Slow and steady progress

First, you can continue to follow any new media hits on my main listing.

Today’s General Faculties Council Executive Committee meeting was encouraging for those of us awaiting an inclusive and secular convocation.

The committee was unanimous in favour of changing the wording of the current charge to something that maintained the idea that degrees should be used to some greater good while recognizing the current charge is “exclusive” and “out dated.”

Their move was to create a subcommittee which is tasked with drafting one or more new charges, gathering opinions on those charges from the University community, and then reporting back the the Executive Committee on Monday, December 1 (likely also at 2:00 PM in a public meeting in University Hall).

GFC Exec will likely then debate the suggestions and pass them to main GFC for January with the suggestion of adopting an alternate wording.
Continue reading Slow and steady progress

An unpublishable reply

Apparently, as an opinion writer for the Gateway, you don’t get the liberty of having an opinion. So to give a giant middle finger to the Gateway, I will publish my letter to the editor in response to their Arts & Entertainment Editor’s article “Admin outsources convocation fight” here:
Continue reading An unpublishable reply

The Gateway was better last year

For a newspaper that failed to actually get printed last Tuesday, the Gateway has some pushy policies.

As it turns out, when you sign a contract to be a writer for the Gateway, it means you’re very limited in what you get to say (let’s call this the fine print that’s not in the contract).

First, you can’t write letters in. You can’t even comment online. You can’t even write a response to someone else’s question about your story online. That’s some freedom.

And not just to related stories. If you’ve published an article in the past six months, you don’t get to write letters in about anything. Never mind that the Gateway often seems strapped to publish whatever they get (hint: I don’t think they want to publish “Letters from the archive”).
Continue reading The Gateway was better last year

A secular beginning

What were the dreams of Dr. Henry Marshall Tory and Alexander Rutherford, who founded the University of Alberta over 100 years ago?

Let’s look through the University’s centential archives and history to find out.

Before I answer that, let’s look at Fredrick Haultain, the premiere of the North-West Territories (which Alberta was a part of until 1905) wanted to establish:
Continue reading A secular beginning

Bob Layton thinks secular convocations cause school shootings

This is absurd.

While all this goes on, there’s been another campus shooting, this one in Arkansas. Two dead. Should someone ask why God allowed this to happen in a school, why God did not intervene, point them to one of the internet sites that reminds us, God is not allowed in schools.

I don’t even know where to begin with this. His commenters are not better:

Regarding Ray’s comments, yes, all murders are atheists. All religions, except atheism, teach that killing is wrong. Unless you actually want to fry in hell, you are not going to ignore a commandment not to kill unless you think there is no God watching. Regarding people who do kill, supposedly in the name of the religion, just because someone claims to believe in the Bible or the Koran does not mean that they actually do. Atheists are also not commanded not to lie. By the way, I do believe that even though Osama bin Ladin claims to me a moslim, I believe that he is privately an atheist.

Posted by James P. Yushchyshyn on 10/28/2008 12:38:48 PM [emphasis added]

Why are there significantly more Christians in jail and very secular countries have low murder rates (Saudi Arabia being a marked exception)?

Choked

I’m frustrated right now. I choked on an interview with 660 AM Calgary. It’s no big deal since I’ve done a dozen or so now and really could care less what listeners to the station think, but it’s still frustrating.

So here’s the thing that I hit a mind block on (and I’ve been asked it before): What about the people who will get offended by removing the charge?

You know what a great answer would have been?
Continue reading Choked

GFC Exec Committee Meeting

Before I update on the meeting results (from my point-of-view), I’ve added some more media.

So what happened?

Eighteen speakers presented to the executive committee of the General Faculties Council. In the end, seven were against any change, while ten or eleven were for a change. (I say “or eleven” as one prof, while Christian and valuing the phrase “Glory of God” understands that it fails to represent some students).

None of the profs spoke for keeping the current charge, while many spoke very eloquently in why a change is necessary.

Continue reading GFC Exec Committee Meeting

Secular convocation news across Canada

From Victoria to Halifax, from national newspapers to local radio. Perhaps now the Gateway should consider this a story worth covering?

Note: many stories have similar titles since they’re syndicated stories, but I reposted them since individual papers decided to reprint in each locale. Also, I only used one contact to get through to the Edmonton Journal, everyone else picked it up from there. Finally, Global National (TV) wants the story tomorrow for the headlines. I will also update this list with any new links you add here.
Continue reading Secular convocation news across Canada

Secular convocation versus Charles McVety

CH News Hamilton was kind enough to invite me onto their show on Friday to discuss the secular convocation issue. The fun was compounded by adding Charles McVety, the Jerry Falwell of Canada.

Here’s the video (the interview starts at about the 2:30 mark – I’m trying to pull it offline for YouTubing at the moment).