Volume 91, Issue 71

Wednesday, February 4, 1998

sock it


Morality redefined

Re: Looking at the big picture, Jan.23

To the Editor:
Paul Chivers urged us to consider the "immorality" of the mandatory bus pass proposal. While the author would have you believe that his view of morality is universal and immutable, I believe that it is important to point out that his "moral" argument is premised on a particular world-view that happens to be in vogue in less progressive political circles.

Chivers posits a view of society (also expressed by Margaret Thatcher in her contention that "there is no society") that reduces it to a mere congregation of anomic and rugged individualists. It is apparent that Chivers would have us believe that if he had been able to express himself, he would have valiantly refused his mother's teat and all other unearned manifestations of his parents' love and affection, for handouts offend his sense of self-worth. One can also fairly make the assumption that other costs shared by the student body, including the funding of First Nations Services and the cost of making the campus more accessible to the physically disabled, are also "immoral." If you do not share his view of society, you probably support the pass proposal. However, if you are swayed by neither "moral" argument, I urge those who have witnessed the explosive growth in tuition to ask the following question: has the quality of your education improved? Do class size and other indicators of educational quality reflect the increase? I suggest that the quality of a Western B.A. has not rose concomitantly with the cost of tuition. Therefore, the $70 to $80 that may be added to your fee bill next year just may be the only return on your tuition increase in 1998.

Allan Burge
MA Political Science II

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Copyright The Gazette 1998