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Thoughts on Concordia's position, and where to go from here

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Thoughts on Concordia's position, and where to go from here

Post by puck35 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:33 am

In this evening's news reports, Concordia's hapless spokeswoman (who must have had a hell of a day) continued to parrot the university's stance that their decision to host the CCHR was about academic freedom. I realized that of course they're not going to suddenly recant their position and denounce the exhibit while it's still on. There's money and a contract involved, and they know the CCHR will be out of there by Sunday night.

However, they know they've booked the CCHR for an eleven-day event in October. First of all, are they going to want to endure this kind of controversy and public ridicule for eleven days, or even longer? I doubt it. As well, they saw what we were capable of doing in four short days. They must worry what we can accomplish in six months.

The Gazette mentioned that Concordia could not (more likely, would not) say whether it knew the CCHR was a Scientology front when they agreed to host them. Consider that there was an emergency meeting of the administration convened Tuesday afternoon once the complaints started coming in. It seems to me that this was an "Oh shit, what have we done? And what do we do now?" moment on their part, or else why hold an emergency meeting? If it's indeed the case that whoever approved this didn't bother to look into the CCHR's credentials and affiliations, I think it's likely an internal investigation will be launched. We probably won't hear about it, though. I wonder if Concordia students are entitled to force the administration to detail exactly how this went down—who approved it and when (and why), how much the CCHR paid the university, and so on.

Concordia also knows its academic acumen is being ridiculed not only in Montreal but indeed around the world. In this case, I think a focus on the bottom line is a good thing: it will come down to a matter of how much they'll lose out financially in terms of research grants and attracting new students versus how much Scientology is willing to pay them.

We need to inform other universities—particularly their psychology departments and, in universities with medical schools, their psychiatry and neurology departments—that Concordia plans to welcome the CCHR back in October. And Concordia needs to know that word of this is being spread at other institutions. Perhaps only then will they relent and cancel the October CCHR sideshow, lest their integrity be further tarnished.
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Re: Thoughts on Concordia's position, and where to go from here

Post by SomeRandGuy on Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:48 am

Things to consider:

* In Michael Di Grappa's response, he confirms that Concordia administration knows that the CCHR is ran by scientologists.

* The day you filmed, the day I did recon work, and today at around 7:00 ish, there was no security. The time we chose to do our protest, they had security guards at every gate.

* CCHR claims to be a charity, but is not nationally recognized as such. It's possible that it is provincially recognized... I don't know how to confirm this. Assuming they aren't, (they claim to be a 'non-profit public benefit organization' on the cards they were giving out. If they were a charity, I can't see them not having that on the card in big letters. They probably can't use the word charity for legal reasons) either the CCHR has lied to Concordia or Concordia knows the CCHR aren't a charity and are lying for them.

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Re: Thoughts on Concordia's position, and where to go from here

Post by puck35 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:51 am

Someguy wrote:

* In Michael Di Grappa's response, he confirms that Concordia administration knows that the CCHR is ran by scientologists.

By the time they had to respond to the deluge of emails, yes, they did know. But the impression I got Tuesday morning was that they didn't know. Hopefully we'll find out.
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Re: Thoughts on Concordia's position, and where to go from here

Post by puck35 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:34 pm

I think there's a very good chance the October CCHR booking will be canceled. That would be an epic win. However, as a Concordia student, that's not enough for me. I want the university to be made accountable for this. I want the university to justify how they can maintain this was about academic freedom and scholarly debate while not holding the CCHR to the same academic standards to which it holds its students and professors. I want them to tell us once and for all whether or not they knew the CCHR was a Scientology front when they approved the booking, not after the complaints started coming in. I want to know what discussions were held and among whom once this blew up.

There are ways of compelling them to disclose this information to parties with a vested interest in the institution, i.e., students and faculty. I plan on investigating and pursuing these avenues.
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Re: Thoughts on Concordia's position, and where to go from here

Post by puck35 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:58 pm

Another thought:

Concordia keeps trotting out the academic freedom and debate card. This indicates that they consider this an academic matter (versus a political matter). I wonder, then, if they can be cited under their own code of conduct regarding academic integrity, for allowing and not contesting a wilful display of academic dishonesty within their institution. If they maintain they take no position on the matter, then can they truly justify taking a position on academic dishonesty of students and professors? For they implicitly take a position when they lay charges of academic dishonesty on students and faculty who have breached their code of conduct. In these cases, they are saying: We will not permit this at our institution, and the transgressor will be held accountable and face the consequences (which include expulsion or dismissal).

And yet they permitted the CCHR display at their instituion under the academic umbrella.

They are so pucked. Razz
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