By Neil G. Rayzer
In an effort to be taken more seriously by students, the UVSS voted unanimously to ban itself from the SUB. An unnamed interim representative was quoted as saying: “The UVSS has always been an agent for underrepresented social movements and groups, both on-campus and at large. We have found throughout our history that banning things is an efficient method for representing diverse sets of interests on-campus. By banning ourselves, we are sending a strong and clear message that we will not tolerate oppressive behaviour.”
Most students have expressed indifference, although some expressed annoyance that the UVSS hadn’t done so sooner. Third-year Commerce student Brad Daniels stated, “Uh, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t really give a shit,” while first-year Engineering student Ben Dover said, “I commend the UVSS for a decision that’s practical utility is commensurate with, and only with, its immense symbolic weight. Presumably they did so democratically and in the best interests of the student body. It would be a shame—and a sham, in fact—if such a decision had been done to advance their personal beliefs, or at the expense of fundamental civil liberties enjoyed by all persons regardless of political affiliation or personal preference. After all, unilateral top-down political action and authority, unchecked by electors or a fair and just frame of ethics or law that is applied impartially and liberally—while not sweeping in its interpretation—to all those under its auspices, sets a precedent and legitimizes a practice that should be unequivocally cautioned against. The consequences can be irreversible both in principle and in practice. Sovereignty ultimately rests and must remain in the hands of students, irrespective of their commitment to the SUB. Responsible government, student or otherwise, means protecting the rights of those we disagree with while balancing competing interests without resorting to heavy-handed political tactics that impinge upon individual liberties.”
Political Science professor Jeffrey Kincaide stated, “The UVSS is really making history here. It really is quite rare for student societies to recognize when they’re taking themselves too seriously, let alone when they’re changing things people don’t want changed.”
Whether the UVSS will be on the receiving end of a lawsuit for banning the UVSS remains to be seen throughout the following weeks.