We could have done better

Dear Editor,

I have been contemplating on whether to stay quiet and continue enjoying the privileges of the organization I love or speak out and defend the values for which it was created. The latter is a challenge I have chosen to embark on.

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to Stefanie for having failed you. Youre a great student and I still believe we should have given you the opportunity that you sought. Secondly, I would like to apologize to my fellow executives for having dared to challenge your decision. I am sure you all had good intentions although I strongly believe that we should have sought input from the highest governing body [the Board of Directors].

Our refusing Stefanie to attend the CFS semi-AGM was an executive error that should never have happened and should not be blamed on CFS. As per CFSs definition of a delegate in Bylaw I, A delegate shall refer to a representative of a member local association who is either an individual member or an employee of the association in question.   There is no mention of experience, affiliation or other factors in the definition which also gives the autonomy to the individual local in question.

I also strongly believe that as students leaders, it is part of our mandate to offer fellow students the avenue to get the necessary experience they require, including but not limited to attending commission and ministry meetings, which Stefanie has previously attended. Although race may not have been a factor in our decision, it is evident that students who belong to a constituency group have an incentive of paying less than those who do not belong to any and it is up to us to question whether that is ethically right.

I am sure several people will grill me for that statement. I suffered sleepless nights and didnt know how to deal with the heaviness of that burden. I am a male racialized student but did not choose to be so, and for anyone to pity me by giving me such incentives is to undermine my God-given potential as a human being.

Granted, I totally understand white privilege, but I also believe in competition and would love to see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s dream come true. You know living in the world where am not judged by the color of my skin but by the content of my character ? Yes…that world.

So, dear fellow students, as you scroll through this letter, ask yourselves questions such as: Which part of the puzzle is missing? How do we challenge the system without jeopardizing our future prospects? How do the interlocking systems of privilege and oppression affect you? How do you make this world a better place?

I hope one day we shall be able to answer all the questions posed above and I thank you for having taken time out of your busy schedules to read this apology.

Henry Ssali
UTMSU  VP-External

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