letter to the editor

The administration has a lot of questions to answer in the coming months and negotiations will be intense, but this needs to be readdressed with a proper overhaul of the SFUO. With only two executives currently serving, students need to come together to make sure that the SFUO does what it can to regain the trust of students at the U of O.

On Sunday, there was an opportunity for members of the BOA, on behalf of the students they represent, to stand up and do the right thing. What happened? BOA members failed to protect students and fight for us at the table, leaving myself and many others feeling frustrated and angered.

Your money was allegedly stolen from you by someone you should have trusted. Be angry about it, talk with your friends about it and make it an election issue. But what you should never do is make this a partisan issue, and that’s what one of my colleagues did. Contrary to his attempt, Alexei Kazakov’s letter does nothing to galvanize students and if his advice is heeded, the student body will be worse off for it.

First off, I would like to apologize to you, the student body. Most of us in student politics go into it because we want to improve your experience at the university, not make you stress about scandals and the acts of certain individuals. We do not all go out and buy expensive sunglasses or shoes, nor do we go off on expensive trips. Most of the student bodies are volunteer run, i.e. no money goes to your elected officials—it goes straight back to you.

I write to you in the wake of the latest SFUO scandal to tickle the part of our brains concerned with righteous indignation, i.e. president Rizki Rachiq engaging in large-scale embezzlement of SFUO funds to buy himself luxury goods, including but not limited to visits to a haute-couture hair stylist in Montreal, Louis Vuitton shoes, and a $950 pair of glasses.

There is no “right” versus “wrong”. There are policies that occur that must be discussed and debated. These policies are important to people here in Canada, but also to the lived experiences of Palestinians and Israelis. However, we must have the opportunities within an academic institution to fully discuss and explore these implications of policy.

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