I lost money on an investment today….

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Around noon today I discovered that my degree is not as respected as it was when I went to bed last night and I’m feeling a bit ripped off.For people who don’t know – I attended Carleton University. And I’m actually a fairly happy and involved Alumni. Growing up here in Ottawa, there were the jokes of “Last chance U” or “Carleton where the K stands for Quality.” But during the late part of the 90’s and through the past decade the School has gone through something of a renaissance (in no small part to our former President Dr. Van Loon) from being last to low in most rankings to a much more respectable middle of the pack or higher in the list (take your pick of the sources (G&M or Macleans) and sorry I can’t find a link).My time at the school ranks amongst the best years of my life. I made numerous lasting friendships, I was involved in extracurricular stuff – I was (unpaid) chairman of the student newspaper, learned more than one would expect from an Arts degree in History and Economics & I’m a better person for all of it.Great Times, Great Education and by these definitions (these are the ones that matter) a Great School. But while there, a lousy Undergraduate Student Union.Privately, I’ve ranted about these clowns before – Now I’ll air it publicly. CUSA, the Carleton University Students Association Executive, and the Board of Students Representatives are a bunch of wankers. There are exceptions, but 85% of them are the people who fail skill testing questions on lottery tickets. And of course they’re also the same people who buy lottery tickets. These people are idiots.If you haven’t heard, they’ve decided in their wisdom to dump support for Shinerama a charity drive for Cystic Fibrosis. During frosh week, Carleton students head off campus and shine stuff to raise money which goes to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to provide treatment and research. This of course sounds like a great cause. It is a Great Cause. But not according to CUSA, as Cystic Fibrosis:

has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men.

So they’ve decided to withdraw support for Shinerama.Donnie Northrup who moved the motion that included this silliness is someone I’ve met and bump into socially.  But here he and Meera Chander (whom I don’t know – but based on council mtgs i went to, way back when, probably was first to riase her hand) are very much mistaken and just wrong. But the justification CUSA has sent out to their people to defend their stance is a Roberts Rules of Order defense. Ahh, Roberts Rules (I need that on a t-shirt)…. they’re defending this based on the fact they would like to provide money to other charities (fair enough) and that this particular argument (the white mans burden of getting CF) is just a minor point that was brought up during the ‘wide ranging’ discussion at council. So it was included in the Motion as Roberts Rules might require, I have no idea if it does – most people don’t know either. But based on the ‘wide ranging argument’ all central points lead back to this central statement without it there is no good reason to support the motion. Yeah there’s a noble sentiment in trying to support different charities but you don’t do it like this: a bit of ends justifying the means.  I have it on fairly decent authority that CUSA, in their brilliance, has circulated talking points with this Roberts (sigh) defense to Council – good for you guys!This is the second time that CUSA has acted like a bunch of stupid monkies. Back in 2006 they banned “Anti-Choice”  (or Pro-life) groups from their student spaces. Essentially, this became view as and was, a free speech issue, CUSA chose to look at it differently.At the end of the day – Carleton’s Administration stepped in and made it clear they would continue to allow the groups to book their space. But the damage was done with many editorials and numerous bad press. In my eyes my degree was diluted with bad press.Now its happening again, and a group of monkies are diluting a $20,000 dollar investment of mine, and many friends. Its time for the Administration to step in and clear CUSA’s decks. Its not like these guys are representative of the student population. Turnout in the student elections has never been more than 20% and they were at 15% this year. Students and Alumni (like me) deserve better than this. Carleton just got a spectacular new President (i’m a fan), she’s bright, articulate and should be in the news promoting the amazing work Carletons researchers are doing (whom we never hear enough of).And why shouldn’t Admin get involved and force their elections to be fair and more representative.Until they do something to fix this endless CUSA problem (believe me, read back issues of the charlatan, it is endless) I know of numerous people who are planning on boycotting Alumni donations. This is now no longer affecting the valuation and level of respect I get for my degree but the School Administration’s ability to run the school. Its time for CUSA’s endless silliness to be put down.Just to be fair: I would point out for all Donnies complete idiocy on this , there’s an irony that he’s probably led numerours charitable outreach programs, has volunteered more time to the school than most, raised tonns of money for CF and is an all around good kid. Which is why i’m so dumbfounded that he allowed this to be written into his motion. If he was looking to expand CUSA’s charitable giving  (a fair plan) he should have come up with some better arguments. And never have allowed his name and my schools name to be sullied like this.

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at www.mattroberts.com.


  1. On the Charlatan and the Shinerama uproar « Ogling Uganda says

    […] being said, if there was a story this big when I was working at the paper, holy crap, it would have been a nut show. But I’m not […]

  2. Melissa says

    Hey stranger, So I just came across this today and I very much enjoyed the writing–too bad it was so heavily peppered with spelling mistakes causing me to shake my head!That being said, I enjoyed the laugh and look forward to seeing you sometime soon!Cheers, Melissa

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