The CASA media playbook vs. the CFS media playbook


Last week, I noted a critical editorial in the University of Alberta Gateway. The editorial questioned the value of Canadian Alliance of Student Associations membership for University of Alberta students. (It also questioned the value of membership in the Canadian Federation of Students.)

I’ve been critical of CASA in the past and will likely be critical in the future. Same goes with the CFS. How the two organizations respond to critical coverage is night and day. The CFS sends legal letters and throws a tantrum whenever it is unhappy with anything in the student press. CASA will send a letter to the editor to explain their viewpoint.

When a story unfavourable to CASA is being written, I can call them and get answers. When any article that is not favourable, even neutral, about the CFS is being written, repeated phone calls will not be returned. It is not unusual for legal letters or warning to arrive prior to the publication of an article.

The result this week; CASA national director Zach Churchill is interviewed in The Gateway this week.


The CASA media playbook vs. the CFS media playbook

  1. I have yet to see one tangible benefit from belonging to the CFS. Supporters are quick to point out the ‘Drop Fees’ campaign at York. Great, I guess our dollars are being used to dress students up like zombies and walk them around Queen’s Park. Thanks for nothing. Why does the CFS insist on reactionary measures like the ‘drop fees’ campaign? Universities are already strapped for cash, they won’t drop tutition or cancel student debt. PLEASE CFS, if you’re good for any use whatsoever, try to get the government to open new universities. Make universities work harder to attract undergrads. Have university administrators accountable for losing millions of dollars (looking at you, Shoukri). Create more jobs for academics. Generate more research. Make Ontario more competitive. Train more people. If we move to a knowledge based economy, we wouldn’t have such large flucuations in the market. Why are we still trying to dominate the natural resources market? Why are we giving millions of dollars to farmers? This doesn’t make long-term sense.

    Or we could dress up like zombies. I’m sure we’ll sell this plan to the government that way.

  2. Hey, at least CFS brings zombies to your campus.

    The U of C can’t even get them to return a phone call/e-mail or acknowledge the fact that they received a notarized petition with over 800 signatures from a process-server back in October.

    Maybe they need more BRAINS….

    Or a hug…

    Or therapy… I’m sensing some abandonment issues here…

  3. Aww…. muffin!
    The CFS supported it through our brave, fearless and incompetent York Federation of Students (which acts as our ‘local’). I think they came up with the ‘Drop fees’ campaign, but I might be wrong. If the CFS is ignoring you, is it because your student government is ignoring the students?

  4. Wow! If only the CFS responded as promptly as you, sir, we could be sharing a muffin right now.


  5. The CFS needs a lession in manners. Talk about BAD member relations.
    Good luck out there UofC GSA. The hopes, prayers, and moral support is with you from every practically minded student who wishes their student association would wake up and fight back the ineffectiveness of this so called “advocacy” group.

  6. Don’t you just love how the CFS has a debt clock on their website.

    Great work! – advertising how ineffective you have been over the last 20 years. Imagine if the AARP in the US put a graphic on their website showing how much social security payments have decreased. Their members would ask, “why am I sending you money to tell me how screwed I am?”

    I’ve been wondering why anyone would join this organization. Go it alone UofC – I wish York would.

  7. I’m so glad someone else thinks the debt clock is one of the worst marketing strategies ever created–I mean, why would you proudly display your failure in solidarity?

    And really, what the (insert expletive here) kind of Stalin-esque catch phrase is that anyway? I suppose that’s why any time you criticize the CFS for something, they come back at you with this bizarro attitude of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.” Like if I say I don’t believe the CFS is using student money properly, they equate it to me being against women’s rights or against visible minority access to education. Like any questioning of the way they operate is crime… Am I having a 1984 seizure here, or are we still in a democracy?

    Listen up brainiacs, I have a big problem with you wasting my time and my hard-earned student dollars. I don’t need you to vote on whether to use plastic water bottles anymore, or whether Gitmo is just, or if you’re going to support Obama over Hilary, or whether a panda needs a hug… Your job is to lobby for post-secondary education. I know, who’d of thunk it–but isn’t that the reason the CFS was formed?

    Ah, but now it’s a bloated, bureaucratic beast (suck that alliteration). Now we have an organization more concerned about hanging onto money than making the organization better. An organization not even willing to entertain the possibility that there may be a better way of doing things. An organization that insists on writing long-winded policy papers that no one reads. Instead, we are given a new set of by-laws that make it even more impossible to flee. And all the while, we have to battle against the largest and most disturbing case of group-think I’ve ever come across in Canada.

    But bring it on, CFS. I’m salivating at the chance of going head-to-head with you. For, as Dr. David Banner would say, “You won’t like me when I’m angry.”