To the Editor:
It is interesting that the Gazette runs an editorial criticizing student websites and Facebook groups for stating an opinion. These groups have been created in that manner for the exact same reason the Gazette publishes its own opinion: in order to provoke debate.
There’s no such thing as an objective view when it comes to reporting facts. No matter how one looks at the situation, personal interpretation comes into play, and for everyone, that will be a little different. The intention of these student-run Facebook groups is not to act as a news feed for students interested in the looming strikes, they’re meant to draw people into the discussion and assist them in forming their own opinion. It is unfair to blame the creators of these student-run sites for the way its visitors use them.
Perhaps if the Western administration would listen to demands for more information, students wouldn’t have to rely on clicking from Facebook page to Facebook page in order to find out information. In their auto-response sent out to students who emailed Western President Amit Chakma, the administration declines to comment on topics of discussion out of “respect for the bargaining process.” What ever happened to “respect for the students?” As the largest group affected by this possible strike, students have the right to know what is going on in these negotiations.
The fact that students have to resort to social media in order to provoke a response out of the university administration is unacceptable. Information is power and the administration is fully aware that keeping people in the dark will maintain a passive, complacent student body.
The student-created media surrounding these negotiations are important in getting students curious and engaged. If an opinion needs to be stated in order to incite some sort of debate, so be it.
It is a sad day when the students are the ones trying to inform and educate themselves while the university attempts to suppress information and discourse. If these are the priorities of this administration, it makes me wonder just how much they really care about the quality education of their students.
Ed. note: Wolfraim is also the creator of the “UWO Faculty Strike” Facebook event.