New grades, please!

Re: SFUO report card (Editorial, Dec. 1)

WHILE I FIND the idea of evaluating the executive in this manner quite charming, I have to say I’m not entirely in agreement with the grades that were doled out.  I question how the Fulcrum came to the conclusions they did, and what the criteria used to assess was.

Surely our elected representatives have their strengths and weaknesses, but were they accurately pointed out? I’m not so sure. They all have their areas of opportunity, no doubt, but they are also extremely busy with a multitude of responsibilities and demands that go above and beyond their basic job descriptions.

This is not something the average student sees. As an employee of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) who works out of the main office, I am privy to a lot of the stuff that goes on within it. I’m aware that both this and the fact that I engage with the executive on both a personal and professional level renders me with a perhaps inescapable bias.
Regardless, I would like to at least remark on the fact that it is my belief both VP Student Affairs Amy Hammett and VP Finance Sarah Jayne King deserve higher grades.

One of the reasons I am confident in stating this is because I believe the criticisms levied against them by the Fulcrum do not necessarily pertain to their jobs and—while they certainly have room to grow—they are without a doubt very strong, competent, and hard-working women, thus according them a position on the “honour roll” in my books.

Sameena Topan

Fourth-year conflict studies and human rights student and philanthropic coordinator of the SFUO


Failure to evaluate

I WISH TO speak briefly on a new trend that I have come to notice on the poor abilities of most youth to adequately judge another person’s choice. There are two schools that are developing, and I look particularly to the heated letter discussion that took place last year on the word “slut” as an example.

The “arbitrary” method takes little into consideration often rude and crude with undeveloped argument for moral superiority judgments against sexual promiscuity and all the attitudes that “always follow with the lifestyle.” I often see it as the louder, bullying way through arguments.

In contrast, the opposite school or evaluation is the moral relativist. The moral relativist is a more self-evident method of disregard for confrontation, through means of claiming a neutral position on all views of identity or choice.

My problem with both of these social personalities is a failure by people to analyze situations through reason and conversation. Are we, as a group of youth, so afraid of making valid claims or opinions about ourselves or others? Why are we giving up on examples, reasoning, empathy, postulation, and criticism to either the bully or the nihilist?

To the screamers and bullies of the world, think before you speak. There are far more people than just yourself. People such as me are going to call you out on your bullshit. You may be afraid of people questioning your strength. Volume and speed add nothing to who you are.

In my conversations with people who hold their position to be mute, I have learned that they often choose not to evaluate others because of insecurity with one or multiple decisions they themselves interpret as being “bad” by the general status quo of moral claims. Relativists: Most of the time you did nothing wrong, and even still, your choices don’t mean your brain isn’t working.

Let us all take a step back from our own position and be a just a bit more skeptical of our own words before they leave our mouths.

Elliott Lockington

Fourth-year political science and philosophy student