Sounding Off

Last week I asked students how they feel toward their students’ union in light of the recent resignations and controversial forums posts. Here is what you had to say:

I think it is important to be informed of the issues coming up in council. Although there was a lot of controversy lately I think it really got students involved and talking. I think discussion boards are good because you get all POV’s. I think the Voice was right to open the issue but should make a clear effort to show all sides of the story.

Fiona Ott

Dear Tamra,

Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss the recent events that have been ringing through the halls of the Student Union and was asked my opinion. My initial response was, “Now, if everyone is finished, kindergarten is dismissed at 3 and parents will be waiting in the main parking lot.”

At first, when I started to see the public outcry by those involved, I dismissed the “he said, she said” notes that were flying through the AUSU forums and articles in the Voice. Why did I take such a laid back approach? Well, it has to do with many years of involvement in school councils, volunteer organizations and work environments where things become heated, personal, and emotional. I’ve learned to sit on the fence until the embers died down from the flying words and cries for voices to be heard and the truth be known. So when I saw the fires beginning to heat up, I took a deep breath and bunkered down for what could have been a dark, rocky ride.

What have I learned about these type of outbursts? Well, for one, I really don’t care. By the time issues reach an emotional level, no one is thinking with a clear head and the facts become muddied in an emotional sea of words. This kind of situation can turn into a public relations nightmare. People become turned off by the kindergarten displays and in frustration, turn their backs on the organizations they once respected. They develop a blind ear to what is being said and become frustrated. I have seen it many times over. It does not reflect well on the people defending their opinions, rights, and personal agendas. Personal agendas may be a harsh word, but it becomes a focal point for others who don’t know all the facts or circumstances that have led to discontent. People begin to say “Why all the fuss? There must be a hidden reason why defences raised quickly.” Then, people begin to suspect foul. More fingers begin to point and the three ring circus begins again.

I prefer to get popcorn and change the channel for a while. This kind of thing happens everywhere and anytime you bring a diverse group of people together. Sometimes personalities mix like oil and water and eventually, the fires of discontent raises its ugly head. You just have to hope that the problems remain at levels that don’t damage the reputation of the institution these people represent in the first place.

Sounding off,
K. Reynolds

Ok, now on to something much more controversial. Lately a lot of TV commercials have been driving me nuts. Some are annoying, some are incredibly stupid, and some contain underlying messages or assumptions about society [often women] that harken back to decades ago. I’d like Voice readers to Sound Off on advertising. Tell me what ad you hate the most, and why.