Volume 90, Issue 85

Thursday, March 06, 1997



Off the cuff: The quest for harmony

By Sean Burges
Gazette Staff

One need only watch the nightly news to see the impact that students and student media have on changing the political and social fabric of the nations that they live in. Unlike the cases of China and Yugoslavia, the problem which The Gazette has faced recently is not a battle against an oppressive political regime, but a quieter, more important fight against racial and religious attitudes – attitudes which most students would simply wish away. Our foreign colleagues struggling against political oppression must constantly combat censorship of their publications. The Gazette does not face this difficulty. To ensure this freedom, however, there are two things which must happen.

First, Gazette editors and student minority leaders should sit down together, get to know each other personally, and talk about the concerns and procedures of their respective organizations. Second, these talks should be directed towards the goal of improving The Gazette's ability to increase our awareness of each other's cultures and challenges.

What is published in the pages of The Gazette is not going to eliminate the problem of discrimination overnight. However, we should take a note from our colleagues in emerging democracies. Elites listen to students because they realize that today's students are tomorrow's leaders. By not engaging in acrimonious debate and invective, but, instead, resolving such conflicts in a manner which creates the trust and understanding which obviates the need for editorial oversight committees and other forms of censorship, the parties involved in this dispute can send a clear message to today's leaders on behalf of the greater Western student body. The leaders of tomorrow are bound and determined to make the dream of equality a reality.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997