Volume 90, Issue 88

Wednesday, March 12, 1997



Paper's editorial's abuse of power?

Re: Virtually nothing?, Mar. 6

To the Editor:

It is with disbelief that I write my second letter in as many days. My first letter questioned the method and the concept of an editorial urging the USC to vote against a sit-in to protest tuition hikes, on the basis that sit-ins are ineffective and impolite. Well, I guess The Gazette got my letter because the day after, the editorial criticized the USC's decision to stage a virtual sit-in.

While the editorial from the day before preached debate and decorum, the one on the day after denounces the USC when it voted to uphold these very principles. The editorial claims that the USC is "whimping out from a real protest," opting for "a virtual cop-out," and suggests a virtual sit-in "may not be overly effective."

I am at a loss as to how to even bother making my point, as The Gazette had inadvertently made it for me. The contradiction between these two editorials is so clear, and the apparent confusion on The Gazette editorial board can only be conceived as a cry for help. Does this throw into question all of The Gazette's previous editorials? How does the reader know which ones to believe? Will The Gazette recommend Ryan Parks for USC president one day, and the next day someone else?

I urge The Gazette to become more consistent and responsible with its editorials. An editorial from the largest student newspaper on campus (and The Gazette would believe, most prominent student newspaper in Canada) carries with it the responsibility not to merely print a stream of consciousness from whoever happens to be near the computer at deadline time. If on some days an editorial is too hard to think of, simply leave the spot blank rather than attempt to feed students mindless chatter. Editorials are powerful tools, but to use them merely to devalue every action on campus, good or bad, is an abuse of power. Western is often viewed as apathetic, and it is not surprising given that the main student voice is confused, contradictory and uniformly negative.

Ormonde Benson
M.E. Science

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997