacceptable to call out the “Filipino” and “Brown Boy”, and I am curious as to why she directly points to Benton Lowe, rather than racially profiling him as the black boy? I would think that if someone referred to the color of her skin, instead of using her name she would be quite upset and offended…I would be personally offended if someone referred to the color of my skin. And based on the articles that she has allowed in her newspaper where rants about race, sexuality and gender are made, I assume she herself would be quite bothered. She insinuates that only “straight guys” like guns, mafia, and money related themes, which I find insulting to not only straight people, but gay people as well, and ironic as gender and sexual equality have been huge themes of the newspaper. I have been following the newspaper since Sapphire Woods became the editor, while at first I thought it was interesting and important to have a different viewpoint and spin on the newspaper, I now find it to be a depressing, bias, feminist newspaper that diminishes those who don’t agree with what the writers of the newspaper have to say. From what I have seen and heard, the editor and writers sit behind the keys of a computer making rash accusations towards anyone they personally have a problem with, from the Adventist Church to the male population. If they claim that the student body and the amateur hour performers have ignored the disaster in the Philippines, I hope to see that the newspaper personally puts on a fundraiser to raise funds for disaster relief. I am all for free speech and free press, but in an Adventist University where we are supposed to show love, forgiveness and leniency for mistakes, there needs to be a line, and directly attacking the boys that performed in this show and even those that enjoyed the “mindless banter”, was a line crossed. The past newspaper issues have preached about love and acceptance, and this article seems to be the exact opposite. I am a former student of CUC, and I am proud to say so. But the newspaper that is being produced by the school is a negative reflection on the Student Association, the student body and those that allow hateful articles to be run in the paper. My time at CUC was filled with acceptance, friendship, and openness and the newspaper gives an attitude that CUC is a limited and exclusive school, filled with inconsiderate people. I would hope to see a retraction of this article, and an apology to the performers that she decided had no talent and were not worthy enough to be given praise for their hard work.
61 • December 9, 2013
13-12-09 9:56 AM
pr e s i d e n t ’s b lu r b s
I am grateful that the Anonymous Alumnus’ letter points out the irony of the Amateur Hour piece as the piece is exactly that--ironic. A social critique, if you will. This style of writing acts as a mirror in which we as a society, a community, is reflected in order to highlight points of disjunction--hypocrisy. It is ironic that at an Adventist (insinuating a place of acceptance, friendship, and openness) school’s Amateur Hour, the hosts make sure put down every act. You are exactly right in saying that those who participated should have been congratulated for their hard work and their guts to go on stage and perform. Being in the audience, I felt embarrassed for those performers as the hosts would take the stage and point out flaws or make a degrading comment about the act all for the sake of a good laugh. It is ironic that we shun racial profiling and gender biases but it goes completely unseen onstage. Beginning with the opening short film, did you not notice that in a roof full of “masculine” there was only one female...and she was holding a suitcase? Did you realize that the performance referred to as “Far From Talent” act was about the back of a girl’s head? Did you not notice that after each female performer, the hosts always made a comment about her appearance, and not her performance? Did you not notice that after each male performer finished, the hosts commented on his race if he was not white? It is ironic that after having stressed gender equality and anti-homophobia to my peer community, sensitivities towards those very things are embarrassingly overlooked by my peers, especially in a public setting. (This is what I was being ironic about when overlooking the girls and not Benton Lowe.) It is ironic that you went to a benefit event and didn’t even know it was a benefit for one of the biggest disasters to shake the globe, where thousands of people have died and millions have been affected. It is ironic that the qualm is over an “angry, feminist, December 9, 2013
biased” article and not how we, as an Adventist community, have come together not to give tribute or offer prayer to those lives and families, but to have a good old laugh. The Inquirer as a publication is not a mouthpiece for the Student Association Executive, or works in liaison to fulfill some agenda. The Inquirer is also an unbiased publication as it is open to all points of view. If one believes The Inquirer to be a feminist publication, I would like to take this time to point out that feminism should not be classified under biased or depressing. These side affects, however, may occur only after an opinion is banished to the other side of this so-called ‘line’ that is free speech. The Inquirer also takes special care to understand and exercise the rights of free speech and opinion. The Inquirer as a publication acts as a venue for the students of CUC who have something to say through the art of writing. When reading our campus newspaper, you will see that there are consistently new voices, different concerns, and ranging opinions. The Inquirer is, most importantly, a voice for those who understand that there is something more to be had than good times and the typical CUC experience. The writers of The Inquirer work hard not to “sit behind the keys of a computer making rash accusations towards anyone [we] personally have a problem with” but to highlight the issues and opinions we see as worthy of having open dialogue with our peers. To my fellow students, The Inquirer is for you. It does not work against you to hurt feelings or mess up unity. It is a place where your opinion, whether it be feminist or not, is welcomed and counted. This publication promotes that openness and realizes that we are not cookie-cutter pieces of some mold. We are individuals with special voices that need to be heard. This campus is headed into a future, but what it looks like is contingent on you. I believe in voicing my concerns as a student on this campus and as another human being. Raise your voice; what do you believe in?
Growing up, I went to the same school since grade 3. As I look back on those years, in particular my high school years, I could say that every single person who walked those halls with me were my school family. We didn’t have the best resources or the best facilities or the best anything really, but none of that mattered. There were cliques and groups and somewhat of a status quo, but when it came down to it, none of that mattered. As long as you wore that uniform and your name was on that assembly list, you were considered family. Yes, we had our disagreements. Yes, we had our fights. Yes, we had our differences. But despite all of that, we were family. I remember a student body who was aware of the huge differences between us, yet we accepted those differences because there was, at least, one thing we had in common: we were all students who went to the same school. No deep reason. No big revelation. We were family because of the mere fact that we were all students who went to the same school. I will never forget the lesson my school family for 10 years taught me: I’ll accept you for who you are, regardless. Whether you’re one of the “popular kids” or one of the “wallflowers,” I’ll take you for who you are and I won’t try to change you. Maybe it’s that simple. Maybe that’s all we need to realize in order to change things: we’re all students going to the same school. We’re all trying to find a common thread and we’re all arguing about what that common thread is: religion, or social status, or belief systems, or academic standing, etc. In all of those threads, we will always find differences, but there is one common bond between all of us: the mere fact that we’re all students going to the same school. We have a problem on campus and it’s our definition of the word unity. We define the word unity as sameness. Unless we’re the “same” then there’s no way we’re united. Unless we’re all the “same” then there’s no way we can move forward. Unless I think like you, act like you, and talk like you, then we’re not united. One of the definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary for the word unity is “the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole.” Nowhere in that definition can you find the words “be the same.” You might be asking yourself: isn’t it a little ironic that you would talk about unity alongside two emails with contradicting point of views? No, I actually don’t think it’s ironic. I think it’s the perfect example. We will always run into a situation where we will have opposing views: you may be pro and I may be con. Despite where we stand, we should be able to discuss, not argue. Bring your points to the table and come with the attitude of you’re trying to understand. Don’t come to the table with an attitude of you’re trying to get them to switch sides and accept your point of view. That’s not a discussion; that’s an attempt at persuasion, at sameness.
T h e I n q ui r e r
We have a problem on campus: I’ll say it out loud. We don’t know how to accept each other for who we are. Don’t berate the “popular kids”; don’t change the “wallflowers.” That’s just who they are. There are all these movements of “be different” or “take the road less traveled”; we’re constantly bombarded with messages telling us that we’re not good enough because we think like a “popular kid” or we act like a “wallflower.” We need to stop doing that around here. Be who you are or whoever you want to be. Let’s open up to the differing personalities and beliefs, rather than expecting a “wallflower” to become a “popular kid” or a “popular kid” to become a “wallflower.” If nothing else sticks and we’re scrambling for commonalities, there is the one thing that will always remain true and constant: we’re all CUC students – we are CUC. So even if you don’t feel included in a certain group on campus, just know you’re included in a bigger group: a group of people who are students at CUC. My goal as a president has never been to do a bunch of things that can be tangibly measured by the end of my term. My purpose is not to go down as “the best president ever” or even to be remembered forever. From the moment I gave my election speech to the moment I write this message, my goal as president has always been for someone, anyone to come to the realization that we’re all part of a bigger picture that requires us to learn the true meaning of acceptance and unity. That’s not something that can be measured. I probably won’t even see it truly happen by the end of my term, but just the fact that someone starts to slowly come to the realization then I’m satisfied. Even if no one ever attributes that realization to my term as president, it doesn’t matter. This campus has been longing for a change. It’s not a change in programs or events or anything physical because all of that will follow suit. It’s a change in our approach, our mindset. It’s learning to discuss and accept, not persuade then accept. Until that changes, we’ll be stuck with this feeling that nothing is good enough and we’re not good enough. So, I challenge us to discuss: I challenge us to open our minds to an opposing view. Listen to what is being said; don’t hear who’s saying it. The Inquirer isn’t meant to showcase one point of view: it’s a means to showcase a multitude of views. Let’s learn from each other. Here’s our platform to discuss, to start a conversation, to keep a conversation going, to learn and to grow together. If you disagree with something, I encourage you to search deep as to why you disagree or agree: learn what your beliefs are as an individual part of a bigger picture. Let’s reason together. If after we discuss and reason, we still hold opposing views then let’s learn to be okay with that. This isn’t a means to persuade each other to be like the other; this is a means to understand each other and learn to be comfortable with the differences because there is one thing that we have in common: we’re all students that go to CUC, searching for who we are and what we believe in and helping each other along the way.
13-12-09 9:56 AM
Amateur Hour Apology
The Student Association Executive Cabinet would like to take this opportunity to issue a formal apology to the student body, administration, faculty, staff, and community of Canadian University College. We would like to firstly thank everyone who came to Amateur Hour on the night of November 16, 2013. Although the event was not meant to be a fundraiser for the tragic event that occurred in the Philippines, we would like to thank everyone who chose to donate their $5 for their ticket to a relief fund for those affected. The event was not meant to focus on the tragedy of what happened, but it was meant to be a support financially in some way, hence the reason students were given the option to donate money or have their money returned to them on the night of. We have donated all of the money to ADRA, which the government of Canada has promised to match. We would also like to thank the administration, faculty, and staff of Canadian University College who have also donated to match every dollar that the student body has raised. Thank you for coming together to support those affected by such a tragedy. Thank you to everyone who came and supported a tradition here at CUC-- cheering on those who were brave enough to perform on stage and share their talent with the community. Thank you performers for lending your many talents. Whether your talent is to sing, play, or make people laugh, thank you. Even if it was for a moment, you were able to put a smile on someoneâ€™s face and warm someoneâ€™s heart. The reviews for our annual Amateur Hour have been a mixture of positive and negative and we have
duly noted each review in hopes of learning and growing from the experience. The difficulty with a live show is the inability to control every aspect and detail of said show. We would like to take this time to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by anything that may have been said or done. Although the Student Association Executive attempts to plan all of our programs and events to the last detail, we do not have ultimate control over what happens and things expressed or things done throughout a program or event does not necessarily reflect the beliefs or ideas of the majority of the student body. We will continue to attempt to plan all of our programs and events to the best of our abilities, but we acknowledge the possibility of things falling outside of our expectations. For this, we would like to apologize. We cannot take care of things as they are happening; we can only take care of things after they have happened in attempt to ensure that it does not happen again. There were a number of issues that arose throughout the program and we, as the Student Association Executive Cabinet, take full responsibility for the miscommunication between us as a team. We appreciate everyone who has voiced his or her opinion and concerns. We take every review very seriously in hopes of improving and growing from the experience and ensuring we apply these lessons to the next.
December 9, 2013
13-12-09 9:56 AM