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May 26, 2009

I took on the task of collecting the signatures for the letter disassociating ourselves from the decision to grant Shawn Graham an honourary degree and had the pleasure of collecting the various side-comments of the signatories, some of which I reproduce (anonymously) here:

“I would like to add my name to those colleagues who protest the utterly ridiculous idea to give an honorary doctorate to the man who wants to turn one of our campuses into a donut shop.”

“Very poor timing for UNB.  Who makes these decisions?  Someone in lala land!!”

“To award an honourary degree to someone who supported the idea of changing a university to a polytechnic is wrong (not to mention the fact that the same person was responsible for the changes to the French immersion system). Taken together, this doesn’t seem to support education at any level. It surprises me that an honourary doctorate at this point in time has even become a consideration.”

“I am shocked and to be more precise, disgusted at the idea that anyone could even conceive the idea of providing Premier Shawn Graham, an honorary doctorate. Are we so quick to forget that his government so recently tried to close down our campus? Are we so oblivious to the fact that it could occur again… This is an insult to the Saint John campus, its employees, current students, and future students and lest not forget, that this gesture is also an insult to our peers in the North who also fought very hard to keep their campuses alive.”

“I sit in total disbelief…not only the PSE report fiasco, but the current disregard for and demolition of the public service programs and the people who provide them in this province…has UNB lost its collective mind? or do they think Graham will keep up the funding if we are nice to him? … I will be signing/sending at least three letters of discontent with this decision:  staff member, unionist and a member of the UNB Alumni Ass’n.”

“Please add me to the open letter … for reasons cited in the last paragraph of [the] letter. The incredulity of allowing such a thing….one would think that the BoG could reserve better judgement and bestow such an Honourary title to a more worthy candidate….I am sure there are individuals who have made far greater contributions to our society/community than the current chosen candidate.”

“Please sign my name 10 times….at least. This is absolutely despicable!!!” [Dear Readers, rest assured that this was regarded as hyperbolic rather than directive.]

“Why we must automatically give an Honorary Degrees to all premiers — even stumbling ones — has always baffled me. I feel strongly enough about this that I have no intention of attending the ceremony.”

“Please add my name to the list of [those] who are strongly opposing awarding a ‘Doctorate’ from our university to Shawn Graham who tried but fortunately failed to close Saint John’s University.”

“I feel it is a conflict of interest to grant the current Premier an honourary doctorate.”

“Please add my name to the list. 100 times.” [Please see above]


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