Volume 93, Issue 93

Fridday, March 24, 2000


Film defence

The other side

The other side

Re: "ASA, MSA protest atrium celebration" March 10

To the Editor:

I wish to take this opportunity to clarify issues surrounding the protest on Israel Day that has obviously caused some concerns with certain students. The following is how I saw the situation:

The protest, to my knowledge, was neither sponsored nor supported by the Arab Students' Association or the Muslim Students' Association.

I had discussed the Jewish Students' Union's intentions for the day with the president of the MSA in passing and he assured me that the MSA executive did not want to have anything to do with the day, in either a positive or negative manner. The ASA too, assured me that although they were aware of a potential protest brewing amongst some members of the community, it was their wish to not actively stop the protest, or encourage it.

I had met and discussed the day with executive members of both the ASA and JSU prior to the event. As this event (and the ASA's day in the fall) tend to be sources of conflict, the USC has taken a pro-active role (with the much appreciated co-operation of the two groups) by essentially forcing both groups to discuss any issues they may have with the format of the day. These talks remained positive even though a compromise could not be reached.

While I respect both the author of the story and the front office staff at The Gazette, their portrayal of some of my comments were taken out of context. The author and I talked for more than 15 minutes about the issue, but due to the constraints of the article's size, only some of my comments were able to be included in the story. This is something I have to live with as a student leader on this campus. You can only get a true impression of my thoughts if you come and speak to me directly.

I can assure you, I have taken due diligence all year to ensure that all points of view were heard within the USC. I take my job very seriously and I completely support any student when they wish to speak their mind in public. I do, however, have every right to be frustrated with any problems that may arise. I was frustrated with BOTH the JSU, the ASA and the protesters in general. Things could have been done on both sides that weren't done, but that is the way these things go. Rest assured that my frustration was not an indication of any displeasure I had with the protest, but I had to deal with many things behind the scenes that never make it in the paper or outside the boardroom.

I encourage you to speak to me if this issue is still a concern for you. I would love to talk to you about this event. That is why I have been elected.

Perry Monaco
VP-campus issues
University Students' Council

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