Monday, April 30, 2012

To the person in the Czech Republic searching for information on Selma Botman


Either there are multiple people in the Czech Republic interested in the goings on at my university, or this is not the first time you've come here searching for information on the Selma Botman no confidence vote.  Either way, if you should come here again to read this, I'm quite interested in your story.

I haven't gotten a lot of traffic incoming from my own country on this issue, but you clearly know about Selma Botman, know that there is a no confidence vote, and want to know more.  Yet you live what is, I'm told, between 1/7th and 1/6th of the circumference of the earth away.

Are you a student or teacher who happens to be abroad?  An alumnus/alumna?  Someone who knows Selma?  Are you considering coming to USM?

What's your story?


As for what you came here about, I've been very tired lately and thus have not been staying on top of all the latest news.  The vote on whether or not to have a no confidence vote passed, which then left the question of how to go about doing it.  Similar things have been done before, but not the same thing.  Thus an entire process had to be worked out.

Selma has insisted on measures that, from my angle, look like attempts at voter suppression.  For example there will be precisely as many ballots as there are votes to be cast so that if a ballot should be lost or damaged in transit it will not be able to be replaced, the faculty member will simply not be able to vote.  An involved process requiring id and multiple signatures has been worked out which seems to be based on the idea of making as many steps as possible in hopes that members will fail to complete at least one of them correctly and thus accidentally disqualify their vote.  Other measures have been taken that appear to be taking aim at those members of the faculty who are currently elsewhere (it is never the case that every faculty member is in the area.)

Once the vote is taken, which will be next month I believe (though I don't remember exactly when, I'm almost entirely sure before the 20th, so some time in the next 20 days) there will be a committee to count the votes, which will include a representative of Selma's and there is some worry that this will turn into one of the recount fiascoes we've grown unfortunately accustomed to in this country these past 12 years or so.  That said, apparently there will be an outside observer (a lawyer of some kind) on the committee, so perhaps that will help keep shenanigans to a minimum.

And that is where things stand as last I heard, but, as I mentioned, I haven't really been on top of things.  Mostly I've been so tired I couldn't do much of anything.

It is especially important to note that my information could be out of date.  Perhaps things changed and the stuff that seemed like voter suppression won't actually happen, or perhaps something worse will happen.  I don't know for sure.


[Added:] For anyone who has no idea what this is about, I've previously brought up the situation at USM (hence getting me hits from people searching for "Selma Botman no confidence vote") in this post. Though not exactly in great depth even there.

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