Volume 92, Issue 49

Tuesday, December 1, 1998

disappointment


OPINIONS
 

A nice place to sit around and talk

Re: Anti-consumerism not welcomed, Nov. 25

To the Editor:

I thank the University Students' Council for unintentionally bringing the importance of Buy Nothing Day to my attention.

I remember my shock when I first walked into the University Community Centre in Sept. 1997. I was confronted with white walls, fluorescent lights, inadequate seating, an institutional mall-like atmosphere and lots and lots of shops.

At the two previous schools I attended (Waterloo and Dalhousie), the student centres were places for people to meet and talk, study, advance a cause, relax in comfortable seating without having to buy anything and engage in a healthy debate about – say, the dangers of consumerism. This is not the case at Western.

Almost every cent spent at the UCC comes from the pockets of Western students, so, indirectly, we pay for the merchants to be there and, therefore, are the ones who keep fees down.

So rethink your allegiances. Does the USC, as Peter Hill sees it, "owe it to the vendors to provide a fair commercial environment" or owe it to the students to provide a community centre which enriches the educational and social experience of Western students? Western is, after all, a public institution and should resist aligning itself with corporate interests.

I doubt that you really think a "Buy Nothing" banner will have any affect on sales. You just don't like what the group has to say.

In any case, I don't think the USC can ban pamphlets from being handed out anywhere on campus, so I fail to see the compromise the members of the USC are so fond of referring to.

Andrea Moe
PhD Political Science II



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Copyright The Gazette 1998