≡ Menu

SPHR takes over Link

I guess it’s not enough for SPHR that most of the middle east doesn’t have a free press. Now they’re trying to control the student press at Concordia, as Link editor Steve Faguy explains in his journal entry, “SPHR takes over Link . . . again”:

Allow me to vent. Being the editor-in-chief of a student newspaper, it’s my job to see that everyone gets his/her voice.

But today wasn’t about giving people voices, it was about silencing the voices of others.

For the second time, members of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights flooded our Annual General Assembly, the meeting where we approve financial statements and elect people to our board of directors.

[ . . . ]

And Samer Elatrash is voted onto our Board of Directors.

It’s not that I disagree with Samer’s politics (or Laith’s or Adam’s for that matter). And it’s not that I’m guided by racism against Arabs and Muslims (though some might disagree). I opposed Samer’s nomination because the last time he was on our board of directors, he attended only a single meeting, which he had to leave early.

As my colleague Julia Cyboran said during the meeting, the Board has no editorial control over the paper, and as such the positions are not political but administrative. All I ask of administrators is that they administrate. Samer has no interest in doing so (as he explained to me shortly after the meeting).

But now he’s on our board of directors, until he’s removed for lack of attendance. All to prove a point that when the SPHR disagrees with your editorial stance, they’ll try to take you over.

I guess they were pissed about losing the CSU election, and decided to take it out on the Link. It’s becoming increasingly clear how these groups operate. And it’s a real shame – especially for the journalism students who would love to see the Link emerge as a respected campus newspaper like the McGill Daily, instead of the zero-credibility rag that it is becoming.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Steve Brandon 04.13.03, 10:43 PM

    This is very disturbing, because I thought the Link had been improving over the past couple of years, if just because the CSU had become so scandal-ridden and radical that even the Link editors, who generally would agree with them on most political issues (from their editorial stances), had to distance themselves from them. (I remember former CSU “secretary general”… er, I mean “president” Rob Green’s whiny, petulant, snippy rants they’d print in the letter section each and every time the Link published anything that could remotely be construed as being critical of even the most excessive of CSU excesses.)

    And one good thing about the Link compared to the Concordian is their website, since you can post comments after each article, so, if you think an article is much too leftward-slanted, you can call them on it, and it does encourage debate. Plus the Link meetings are much friendlier… (I was surprised.) The Concordian seems to have slipped further left since the era when Robert Payne was editor and there’s nowhere on the website where you can discuss the articles.

    Anyhow, if the SPHR gains control of the Link, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the “comments” function on the website will soon be disabled the way the Guestbook on the SPHR site was should anyone post opinions they find too “Zionist” or just disagrees with the general “Palestinians (including the PLO/PA and Hamas, not just the citizens who are pawns, as you pointed out the other day) = above reproach, Israelis = Nazis” party line.

  • segacs 04.14.03, 12:17 AM

    It’s degenerated into an adolescent pissing contest, as Wendy Heitmann so eloquently pointed out. This was just a power play to prove a point, with no actual intention by the SPHR representatives to govern the paper. They were just flexing their muscles. What a waste of the time of the students who are actually dedicated to running the paper.

  • Hanthala 04.14.03, 7:00 PM

    Why is the SPHR being accused of taking over the Link? As was stated, the Link Board of Directors HAS NO SAY ON EDITORIAL CONTENT. On the other hand, the Board is much more than an administrative body, as Steve Faguy would have it. It also has final say on grievances. Given the problems at the Link past BoDs, which many students remember first hand, I’m not surprized to see such a turn out at the AGA. Its our only chance to participate in this undemocratic institution.

  • Hanthala 04.14.03, 7:02 PM

    Also, the Link DID improve in the last two years, in large part because students showed up en masse to the AGA two years ago to voice their disapproval with the way things had gone the prior year. The result of that active participation has been a fairer, more balanced, less racist newspaper (in both its content and functioning).

  • Dingbat 04.14.03, 11:44 PM

    Uhh… didn’t that storming also result in the paper being shut down? Hell of a way to “ensure” accountability of a newspaper.

  • Ben 04.15.03, 3:25 PM

    The McGill Daily respectable? This year it seemed to mostly source of ridicule. I would suggest the Link aim for something higher if respectability is what they want.

Leave a Comment