Eightface

by Dave Kellam

Dissecting Queen’s Alumni Spam

The following is the text of an email sent to the Queen’s Alumni mailing list. I graduated last year, so that means I’m alumni. Karen Hitchcock (the current principal of Queen’s) wants us alumni to write words about the school so she can get more money and everything will be better.

I met the former principal of Queen’s (Billy Leg$$$) and shook his hand. He was a fish doctor. He had a firm handshake and would look you straight in the eye and tell you that he was going to take your money.

Anyway, here is the letter with some annotations for clarity:

Dear Alumni,

Ontario is at a crossroads in its support for higher education and your help can make a positive difference for the future.

HI GLORIOUS READER. I AM PLEASED TO MAKE YOUR ACQUAINTANCE, AND SORRY TO DISTURB YOU. I AM CONTACTING YOU BECAUSE I HAVE $25,000,000 IN A BANK ACCOUNT IN NIGERIA. I AM FORMER ASTRONAUT. IF YOU DONATE SMALL SUM OF MONEY I WILL WAVE TO YOU FROM HERE.

Thanks to the commendable work by former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, we now have a roadmap for the future of postsecondary education in this province. Mr. Rae recently presented his report, Ontario: A Leader in Learning, to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities Mary Anne Chambers.

Crossroads? Roadmap? Someone broke out the thesaurus. The letter goes on for awhile, and I continue to do this (if you’re interested).

We are at a critical moment in time because our universities, Queen’s included, are facing a tremendous opportunity to rebuild our postsecondary system. As Mr. Rae writes in his report:

“Higher education must be a high priority…Our solid foundation must not be allowed to erode. Much needs to be done to improve
what we have. The goals for reform are straightforward: great education, improved opportunities for more people to attend, and
a secure future for higher education.”

Well Mr. Rae, thanks for coming out, weren’t you in charge of the province 10 years ago?

I am contacting you because Queen’s needs your help. The voice of Queen’s graduates can act as an effective call to help convince the public and government to invest in postsecondary education — for Ontario to be a leader in learning.

Someone’s been reading their Nigerian spam.

I would ask you to contact your MPP, Premier McGuinty, Minister Chambers and your local newspaper to make your voice heard. Tell them about the difference that postsecondary education has made in your life, and the lives of your family, friends and colleagues.

Hey guys, what’s up? Going to university prevents you from doing stupid things, like getting hit by buses. Yes, multiple busii.

As you add your support, consider these key issues related to Mr. Rae’s recommendations and Queen’s University:

* Ontario ranks last in university funding among all Canadian provinces. Queen’s joins all Ontario universities as we call for
a restoration in public funding.

Paging Mr. Rae, you were in charge of the province.

* Queen’s is fully prepared to be accountable and we will continue to work diligently to demonstrate the value of public
investment in this University.

Yes, Karen Hitchcock is known for her ethics and accountability.

* Flexibility for universities to set their own tuition levels, subject to a regulatory framework, is recommended by Mr. Rae.

Queen’s takes very seriously its obligation to provide student assistance that breaks down any barriers for students who attend Queen’s. We will work hard for the autonomy to set market-based tuition fees and support the development of meaningful transparency in the sector.

Hi, I want to deregulate your tuition. That’s ok, it’s happening anyway, just come out and say it.

As you well know, our ability to provide quality higher learning affects people well beyond the borders of Ontario. Queen’s students are leaders in a global society. I am asking for your leadership by making your views known.

On behalf of your university, I thank you for your attention, your efforts and your support.

Cha Gheill!

Yours sincerely,
Karen R. Hitchcock, Ph.D.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Cha Gheill indeed.

For further information please visit http://www.queensu.ca/raereview

There you have it, read for yourself.

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