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opinion • 9 


" gateway ■ W'MIHStSIiWfMNUNE.U « Volume 103, Issue 19 


Opinion 


Opinion Editor 
Darcy Ropchan 
Phone 
780.492.6661 
Email 

opinion@galeway.ualberta.ca 

Volunteer 

Opinion meetings Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in 3-04 SUB. C'mon by! 


EDITORIAL COMMENT 


Secret SU spending 
justified without 
substantive reasons 

"DUE DILIGENCE," "GOOD GOVERNANCE" AND- MY PERSONAL 
favourite — “accountability" are noble-sounding concepts recklessly 
tossed around Students’ Council debates under the pretence that any 
semblance of respect for what they tr uly mean wasn't locked outside the 
first time they went in camera and left to rot all year. 

Students' Council approved a $10,000 increase to the Students' 
Union's legal fees budget line last week. Predictably, all debate happened 
in camera, meaning they're not allowed to talk about why they wanted 
the increase. 

Leaks happen — which is a good thing when a body representing the 
members of the Students' Union consistently silences itself publicly for 
less than necessary reasons. This time, files obtained by The Gateway 
show Students' Union executives expressly begging Council to approve 
this increase to essentially help LHSA President Eric Martin with Code of 
Student Behaviour charges against the group. 

While they made certain to specify that an increase to the legal line 
would allow them to use it for whatever they might need it for, Martin, 
under "tremendous pressure" was the primary justification. 

According to the executive, Martin was told he could not talk about 
this with anyone but his lawyer. Doing so would trigger an investigation 
into hi m personally. Hence the secrecy — just like anything else involv¬ 
ing Lister this year. 

If true, then the university is surely overstepping its bounds on what 
a person facing charges can and cannot do. You can’t simply charge a 
group with something, inform a single person from that group that the 
charges are being placed, and then prohibit him from telling anyone 
anything — even, as the Students' Union executive claimed, his own 
executive. 

As far as disciplinary cases go at this university, somebody facing 
charges, even on behalf of a group, is not going to be prohibited from 
mentioning at least the fact that they are facing charges. At best, this is 
perhaps a misunderstanding. Given that the charges against the group 
likely include specific charges against individuals, Martin could well 
have been told, or asked, not to divulge information about those spe¬ 
cific individuals, which is quite reasonable. Until proven guilty of the 
charges, those students have a certain right to privacy. 

Whatever happened, somewhere along the line the story changed, 
resulting in the story Council was sold: Martin was bearing the burden 
of this whole situation entirely alone, a poor lonely student being bul¬ 
bed by a mabcious administration set on taking down the LHSA, and we 
have to support him by increasing our legal fee line right now, and we 
can't give you any real information but expect you to make a snap deci¬ 
sion completely in secret because if he goes pubbc with his story he’b be 
investigated personally. 

It's worth discussing the merits of supporting a student group facing 
Code of Student Behaviour charges, but that group should have to jus¬ 
tify why it needs that help. The group should have to explain why the 
charges are bogus and why money from fee-paying students both cur¬ 
rent, former and never Lister residents are best used to defend them. 
And above ah, this needs to be pubbc every time. Because it's only under 
pubbc scrutiny that anything Council coughs up actually has a hope of 
getting fairly evaluated. 

Council was told little to nothing regarding the actual charges. It 
seems that if the justification for doing yet one more thing with your 
money in secret ends with the claim that Martin was prohibited from 
discussing even that the LHSA was facing charges and that he as their 
representative bore ah the burden. 

If those facts are true, they need to be pubbc immediately. There is 
no tiling $10,000 for legalfees can do that overwhelming p ublic pressure 
can't do faster. Cab that bluff of a personal investigation, Martin. They 
can't successfully charge you with something they have no evidence of 
you doing. And when they fail, you'll be up there along with Students' 
Union President Colten Yamagishi — the heroes of Lister Hall who 
brought down the tyrannical administration. 

But having investigated the investigation process, it seems unhkely 
that the situation is as it was portrayed in camera. It could be anything 
from a misunderstanding to an outright lie, but Council made a deci¬ 
sion based upon incomplete or misleading information. Had they had 
the time to investigate for themselves the process of Code of Student 
Behaviour charges before having to make this decision, perhaps they 
could have talked to the Office of Judicial Affairs and then talked to 
Martin. 

They could have returned to the debate two weeks later and endea¬ 
voured to do so publicly, rather than agreed to the demands of the 
Students' Union executive in secret, under tremendous pressure and 
forbidden to talk about it publicly. 

Instead, due diligence, good governance and accountability failed to 
make a comeback again. 


Ryan Bromsgrove 

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 


STEPHEN HARPER DOCUMENTED HIS FIRST DAY BACK AT MR* 1 IIA TWITTER: 

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—23 


ANTHONY GOERTZ 


letters to the editor 


RATT ruins an evening 

Last Saturday night, prior to attend¬ 
ing Dance Motif, friends and I 
decided to stop by RATT to have a 
bite and a beer. Little did we know 
the adventure we were about to 
embark on. 

Two of our friends arrived early 
and ordered their food. My spouse 
and I, showing up a half hour later, 
placed our orders noting that our 
friends had yet to receive theirs 
twenty minutes after we had placed 
our order. Wondering what was 
going on, I went to a staff member 
who informed us, at the table a few 
minutes later, that the kitchen was 
backed up and the food would be out 
shortly. 

First shock: there was only about 
ten people in the whole place when 
we ordered and most were eating. 
One of our party is a short-order 
cook and wondered aloud w'nat was 
going on! 

Second shock: a few minutes 
later, our server came to our table to 
inform us that our friends' order had 
never been registered! Our server 
again took their order and off she 
went. 

Third shock: the food arrived. I 
had ordered sweet potato fries, vege¬ 
table spring rolls andsalt and pepper 
wings. Save for the wings, which 
were all right even though they 
were sans salt and pepper, the sweet 
potato fries were at the same time 
uncooked and burnt, and the vegeta¬ 
ble spring rolls were so imbued with 
oil that once bitten, they gushed hot 
oil. My partner's club was limp and 
flavourless. The other party's food 


was okay however really not condu¬ 
cive to a return visit. 

Thirty three dollars of a mostly 
uneaten meal later, including the 
occasional beer which took its time 
to make it over to the table, and com¬ 
plaints which only elicited blank 
stares, we left. I would like to point 
out something that made me smile 
though: 1 asked for a side of mayo. 
The bartender brought it over stat¬ 
ing they usually charge for it but she 
slipped it out of the kitchen. Really? 
With the rather poor service and 
questionable food, the mayo would 
have us forgive it all? 

As we made our way to the theatre, 
wanting something to read as we 
waited to be let in, I picked up The 
Gateway and by pure luck, opened 
it to An Open Letter to Room at the 
Top. 

I would like to point out I whole¬ 
heartedly agree with every single 
point they made in regards to the 
quality of the food and service. It 
is terribly unfortunate that such a 
incredible setting is spoiled by such 
incredibly mediocre service. 

As a past kitchen staff, I can tell 
you that it is not that difficult to pre¬ 
pare good, satisfying pub grub. 

We will never eat there again... 
and drinking may be out also as 
witnessed by the minty tasting mar¬ 
tini with three olives another of our 
party had. A straight vodka martini 
should not have a mojito aftertaste. 

We are profoundly disappointed 
and wanted to make sure you were 
aware of it. 

Gilbert Draper 

VIA EMAIL 


FROM THE WEB 


It's not wrong to point 
out male discrimination 

(Re: “MRAs misunderstand 
feminism ."by Paige Gorsak, Jan 23.) 

Paige, when there is discrimina¬ 
tion against women, you point it out, 
don't you? 

So how it is wrong of MRAs to 
point out discrimination against 
men? Male circumcision is Lhe gyne¬ 
cological equivalent to removing the 
clitoral hood of a female, one of sev¬ 
eral forms of female circumcision all 
ofwhich are illegal. 

Even the slightest "cultural nick" 
on a baby girl is illegal, and it’s must 
less intrusive that removing the 
entire foreskin on a baby boy. That is 
total sexism and hypocrisy. But you 
criticize MRAs for pointing that out? 
Don't you see your own sexism here? 
Oris it just ignorance? Maybe so. 

Try reading the reports from the 
pediatric andmedicalassociationsin 
the Neverlands, Germany, Finland, 
South Africa, the Nordic nations, 
England, etc. about what circumci¬ 
sion does by removing a functioning 
sexual organ from a baby boy. It too 
MRAs in Germany and England to 
get the human rights courts of the 
EU and UN to stop countries from 
discriminating against fathers. Do 
you criticise that to? Why is it wrong 
to point out sex discrimination? 

MarcAngelucci 

VIA WEB 

PLEASE SEE LETTERS* PAGE 13