- Reaction score
Hi, all. Back to work and normal life now here in the 'Peg. While I was in Edmonton I got the following response from "tim" the PA guy for Knowwar. And, I must say, much to my surprise, it is quite a reasonable one (considering their probable outlook on life...)
Thanks for writing. I agree with many of the points you make, including
armed-forces that is well-educated and well-equipped in order to be effective.
The more we have proceeded in our campaign, the more we have begun to rethink
our approach. The idea of the campaign came out of a feeling that corporate
involvement in our campuses has begun to encroach on the public nature of our
institutions of higher learning.
Currently, government's are using the pretense of corporate funding in
justify cuts to research grants across the country, including Quebec,
in research being focussed more on what corporations believe will be most
profitable (for them - not for the students. it's the corporations that keep
the patents) and not necessarily what is in greatest need of being researched
As well, the decision-making bodies of our universities have become more and
more corporate dominated, with the large majority of "community
on our Board of Governors being held by corporate directors and executives.
Beyond leading to a direct conflict of interest in some cases, the decisions
made by corporate executives are based on what is best for a for-profit
business and not a public institution such as a university.
The focus on corporations involved with the military (particularly with the
American invasion of Iraq, although we did not want to focus solely on
event) came about as a way to narrow the scope of the corporations we were
talking about. The reason for this is that Concordia in particular has been
receiving massive amounts of money for research from corporations directly
involved in military research without any form of oversight at the
meaning that students are essentially carrying out cheap-labour research for
corporations without any real consideration being made as to what it is they
are researching or whether there are more important, more relevant issues they
could be studying. This type of corporate involvement is in no way limited to
the military industry, but again we chose it because it was a relevant,
industry we could focus on.
Really, our focus was to be on the corporate influence on our campuses, but
because of our choice of industry to focus on, the debate has begun to revolve
more around the military aspect rather than the education aspect.
Our intention was in no way to attack those Canadian soldiers who have served
our country, but rather in order to draw focus to the influence that
corporations are gaining in what are deemed to be public institutions.
I hope this helps to answer your questions, and thank you for taking
the time to