In the month since the last ECC meeting I have received a large number of requests, complaints, and clarifications about the issues surrounding the proceedings. Not surprisingly, our student union has been particularly vocal in their quest to implicate ECC in a variety of wrongdoings (as we have previously reported, and in their letter below), and as a result I have heard my fair share of complaints from the union, both directly from executives and through intermediaries.
While students and faculty have not reacted in the same manner, they too have made their views clear. One of the luxuries of my position is that I am able to hear these arguments—perhaps even more clearly than the intended audience, given that I am fairly removed from the process—and then give my two cents at the end of the day via this column.
And what I’ve heard brings me to the conclusion that there has been a clear disregard of the communication process in this matter. Regardless of which party is in the wrong, it seems to me that several of the issues are purely artificial. As Ms. Marotta explores in her article, the issue of the week’s notice for the agenda seems rather hollow given that, as Mr. Anderson says, it has never been a problem for the 25 years he has been present—possibly because the alleged violation is not supported by the ECC constitution.
Most striking, though, is that Mr. Anderson discussed the issue with Mr. Cassar, the president of UTMSU, and Mr. Khogali, their executive director, before the ECC meeting. Nevertheless, UTMSU went on to press the issue further at the meeting. To me, this suggests an unwillingness to listen.
Most ironically, UTMSU has been particularly forthcoming with “help” and advice for The Medium’s coverage of ECC. They have been positively genial when discussing ECC with us. This, coming only a few weeks after they changed their constitution and effectively bypass our (and only our) publication in advertising, seems slightly disingenuous. But maybe I’m just cynical.
For an organization that is supposed to work with campus organizations and administration to improve student experience, their actions haven’t shown a willingness to accomodate or even understand other parties’ perspectives and agendas. Just this week, there was a governance town hall to collect feedback from faculty, administration, and staff. While there is a second town hall for students this week, it would have been constructive for the UTMSU to attend the faculty town hall to better consider how student, faculty, and administrative interests can improve the university as a whole.
Michael Di Leo