Volume 91, Issue 72

Thursday, February 5, 1998

Smarties


OPINIONS
 

Apathy runs rampant

Re: Students supported in tuition rally, Jan.29

To the Editor:
The National Day of Action came and went here at the University of Western Ontario. About 200 students (compared to 400 in 1995) came out to the chilly Concrete Beach to whisper their protests and chant their slogans between eating free hot-dogs and cocoa. But the treat of the two-hour rally was not the food. Instead, it was when Paul Davenport, king of the cuts as president of UWOwe, passed the buck on up to the provincial and federal governments. Did others in the dwindling crowd wonder how other schools manage to keep their prices significantly lower than ours?

Near the end of the rally, the president of the University Students' Council commented that 200 people at the rally was "a good turnout for Western." After being at Western for three years, I too, have noticed the unconscious nature of the students and admit that this rally was is a step up from last year's 'virtual sit-in protest,' whereby students could lobby the president of the university via email.

However, in a rally which is designed to motivate and boost the morale of students, to create solidarity among those who suffer from the cuts, why bring in the reaper to discuss how his hand is being forced by chain-saw Mike and feds. Why not instead put those energies into better organization ahead of time. For example, why not advertise the rally in advance, in an attempt to reach out to students across campus – undergrads in particular, not just graduate students (although it was sponsored by the Society of Graduate Students) to participate and unite under this one issue – something that was neglected by the organizers.

Power in numbers rings true here at Western. We have the potential as a large student body to make ourselves heard, but if we do not respond, we are giving them the power of our numbers to be used against us both financially and politically.

Melissa Godwaldt
Anthropology III



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Copyright The Gazette 1998