Opinions

Do you know what a mullet is?

The SU’s immature tuition campaign will convince no one

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Do you know what a mullet is? It's a bad haircut. It's also the most visible tool the University of Calgary Students' Union chose to represent students in this year's tuition fight.

This is not good news for students who wish to be taken seriously. Despite other worthwhile information initiatives, the mullet casts an ominous shadow on the credibility of the SU and the students they represent. It's childish; it's something out of a high school or a junior high. The ideas are there, and there is even a noble cause. But the maturity and social skills needed to express them is not. This is what separates students from administration. President Harvey Weingarten does not lobby the province with a mulleted mob as his back up. President Matt Stambaugh does.

Now we know that the SU has a hard time navigating the icy avenues of common sense. They fishtail from project to project, seemingly unable to reach the students they represent without a dumb gimmick or alcohol. But this is too much.

The gist of the campaign is: Grow a mullet to show your dissatisfaction. Get a discount at the Den for growing said mullet. Put up a tent and join the Mullet Republic in a rally scheduled for the University of Calgary's Board of Governors meeting on March 21. Watch FUBAR, get drunk, get involved! Make a complete jackass of yourself by trivializing a serious issue!

Where does this leave students who care, but wish to maintain their dignity? What does this mean for SU representatives like Stambaugh who try to put on a serious face and talk about a serious issue with a mullet-wearing mob behind them? Can't you just see the newscast?

Imagine a nice man wearing a canary yellow A-Channel jacket standing in front of a large group of half drunk students. The youngsters, some wearing mullets, shout slurred slogans filled with impact words like "differential," "roll-back," or "fairness."

...The masses are out at the University of Calgary, and there is tension in the air. A mob of students who call themselves the Mullet Republic are loud and unruly--surely their cause will be heard.

This, of course, is what the Students' Union is hoping for: a large showing. The mullet gimmick is nothing more than a confused appeal to the lowest common denominator in order to get a sizable crowd. But this is the University of Calgary, not a high school. Are the students here not capable of rallying around some-thing other than an '80s haircut?

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Comments

I understand that there are some people who are worried about the symbolism of the mullet, but we have to understand that all this is a media stunt that happens on "ONE" day in two months of a tuition awareness campaign. The Students' Union felt it would probably be a good idea to tell people ahead of time to start growing a mullet. I assure you the theme of our tuition campaign is not an 80's throwback haircut. I thought that this fact would be explained after I showed Ben Li our entire events plan for the next two months. The schedule is jam packed and we are working like crazy. We are not gonna go down looking like chumps, I assure you. Students care about this and you can bet sure as hell that we do as well. We have arranged for many thought provoking forums, rallies, demonstrations, and a little bit of fun events that serve as morale boosters. The A-Channel reporter, as we would hope, would focus on the fact that students are so crazy about tuition that they mass butchered their hair in protest. The time for suits and ties, is over. U of A has passed differential tuition, and our options are becoming thinner and thinner. I think the Guantlet should stop focusing on the SU and should start focusing on administration and their half-witted arguments for differential tuition. We need all the support we can get, and that should include the Guantlet. Remember your levy is not paid for by admin, but is paid for by students.

You're right, Nick: the levy is paid for by students. And it is students who are depending on YOU to represent them.

To clarify, I wrote the piece but it was signed by our editorial board because we all agree with the content.