An event posted in the recent Central Student Association (CSA) mass mailing recently emailed to all undergraduate students reads:
Tired of not getting your voice heard? Want a chance to speak to the top, FOR FREE? Tar Sands Action group will be paying the tab for you to call OBAMA or HARPER and say NO to the Alberta Tar Sands.
This message is overtly political, and presents one side of a very controversial issue. There are a number of problems in including such messages in your mass email.
It is critically important for the undergraduate student union to have a political voice. However, it is very worrying if a limited range of perspectives is presented on such contentious issues as the Alberta oil sands. Perhaps many students have not taken a stand on this issue. To win these students over, a coherent, logical argument should be presented on both sides, and students should be allowed to make an informed decision. Presenting one side is not, nor should it be, the mandate of the organization which purports to represent all undergraduate students.
Indeed, it is this sort of narrow-mindedness that we would chastise our elected representatives in Parliament for. It is crucial that the CSA rises above this. It is also important to keep in mind that the office is funded by all undergraduate students. Students of all beliefs and ideologies should have the right to have their opinions heard and voiced.
CSA, please truly advocate on behalf of your entire membership, and not just selective interests within it!