Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Up to the Minute News... from December...


In the newspaper yesterday, there was a report from November about Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario voting to eliminate a cystic fibrosis organization from the list of charities it supports. The reason given was that the condition is not inclusive enough... it affects mostly white people.
I looked the story up because I thought it might make an interesting post-- the thing is, the article by Chuck Shepherd for 'News of the Weird' neglected to mention the decision being overturned the following week, the resignation of some folks and the cries for impeachment of others.
It's not possible a reporter would not do adequate research, or worse yet, leave out pertinent details to add more OOMPH to a piece is it?
Still an interesting read-- not his report, but the actual story...

Carleton U. backtracks on Shinerama decision
Students association reinstates CF as cause following controversy
By Brendan Kennedy, The Ottawa Citizen
December 2, 2008
OTTAWA — Carleton University’s student council voted unanimously at an emergency meeting last night to rescind last week’s controversial motion to shut cystic fibrosis research out as a beneficiary of the Shinerama fundraiser, formally apologize for the previous decision and top up the university’s 2008-2009 donation to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to $40,000.
The meeting at Porter Hall in Carleton’s University Centre was filled to overflowing and several students were forced to watch the debate from the hallway.
Last Monday, the Carleton University Students’ Association voted almost unanimously to drop the cystic fibrosis charity as the beneficiary of its annual frosh week Shinerama fundraiser, supporting a motion that argued the disease is not “inclusive” enough. The motion wrongly alleged that cystic fibrosis was “recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men.”
At the outset of the meeting, the councillor who wrote the infamous motion to drop cystic fibrosis research as a cause, Donnie Northrup, apologized and resigned his council seat. He left the meeting immediately.
Sean Maguire, a mature student who said he had been involved with the council for 15 years, also resigned his seat after apologizing for voting in favour of the motion last week. He then left the hall to a standing ovation, apparently in support of his action and in recognition of his long service with the student council.
Petitions calling for the impeachment of council president Brittany Smyth and some other council members were tabled and received, but still require official validation before they can be accepted.
If the petitions are proven to be valid, then a process will begin that may lead to a referendum of the student body to determine whether Ms. Smyth should be removed from her position.
Last night, many of those who spoke in favour of the motion to reinstate cystic fibrosis research as a beneficiary, whether council members or from the boisterous gallery, said it was important for council to admit it was wrong, apologize and move forward to repair Carleton’s reputation, which they said had been tarnished by the negative media spotlight their previous decision had attracted.
Michael Monks, the councillor representing business students, said last night’s decision puts the council back in line with the will of the student body. “The students spoke and we listened.”
According to council members, Carleton has already raised $37,000 for cystic fibrosis research this year.
Shinerama started in 1964 as a shoe-shining campaign to raise money for cystic fibrosis research at universities and colleges in Canada. Since then, it has raised more than $18.5 million for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Every year, during university orientation for new arrivals ahead of the fall semester, students fan out across the city and seek donations from passersby. Carleton has been participating in the fundraiser for at least 25 years and its students have raised about $1 million to date. During orientation week this year, Carleton students raised about $20,000.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive tract. Typically, people born with CF only survive into their 30s.
According to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, about one in every 3,600 Canadian children is born with the disease, and girls and boys are equally affected. Members of “Caucasian” races have a greater chance of carrying the abnormal gene that causes the disease, but that demographic group includes people in the Middle East, South America, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent, as well as western countries.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

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