Although the change isn’t as far as I (or many of the petitioners) would have hoped, the University did change the convocation charge.
Before it commanded us to use our degrees for “the glory of God and honour of your country.” Now, through committee hell (which does exist), we get:
“for the uplifting of the whole people; to inspire the human spirit; for all who believe, to serve your God; and to pursue more steadfastly whatsoever things are true.”
The media blitz has hit again, and the story has been covered on the local TV networks, the Journal, the Sun, the Calgary Herald, and a ton of papers from Vancouver to Halifax (again). I’m not going to tally them this time, but here’s a rough count.
I will say I am pleased that this is a step forward. I’ll take a minor victory over getting nothing.
I’m most disappointed in the administration however. Once Provost Amrhein decided upon this version of the charge, there was no debate left. At GFC Exec he stepped down as an impartial chair to move this one over more secular ones (that had strong support as well). Then, at GFC he and President Indira tag-teamed to crush debate on the issue (consider this: the total length of the debate in GFC was under 40 minutes, including the introduction of the issue).
I proposed an amendment at GFC to remove the religious portion, and received 30 votes in favour (to 59 against), however before anyone was even allowed to comment on my amendment, Indira called on everyone to ‘vote against the amendment” (in a way that confused nearly everyone). The impartiality died and they pushed through exactly what they wanted.
I shouldn’t have expected much less, considering Carl Amrhein’s “consultation” of the issue consisted of a personal call with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, and friends from St. Joe’s (Catholic) College.
It was nice to get a mention on Pharyngula though.
Finally, I want to send a big “screw you” to CBC for their latest coverage of the event. Mainly for this line that ended their article:
Bushfield said he no longer plans on boycotting his own convocation.
When did I ever say I was going to boycott convocation?
I maintained a strong “play-it-by-ear” attitude with this, and NEVER said I would boycott anything.