Circumstances were out of Arthurs' control

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Board of Directors report cards”
Apr. 1, 1008

To the editor:
The Gazette has failed students with its unfair criticism of VP-campus issues James Arthurs.

It’s unfortunate to see he was given a C+ on his report card when most people involved in the University Students’ Council this year know Arthurs not only poured his heart and soul into the position, but had a very successful year.

While his passion was duly noted in his report card, it should have been focused on as more of a strength than a weakness. When writing up Arthurs’ report card, The Gazette’s staff should have asked itself why some of his relationships with the members of his portfolio were turbulent.

Was this a product of Arthurs’ emotional attachment and inability to deal with pressure, or just a product of the fact he got stuck working with some less-than-quality individuals who were really the ones who cracked under pressure?

The fact the loss of PrideWestern is being pinned on Arthurs is ridiculous. It is his planning and response in the aftermath of that crisis that is steering the service in the right direction for the future.

Things don’t always work out the way you want them to, but Arthurs deserves some credit for picking up the pieces and setting things in the right direction.

Finally, with regard to the criticism of Arthurs’ performance in dealing with Standing Against Queer Discrimination, the comments made in his report card do not expose all the facts.

One has to ask: did Arthurs alienate SAQD or did that group alienate itself? I would side with the latter. I believe the Canadian Blood Services policy is discriminatory, much like SAQD does, but its inability to deal with the situation professionally and reasonably was not a byproduct of Arthurs’ management skills but rather of its own inadequacies as an organization.

While Arthurs’ lack of experience was brought up as a negative, his lack of USC experience has been a breath of fresh air to an organization that is sometimes considered exclusive and out of touch.

Complications that arose throughout the year should not be pinned solely on Arthurs, and the fact they were indicates a lack of research on the part of The Gazette staff.

Arthurs should be commended on the year he’s had, as he delivered results for students with a smile on his face despite the fact he has had to deal with some terrible situations that were largely out of his control.
"Chris Reynolds
Political Science IV

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