Volume 91, Issue 81

Wednesday, March 4, 1998



Double for drivers

Re: Students hop on the bus, Feb.13 and resulting letters

To the Editor:
Although the issue was voted on and passed, there still seems to be some issues regarding the LTC pass that seem to be causing tension between the opposing factions. Now, even though I voted for a losing cause, I'm not writing this in an ill-spirited manner. Instead, I want to resolve a couple of things and perhaps suggest a workable middle ground.

Now, when I think of a "spoiled rich kid," I think of someone whose tuition and automobile are provided for them by their parents. And if this is the case, then the extra $75 would be coming out of their parents' pockets and not their own. This, then, would leave the "spoiled rich kids" with nothing to complain about. Because of this, it is my belief that the drivers who are complaining about the extra $75 are in some way fiscally responsible for either their own car, or for their own tuition, or, as I am, for their own car and tuition. And, unlike what some people may think, owning a car is not cheap; in fact, once the cost of the car, the gasoline, the maintenance, the insurance and the parking are considered, operating a car is much more expensive than taking a bus. So, whether or not these expenses are coupled with the cost of tuition, any extra expense does have a detrimental effect.

I would like to say that for many people, not driving isn't an option. For some, it's location, for others it's work and for yet others, it's family, but whatever the reason there are many students with extra-curricular responsibilities that require them having a car.

Despite these facts, some would still say that those with cars are greedy for not wanting to subsidize students that take the bus. Some students can say that they already subsidize these other students via property tax. Now, I'm not sure if part-time/evening students are going to pay this extra $75, but if they are it must be understood that many of these students own property in London. And included in this student/property-owner category are, like myself, many full-time mature students. And the truth is that if one owns a house, they pay property tax, from which the LTC receives partial funding. Therefore, although perhaps not numerous, there will be students subsidizing other students twice over.

One justification that I've heard for the LTC pass leads into what I feel is the solution for this situation. This justification, as it was printed in a letter to The Gazette on Feb. 19, is that "student fees include many services that go unused and untouched by many." I suppose the conclusion to this would be "so paying for one more thing that you won't use shouldn't matter." This reasoning is equivalent to saying, "Because part of your tuition is being wasted this year, it shouldn't bother you to pay an extra 10 per cent next year also to be wasted." I'm sure that nobody, even those using this justification, can believe it once viewed in this manner.

Robert Cranford
Hons. Philosophy II

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998