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Delroy Dyer

A better Carleton at last

When I came to Carleton in 2008, it took me about two weeks to learn that things didn’t look right. I later figured out what was wrong, we were Local 1 of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). For years the CFS carried out campaigns calling for reduced tuition fees. They gave away “free”  T-Shirts with the slogan “F**K Tuition Fees” and other paraphernalia. That’s the part that allowed them to lure students towards their cause, and for a while I too was caught in that trap.But unlike most of my peers, I decided to do a little research, and that’s when I found out the truth. The CFS spent thousands of dollars nationwide on these campaigns, yet students still saw rising tuition fees. Part of that could be from their lobbying the wrong level of government, just like their most recent ""Education Is A Right"" rally held at Parliament Hill instead of the Premier's constituency office or the office of the President of the governing Ontario Liberal Party. Many others have also spoken about and written of the gross democratic abuses carried out by the CFS and their allies at member student unions, including manipulation of student elections. So in 2008 I decided to run alongside a group determined to bring change to CUSA. Under the moniker “Demand Better” we all campaigned tirelessly to help students see the flaws in their student representatives, and to “Demand Better” from them. Students ate that message like steak, and elected Bruce Kyereh-Addo President by a significant margin. Of course the pro-CFS establishment did not go down without a fight, and charges were fabricated against Bruce and he was disqualified. The only appeals available were to the Electoral Board and the Constitutional Board, both controlled by the incumbents. On the bright side, we still got… Read More

Why I am a Pro-Life atheist

Throughout life, one goes through changes. As time goes on, you’re supposed to be changing for the better. You’re older, and supposed to be wiser. Of the changes that I have made in my life, two stand out. I used to be a regular church going Pentecostal. Every Sunday morning I could be found in the church. I also used to believe that abortion was a woman’s decision, and nobody else’s. Today, I am writing from the perspective of a pro-life atheist. When people talk about abortion, they often tend to frame it in the light of religion vs secularity. Only religious whack jobs wanting to impose their moral values on innocent women were against the right to abortion. That’s the most common refrain of the pro-abort lobby. I however, am living, breathing proof that this is a far cry from the truth. I habitually question facts and beliefs, and it was through that process that the idea of there being a god made less and less sense. How can we have both free will and a pre-determined set of actions that this Almighty being knows will happen? How can we have some unknown entity deciding what is right and what is wrong? Are we as human beings not capable of deciding such things for ourselves? I could go on about what I think is wrong with religion and the concept of a god, but that would fill a post completely to itself.  So why pro-life? Why not let women do whatever they want and abort their children if it doesn’t fit in their life? To ask that question is to answer it. There is no right to take the life of those who cannot object. The fetus in the womb is guilty of no crime, so why should they be punished for… Read More

What is an Opinion Piece?

Even before I began writing a couple of years ago for my campus paper, I’ve always had an interest in opinion pieces. The news was okay to read, but nothing was better than opinions. Since taking over greater responsibilities here at the Herald, I’ve come to notice there’s a lack of understanding amongst many as to what makes an opinion piece and what differentiates it from all other forms of writing found in a newspaper. The following piece is dummy’s guide to op-eds and a refresher for the rest of you. Opinion pieces tell a story. They present someone’s point of view on the day’s events. A good opinion piece manages to express an opinion (hence its title) and gets the conversation started. I regularly read the opinion pages of the national papers, and the various campus papers in Ontario. These pages show a diversity in views that you cannot get anywhere else and help show the pulse of the nation. The best ones don’t just touch on the topical issue, but actually present a fresh perspective on the issues at hand. Sometimes they introduce something nobody had even considered-presenting; a side of the story not heard on the news. When this happens, it gets the conversation going and opens people’s eyes.  The opinion section of a paper should be a compliment, not necessarily a competitor to the news section. When a paper can provide its readers with the news of the day, and a well thought out discussion of the issues at hand in their opinion section, readers can really find value in that publication. Op-Eds go deeper than the surface. My favourite opinion writers-Rex Murphy of the National Post and Brian Lilley of Sun Media- take their particular areas of interest and give readers their take on the issues of… Read More

The behaviour of CUSA Executives has been unacceptable

Constitutions are generally regarded as the highest documents of any organization, but apparently not at the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA). There, the Vice President Internal seems to have forgotten this principle by abusing the system and ruining any semblance of democratic checks and balances in CUSA—he’s been refusing to recognize the Constitutional Board’s authority, and now, attempting to kick councilors fighting for the Constitution off of CUSA Council.At the last meeting of the 2010-2011 CUSA Council held on April 21, a series of motions were passed without proper and public notice and were appealed to the Constitutional Board. On May 28, the Board met and ruled that the motions were unconstitutional. This is what set off the current impasse. The motions ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Board changed the way summer session proxies for councilors were appointed and more importantly, changed the amending procedure for the Constitution, bylaws and policies of CUSA.The Vice President Internal then returned to Council in June and after a question from the floor, informed Council that the ruling of the Constitutional Board will not be recognized. This was followed by a disciplinary motion put forward at the July 18 corporate meeting, contending that a breach in corporate fiduciary duty was committed by two of the Trustees, the Vice President Internal, and the Vice President Finance for their blatant violation of the CUSA Constitution.They tried to evade being held accountable for their actions. The corporate meeting was called to send a clear message to them that the Constitution, bylaws, and policies don’t give them the arbitrary power to decide whether or not a ruling of the Constitutional Board is valid, and failure to adhere to the rules in place would bring about severe consequences.They’ve been setting a dangerous precedent by trying to decide which rulings… Read More

Election exam bad for students

Picture it, Ottawa, 2011. Parliament is in session and a budget is on the floor. Recognizing that it’s April and their staff are finishing their school year, the parties all agreed to put their differences aside and work together. Unfortunately that was just a sad attempt at a Golden Girls reference.What we have instead in Ottawa is a case of the Three Stooges. Ignatieff (Larry), Layton (Moe), and Duceppe (Curly) all decided their own self-interests were greater than those of the country, and thus we are plunged into another election.Now I love elections as much as the next guy, but the entire campaign is during the month of exams. How the hell are we supposed to concentrate as students? Bob Rae already pointed out that the halls of Parliament swarm with “young jihadis,” though you and I may know them as our classmates. Without university students, this country would very literally have no functioning government. Members of Parliament of all stripes have dozens of students in their Hill offices and many more in their Constituency offices. They are responsible for everything from getting coffee in the office, to answering phone calls and scheduling the Member’s public appearances. They are the ones who research the hundreds of issues Parliamentarians are tasked to represent Canadians on. Students make Parliament function.You might think that the least the Members could do is take them into consideration when calling an election. But apparently, they cannot do even that. So now, hundreds of students across Canada will have to choose. Will they be engaged in the political process, knocking on doors, making phone calls, putting up lawn signs or any of the many tasks that make a national campaign a success? Or will they hunker down for their exams and final papers? With such a dismal… Read More
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