Carleton 'F_ck Safe Space' scandal legacy of conservative student union takeover | Rabble.ca

| September 09, 2014


“[I]n 2009, Rebecca Granovsky-Larsen and Nora Loreto of the Ryerson Free Press dropped a bombshell of investigative student journalism when they exposed Conservative Party workshops given at the University of Waterloo on how to dismantle progressive Student Unions and take-down campus Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) and decertify from the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) … The next year, Carleton University illegally withheld the Carleton University Student Association (CUSA) membership dues, a move that greatly hindered their ability to engage in progressive work.


“[I]n 2009, Rebecca Granovsky-Larsen and Nora Loreto of the Ryerson Free Press dropped a bombshell of investigative student journalism when they exposed Conservative Party workshops given at the University of Waterloo on how to dismantle progressive Student Unions and take-down campus Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) and decertify from the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) … The next year, Carleton University illegally withheld the Carleton University Student Association (CUSA) membership dues, a move that greatly hindered their ability to engage in progressive work. … Fast-forward a few years and a right-leaning slate of executives led by Alexander Golovko swept the CUSA elections under the snazzily-branded name “ABC: A Better Carleton”. Once in power, Golovko’s team diligently attacked progressive forces at Carleton as if straight out of a CPC playbook. First order of business? Demand the removal of all CFS material from the service centres and threaten to fire coordinators who fail to comply. What sort of material are we talking about here? Oh, y’know, buttons and swag with slogans like “No Means No," “Challenge Transphobia,” and “End the Blood Ban.” Material created and distributed with the purpose of tackling sexual assault and campus discrimination. Next? Gutting CUSA’s Campus Discrimination policy that aimed to create safer spaces on campus. Oh, and plotting to schedule the meeting when opponents to such measures could not be present.” Full story here. Also see: Nora Loreto: The enemy of my enemy is never my ally: A critique of the CFS disaffiliation drives | Dulce Et Decorum “The CFS is impressive for a lot of reasons. After decades of growth, it has the resources to drive higher education policy in many provinces, and can offer students services that do save money. In the 1990s, when the organization was taken over by Liberals, the idea that the CFS would take a position against war, Islamophobia, racism or even call for free education would have been hilarious. Fast forward a decade and a half and the CFS is on the front lines of each of those struggles. It defends students' right to choose in the face of extreme backlash. It staunchly opposes war and militarism. It defends free higher education.”

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