We love to hear from you! Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please indicate if we may publish your letter in the Voice.
I think you gave us the whole dollar! However, there are many false and misleading statements in your letter and in several cases you have given your own perspective on information rather than directing readers to the official documents which are easily accessible online. If the readers will bear with me, I’ll address these points one at a time:
“I’m flattered that you chose to include yet another story on the reasons why I quit in this week’s edition of the Voice; you’ve given it a lot of coverage. “
There have been two articles – one by me; one by a student contributor. The latter was prompted by your own public posts on the issue and the vast majority of the information on this issue has been presented by you. You stated that you intent was that students talk about your post, and someone took you up on it. I think the relevant comment here is, “be careful what you ask for:”
“Yet, you’ve never ASKED me why I quit; you just guessed and passed that guess on to the Voice readers (December 17th). I QUIT BECAUSE I WAS TIRED OF ALL THE CRAP! “
I did not make any attempt to say why you left, nor do I know. I relayed the facts about the meeting, and the motions to be considered.
The majority of the council meeting was set aside for you to speak to council and observers. I attended, prepared to take notes on your presentation, but you did not show up. I also sent you a request to have your input in the student written article, but you declined again. I won’t chase you down if you do not wish to comment when requested, but you know where to find me.
Thank you for clarifying the real reason you quit.
“Now on to a ‘real’ important issue, I wonder why the issue of the President’s reprimand from the November meeting did not get any coverage in the Voice? “
Editorial, v11 i51 (http://www.ausu.org/voice/archives/articledisplay.php?ART=2378). Ms. Jabbour’s reprimand was revealed in the first paragraph.
You are correct that the November meeting was not covered directly. Of the two controversial items presented at that meeting, which do you think I might be realistically accused of having avoided?
1. A voted and passed motion of reprimand against one of my employers
2. An extensive and highly provocative motion of dismissal against another of my employers, which was still pending?
I’m curious about your assertion that a reprimand is a “real” important issue, in relation to the resignation and subsequent controversial forums posts of another councillor.
You didn’t “report on the November meeting at all, that’s odd! It’s your job to tell us students what’s going on.”
You are misrepresenting my job requirements under the Voice policy, which you had input into. It is not in my job description to report on the goings on of AUSU. In fact, up until a few months ago the Voice policy stated that the editor answered to AUSU regarding what was published in The Voice.
It was only in a recent policy update that I was officially granted the ability to publish items without AUSU input. You were involved in drafting the new policy, and you are aware that it contains no provision that I must cover AUSU events. I am responsible only to provide a column where AUSU can freely publish press releases and any other content they wish.
I do believe, however, that the Voice should cover these issues, and I do so myself quite often. Once again, any one who wants to try out for the position of council reporter should contact me at email@example.com. You will be well compensated. I would not mind more than one council reporter, to gain a variety of perspectives.
But Sandra, it is dishonest for you to misrepresent my duties and responsibilities. It makes it appear as though I’m not doing the job that I was hired to do. Instead of telling students your interpretation of my duties, you could have referred them to the publicly posted Voice policy: http://www.ausu.org/bylaws/policies.php It’s policy 9.01.
Students are free to comment on this policy and suggest any changes they see fit. Keep in mind that the purpose of having official documents available to the student body online is so that we can refer students to the primary sources of correct information, rather than presenting opinion and conjecture on these matters, which brings me to your next point:
“I assumed the Voice was supposed to report on the actions of ALL of council.”
My duties are not affected by your assumptions.
You were on council for several weeks after the November meeting and as my employer made no comment about my lack of coverage of Debbie’s and your reprimands until now.
“This article was based on your implications as to why I quit (December 17th, 2003)”
I made no suggestions as to why you quit. The circumstances in which you quit are very suggestive.
“One last question, why did Ms. Maguire not contact any other councillors, only Ms. Jabbour (and you the editor of the Voice)? “
A blatant lie – I know of no better way to put it. Ms Maguire has clarified in her response [below] that she wished very much to contact you for your side of the story, and I was looking forward to reading your comments in her article. I would like to add to Shannon’s explanation:
When Shannon told me that she had emailed you and Debbie for both sides of the story, I realized that your AUSU email address might already be shut down. So, I contacted a council member and obtained your home email address. I emailed you way back on December 16th to let you know that the article was being written, and to inquire if you had received Shannon’s list of questions. I said I would email them to your home address if you didn’t get them. You responded to me on December 17th, acknowledging the article and stating that you did not receive the list of questions, which I forwarded to you immediately. I also then received confirmation that your AUSU address had not yet been shut down, so you should have received two copies.
I admit that I did not follow up to ensure that you got the questions, but certainly you were informed that the article was being written, that the impetus for the article was your recent forums post, and that your input was being sought. You were well aware of how to contact me if you did not get the questions. I informed you in my original email that it was entirely up to you if you wanted to reply to Shannon, and that you could contact her directly. I left the ball in your court once you confirmed you were aware of the article.
I’m deeply disappointed that you have left this fact out, and implied that Shannon did not seek your side of the issue.
RE: The Alberta Views column you refer to.
Please see the AUSU press release in this issue, and further coverage in the next Voice. I am awaiting comment from the university to complete my coverage.
“Yeah, AU is in a tough spot considering they are practically a world-wide monopoly in providing distance learning to nearly 30,000 students:”
I suspect that the hundreds of other distance education providers – including the Open University UK ( http://www.open.ac.uk/), the worlds’ largest provider of distance learning with over 150,000 students – might object to the notion that AU holds a worldwide monopoly on this form of learning. This almost sinister (and grossly inaccurate) image of AU is easily as damaging and negative as the one you quote from Alberta Views.
“Government committees place meeting minutes on-line, other student unions (who are campus-based I might add) place their minutes, their agendas, AND their budgets on-line.”
Yes they do. And so does AUSU. Granted, the page was only posted this week, but you’ve known that it’s in progress for about a month. I’m unclear on why you claim to not know this.
Anyone can access the minutes for the past year through a link on the AUSU front page. Please login before selecting the link, or you’ll have to be redirected to the login page. Anyone can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any trouble with the minutes files. Write council if you would like other information posted online.
One last thing – I noticed in the forums that you have mentioned that you dislike the council policy allowing councillors to purchase computers with council funds. This is an excellent topic for discussion and an issue that has sparked some controversy. In fact, I will be asking council for more information on the status of this policy. But isn’t this the policy (7.17) that you proposed, wrote, and submitted for review at the May 29th council meeting (http://www.ausu.org/council/minutes/council-2003-05-29.pdf), and approved at the July 11th meeting (http://www.ausu.org/council/minutes/council-2003-07-11.pdf)?
I’m not as interested in why you left, as in why you never addressed any of these concerns at a council meeting when you had the position to make changes. Had you brought them up at a meeting, and had council not listened, then I’d have an easier time understanding your position.
Tamra Ross Low
Editor in Chief