CANDIDATE'S STATEMENT: Arts Representative to Senate

James N. Porter (jnporter@YORKU.CA)
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 09:23:13 -0500

Colleagues in the Faculty of Arts -

It has recently been remarked that the allegedly low turnout in
Faculty of Arts Council elections is, in part, due to lack of knowledge on
the part of many potential voters as to the identity of candidates. I am
currently standing for the position of Arts Representative to Senate, and
believe that those of you who do not personally know me deserve some basis
for a decision to support me, support another candidate or abstain.

I want to work with those now in Senate who are reclaiming the Senate
as the proper body to formulate and express the Academic intentions of the
faculty of York University. As the largest Faculty at York, it is
especially important that we in Arts be represented with a clear, strong
voice that is informed by a capacity to listen closely and widely, and to
act for the general interest of the faculty - as that has both (a) emerged
in struggle and broad consultation and (b) been tempered in recognition of
the finitude of our capacity to transform our macro-social environment.

For the past year many of you have known me through my work in YUFA:
first on the Political Action Committee, then, during the Strike, as your
Strike Organizer. Since then I have been working, as YUFA's Vice Chair
for Organization, to keep alive and effective the commitments we forged
together for an open, equitable, and effective union and an open,
equitable and effective university - both devoted to the aim of providing
a liberal arts education to our students in a university governed by a
faculty that is ever vigilant and active in its protection of that vision
from the daily depredations of a managerial administraton concerned with a
form of life and education profoundly inimical to all that "higher
education" has meant through the time(s) of our tradition(s).

So, if elected, I would be "a YUFA Senator" in the most active and
engaged sense of that term. My actions would be grounded in the collegium
of our Faculty as well as in our Collective Agreement and would be
oriented toward formulating our distinctive voice through listening to the
many of you who have cared to speak, and who will continue to do so. My
aim would be to realize the democratic, collegial, inclusive, accountable
and equity-enhancing possibilities in each situation.

As a Representative of the Faculty of Arts in the Senate my concern
would be to give strong and practical representation to our interests, in
collaboration with the other Senators who express the distinctive voice(s)
of York's faculty.

Looking forward to working with you -

James Porter
Associate Professor of Sociology (Arts)
Vice-Chair for Organization, YUFA