Volume 91, Issue 66

Tuesday, January 27, 1998



Looking at the big picture

Re: Referendum for buss pass, Jan.15

To the Editor:
It seems that a large number of students are opposed to the proposal for mandatory bus passes on the grounds that it is impractical or untimely due to tuition hikes. While these ideas are true, I am opposed to the mandatory bus pass for a much more important reason: it is immoral. So long as we accept that it is a noble but impractical idea, we will have no chance at opposing this decision.

In order to understand why this idea is wrong, let us first start with principles and take a look, not at a university of 26,000 students, but at the person you know best: yourself. As a child, you had an inspiring sense of ambition and you dreamt of the great achievements that would be yours and the career you wanted to hold: doctor, lawyer, CEO, movie star, professional athlete. You did not start out wanting hand-outs or subsidies, but instead you upheld the fundamental principle of life: that your life (including your money) belongs to you and to no one else. You wanted to be free to pursue any activities you chose, so long as you did not violate anyone else's rights. This is the principle you have forgotten, along with its implications: you should not sacrifice your interests to anyone else's, nor ask anyone to sacrifice their interests for you.

While proponents of the bus pass are quick to point out that the mandatory bus pass will be much less expensive than a regular bus pass, they (like most politicians) are guilty of evading the entire context: the reason it will be cheaper is the fact that the money from students not taking the bus will be sacrificed, taken as an undeserved subsidy for the benefit of students who are taking the bus.

The guiltiest party is not the USC or the proponents of the bus pass, but rather the opposite group: the students who realize that sacrifice (including mandatory bus passes) is wrong, but are unwilling to raise any opposition for fear of controversy or unpopularity. Your silence is taken as a moral sanction; it should not be given under any circumstances. As along as you accept the premise that your money belongs to everyone else and not to yourself, then the USC (along with the Canadian government) will continue to take your money for anything and everything any pressure group demands of them, covering it up with unintelligible claims of welfare and public good. This is not merely an issue of mandatory bus passes, but one that spans a much broader and more important context: your life. Voice your opinion against the mandatory bus pass and treat yourself with the pride you once had, not as the self-sacrificial animal that the USC would like you to be.

Paul Chivers
Science I

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998