Association's failure to protest APEC questioned


Ms. Hinchliffe (UBC Reports, Dec. 11, 1997) notes the failure of the unions on campus and the Faculty Association to question holding the APEC meeting on campus.

On Sept. 11, 1997 I wrote to the Faculty Association's president Prof. Robert Blake expressing concern about the failure of the executive to take a stand on the university's decision.

Specifically, I asked him if the executive perceived its responsibilities so narrowly as to think this matter did not come under its purview. Or whether it was so concerned not to offend an administration so blinded by ephemeral benefits and potential favourable (?) media coverage that it had seen fit to ignore the disgust that many felt at having imposed on them the presence of dictators whose behaviour represents the very antithesis of the values of a liberal university.

Prof. Blake replied that the executive had twice considered the matter and on both occasions had decided it did not fall within its mandate.

As I responded to Prof. Blake at the time, it is quite beyond my comprehension to see how the executive could fail to regard the holding of an APEC meeting on campus as affecting "the welfare of faculty members...and of the University" [the association's stated mandate].

Even without taking into account the larger issues involved, an executive which has set as one of its priorities the need for faculty to regain its proper role in the governance of the university should surely have recognized in the past president's failure to consult even his Board of Governors, far less the academic Senate, a gross violation of the established procedures of the university.

If the executive of the Faculty Association could neither protest this before the APEC meeting nor the deplorable events that occurred subsequently, what in heaven's name will they protest? Prof. James Russell
Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies

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