Class is such a strong word

(Not so much of a letter as an editorial, but here goes nothing.)

The curtains have once again been lifted, the bell has tolled, and the Middle Eastern extravaganza can now freely return to Concordia as we approach the three-month anniversary of September 9. Looking back, it is obvious that instead of moving forward, we have come full circle to that now-infamous day.

Officially, Concordia has a total student population of 28,567. By the way the major players have been acting, however, it seems our souk is surprisingly full of rioters, window-breakers, racists, free-speech haters, and G-d knows what else. Concordia has reached a critical juncture: you don’t matter if you’re not wearing a kippa, facing east, or turning “free speech” into the most popular phrase since English arrived in Montreal.

It seems to me that there are 28,500 or so students (some of whom actually want to make Concordia a better place, not stick it on the front of the National Post) who would rather that their school not to be turned into a war zone.

They would also rather that Concordia was not portrayed as Canada’s faithful replica of Jenin (“the attention to detail is exquisite!”) in the national media, which potential employers and other unimportant types may occasionally pay attention to. To everyone except anyone that matters, our B.A. has been turned into a Bachelor of Activism, and it needs to stop now.

The gravitational pull of the Earth is not focused on the Middle East. There are many, many nations of the world that are experiencing similar problems, and many other issues that require just as much assistance from us. We are known for our political spirit, and Concordia would sooner burn to the ground than to lose it.

No one is saying that any of the issues that have come out of this are not important. On the contrary, even “The War Criminal” himself had something to say about them. But the proper forum is not through violence, ridiculous protesting, secularity, or anything of the sort. Concordia, in case you haven’t noticed, is a university. If there are people who cannot start treating it like one, I humbly suggest they crawl, not walk, to the nearest pre-school.

Placing blame for the events that have occurred over the last months is redundant. We do not need Svend Robinson going to court for us, nor free speech ’till death to us part, nor having the opportunity to put firecrackers in the Rector’s newfangled suggestion box, nor wasting the Exams Office’s time in scheduling make-up exams for jailed CSU executive, nor having beer magnates dictating terms to us.

“Sir George” Lowy was, for once, right on the ball when he said that what we need now is “reflection.” Let’s reflect about term papers, broken escalators, and montages instead the Holy City. Let’s use our windows for looking out into our beautiful city instead of breaking them.

The moral of the story is to get back to the basics. Before September 9, class was modus operandi at Concordia University. Let’s get back there. Before it’s too late.

Paul Shiffman
BA Political Science 1


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