University Students' Council (USC) secretary-treasurer Mr. Isaac Jacobi states that "[The DRO] does not deserve harsh opinion articles ridiculing her character and capabilities, it is bullying, and is unacceptable."

If it were true, who would disagree?

I'm curious to know, however, which article(s) he is referring to specifically? Forgive me if I'm wrong but, after reading every article published over the course of the controversial student programs officer (SPO) elections, the most direct statement about the deputy returning officer [DRO] is the following: "Also adding the fact with problems of counting the ballots which is something the USC should know how to do and has been doing for some while....When you combine the two it just looks bad — I wouldn't be surprised if there is a vote of non-confidence."

Even in this case, you'll notice that the ballot mishap was combined with at least one other (perhaps more serious) matter. One example of these others matters includes the apology Landon Tulk made via the Gazette for interference in the elections so as to ensure his favourite candidate was given the $50,000 per year job.

On that note: yes, Jacobi, many of the USC members are volunteers. With respect to the SPO position, this is not the case. Getting back to the article, I think very few people would disagree on the general understanding of the SPO elections based on the facts.

Yes, the ballot issue was an isolated incident but, when considering the number of other factors involved (such as the perceived conflict of interest in appointing the secretary-treasurer, the fact that non-student USC members cannot vote yet still did [and it's somehow okay], the use of proxy voting in this regard, as well as the admitted election interference), it's unfair to tell the Gazette to "think twice" when it reports these things.

It's also unfair to categorize anyone who questions these things as "bullies". Yes, we all make mistakes, but when taken as a whole, it's not unreasonable for students to begin questioning the people who have a fiduciary responsibility to discharge their duties when handling things like, for example, where the student's money is spent.

Jacobi said, "I urge the Gazette leadership to think twice before using their position and platform to harshly criticize students who are trying to learn."

I urge you, Jacobi, to provide some clarity on the issue by pointing out exactly where the DRO was "bullied". If you cannot, then I also urge you not to attempt to muzzle the press. There was considerable thought invested in the notion of 'freedom of the press' in world history.

One reason specifically involves something called propaganda which is a dangerous tool that's been used in some terrible ways. You may not like what the Gazette posts but, if it's not inaccurate or legitimately is "bullying", then I urge you to reconsider your view and consider retracting your statement.

Not insinuating anything, but here's an interesting note: the USC (which you represent when making this statement) funds the Gazette and I commend the Gazette for publishing the "Editor's Note" directly below your letter which fundamentally disagrees with your use of the term "bullying" yet still published it.

I'll end this response by acknowledging the fact the the ballot mishap was an isolated incident. That should be known. It should also be known, however, what is happening on campus and this includes the USC.

Lastly, about "bullying", maybe the councillors who anonymously came forward with proof of election interference felt bullied. Maybe they felt they would not have a decent working relationship with the USC if they did not go with the flow.

How is it fair that Harry Orbach-Miller was singled out and, despite still almost winning, was the recipient of a lot of negativity? How is it fair that USC members used their influence to have him specifically ranked lower on the ballots? Answer me based on the facts, Mr. Jacobi: who was really bullied?


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