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So to summarize, Shinerama is a nationwide, Canadian post-secondary institute charity fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis research. It's an ongoing annual tradition at many campuses (my own included) and is a great way to raise awareness and money for a terrible hereditary disease. As it stands, Carleton University appears to have cancelled their Shinerama for some pretty suspect reasons:
According to Bergamini, the motion read that orientation week strives to be inclusive and volunteers should feel like their fundraising efforts are serving a diverse community.
However, the motion went on to say that "and whereas cystic fibrosis has been recently revealed to only affect white people and primarily men, be it resolved that: CUSA discontinue its support of this campaign."
While I completely understand the desire to campaign for a movement with a more 'international' face, such as cancer research, it smacks of ignorance and racial bias to suggest that cystic fibrosis primarily affects males (it doesn't) and is simply a 'white man's disease'. While it is true that the allele responsible is found primarily in person's of northern european descent, is not the aim of such charitable acts to identify and aid suffering humans based upon their nature of being a fellow human in need, rather then a person of a certain ethnicity? How would the committee have responded in an alternative scenario, perhaps to a suggestion that they desist in raising money for the Sick Cell Society due to it's nature as a 'black man's disease'? As identified in the article, cystic fibrosis affects populations throughout the world rather then exclusively in the Western Hemisphere. I know there is almost always some kind of personal interest involved in charity "Celebrities only get involved in fundraising if a loved one gets cancer/whatever", but should we be playing this kind of politics?
Go, Go, EXCALIBUR! - Trent Varsity Swim Team 2009, better watch out for me Phelps!