Volume 91, Issue 53

Tuesday, December 2, 1997



A little miffed?

Re: EPC takes students to the cleaners, Nov. 21

To the Editor:

As a proud volunteer for the Education Party of Canada, I have, until now, remained silent about the name-calling and misinformed representations of our effort to bring important student issues to the forefront of debate and discussion. I remained silent because I honestly believed university students, as intelligent people, would be able to look past the sensationalized rhetoric of the partisan party clubs on campus. I hoped people would understand that we gave up hours of our time to promote a campaign which had nothing but the best interests of students in mind.

Well, I was obviously seriously disillusioned, because even The Gazette has been sucked in by certain students who continue to criticize without understanding. I wonder, was The Gazette at the same town hall meeting that I attended? It seems The Gazette only heard the questions and comments made by partisan party members whose main purpose, it seemed, was to promote their own party affiliations and avoid the issue the meeting was supposed to address: education. In fact, the only person to speak who was not affiliated with a political party or the USC was a first- year student who claimed that she voted for Mike Rubinoff because he addressed her high school and he stood for educational issues which concerned her. I guess The Gazette chose to ignore this voice because it didn't serve their oh-so-clever mission to slam the USC for actually trying to get something done. Heaven forbid.

Yes, valid questions were raised about the $13,000 the USC donated to the EPC. However, The Gazette failed to mention the justification for this donation was that it was democratically voted upon by over 50 constituent councillors AND that the money came from funds particularly allocated to these sort of lobbying efforts. The Gazette also failed to mention the $1,800 in private donations, some even coming from the Rubinoff and Parks' families, which more than covered any volunteer appreciation efforts.

The Gazette missed the point. The EPC's point was to work with other parties to raise issues that had failed to be addressed at a federal level. The very same people who slammed the EPC's initiatives are now agreeing to work with the EPC and have even requested policy documents.

The Gazette chose to report on dry-cleaning costs instead of educational issues. (These costs, by the way, must be reported. It is the law. I guess The Gazette's lack of knowledge about campaign procedures is evident here). So, while The Gazette article may say things, their implied meaning is clear:

1. People must not simply volunteer for a cause, they must be martyrs for it.

2. Balanced reporting is not necessary because no one really reads anything anyway, including policy documents.

3. Educational issues are less important than a scandalous article and cartoon about how each student's 67 cents was spent.

4. The power of language is greatly underestimated. It doesn't matter what the words are as long as they are loud.

Well Gazette, I've got a word for you: GARBAGE.

Kelly Howlett
English IV

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998