Thursday, March 13, 2008

Activist Graffiti

This post over at Freedom is My Nationality got me thinking:

On the 9th floor of Robarts Library, University of Toronto, there is a poster in the men’s bathroom. This poster advertises the benefits and opportunities of enlisting into the Canadian Forces. As a soon to be graduate I appreciate any option for future employment (anyone reading this hiring?). Some of my learned fellow students disagree.

On the poster there is penned in graffiti. “Say ‘No’ to army recruitment on campus. This is Outrages!”

Currently around the 11th Floor of Dunton tower at Carleton University has three posters:

Don't Extend it, End it: War in Afghanistan

Walmart: The high cost of low prices (put on by CUPE of course!)

(some other poster about communism, I can't remember)

I am a big enough person to not write graffiti on these posters, sadly, many of my colleagues (should they be advertisements advertising the opposite) cannot refrain themselves. I will never forget one of my undergrad class experiences. It was early in the 2006 election campaign (which actually started in 2005). My local conservative candidate put a considerable number of signs up in the first days of the campaign (Dean Del Mastro ended up winning the riding). Two of my colleagues were commenting on this, especially seeing them along the Trent Express bus route up to the university. One of them pipped up in all seriousness that she wanted to tear down all of the signs. In my head, I immediately thought to myself, "Hm, that's funny, I thought we lived in a democracy." If I speak up I'm considered a bitch, if I bite my tongue, I'm seen as spineless. A class of 19 other sociology students and a prof (who would write your letter of reference for grad school) would have you bite your tongue as well.

Academics are no better. Sadly, academics beat their chests about being critical thinkers, but when I criticise the way I'm taught to think, I'm the one ostracised. I shouldn't be surprised, but I do have one prof this term who manages to hint at fascism with conservatism twice in the past month and spends the entire lecture poking fun at c/Conservatives. I've got tougher skin than to actually be offended. I'm just sick of paying the salaries, of profs like this, where I am not learning anything.


Blogger Raphael Alexander said...

University is home to socialism. Academia, rather, panders to socialist mentality. The best course of action is to speak up, try to break people from their mindset and engage them in discussion of why they seem to believe these things. The problem is the herd mentality. I was once part of it. Ultimately don't worry about it. A lot of people are idealistic and hence less pragmatic and more prone to socialist ideals in their twenties and thirties.

Thu Mar 13, 10:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually go to Carleton and have seen those "end it" posters you mentioned. It always gets my blood boiling, but freedom of speech is freedom of speech.

On the other hand, I haven't seen a single poster commemorating our soldiers, even during the month of November when we remember our veterans. Of course, universities , as Raphael said above, are breeding grounds for socialist thought, so much so that at times it sickens me just walking through the halls and seeing all sorts of leftist posters.

I guess you could say I feel as though university is hostile to my form of thoughts. But university is not the real world, and hopefully those with their eyes glassed over by idealism wake up once they walk into reality.

Thu Mar 13, 11:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Frank Cybulski said...

I've found that being a right-wing student on a university campus is not easy, but when I speak up and state my opinions and debate the other side, I get a lot of respect from many students and especially professors. If you're courageous, principled, informed and willing to argue with the other side in a civilised manner, many people will see that and recognise it, and that's what changes minds. The propaganda put out by the other side is pretty infuriating - and StFX, where I go, is not a really left-wing university - but you can overcome it.

I saw one of those recruiting posters in our student union building today. I've been seriously considering a military career for some time now, and I think most people - outside of the left-bot crazy crowd found at most large Canadian universities - recognise the work that our military is doing and are at the very least more aware of the Canadian Forces and the job it does. And they respect that.

Fri Mar 14, 01:06:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spitfire and anon like Frank...start speaking up.It really doesn't get easier when you get away from the campus.What's the worst they can do to you...ignore you at the caf?

Fri Mar 14, 09:27:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Mark said...

I guess I was lucky to have Ian Brodie for my Canadian Politics course at UWO. Didn't exactly even out the ratio but made my second year better.

Fri Mar 14, 10:59:00 AM EDT  
Blogger HammertimeGP said...

Sun Mar 23, 09:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger HammertimeGP said...

Sat Apr 05, 06:48:00 PM EDT  

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