Chann: Vote of ‘no confidence’ came too soon

Posted on March 23, 2014 in Letter to the Editor, Perspectives
By USM Free Press

This letter was contributed by Marpheen Chann.

I applaud my fellow student government colleagues and the student senate for their support of students and faculty. But I write to voice my dissent in regards to the vote of no-confidence in the administration.

In my opinion, the vote of no-confidence is premature given that the protest has been gaining momentum and attention, that prior to the vote of no-confidence, there was still room for dialogue. I am afraid now that we might have pre-emptively burned a bridge. While it is important for the student senate to concur with the faculty senate, not even the faculty have issued a vote of no-confidence.

So why do I dissent? Protests are not instruments of shutting down conversation. Rather, they are an extremely powerful means of forcing a party to the table and to engage in dialogue. Issuing a vote of no-confidence undermines the reasoning behind protest, that of forcing dialogue. It sends the message that there is no more discussion to be had. A vote of no-confidence, in my opinion, should be a last resort – when dialogue is no longer achievable.

I support the students and I support the faculty. I am as hurt as everyone else with the loss of Professors Mamgain, Bouvier and others. But I also support proceeding with caution so that our message does not get muddled. I support a clear and concise strategy. I support reason and critical thinking as we approach these issues. Emotions are running high. There is excitement in the air as momentum is building – but we must remember what we are fighting for.

We are not fighting for notoriety or fame or for press coverage. We aren’t fighting to tear people down. We aren’t fighting for the sake of fighting – we are fighting to save our university from rash and irresponsible decision making. So I ask everyone to not engage in the same behavior that we accuse the administration of engaging in. Let us think out and speak out, together, and proceed with caution and civility so that we do not also do what we accuse the administration of doing.

Marpheen Chann

Student Body Vice-President

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