Volume 92, Issue 38

Wednesday, November 11, 1998

thank you


Equal and open environment

Re: Not here, Oct. 28

To the Editor:

A couple of the points made by the VP-campus issues are in need of further discussion.

First, Mr. Hill's claim that an "estimated 10 per cent" of the student population is homosexual seems to me to be questionable. If there are well over two thousand gays and lesbians on campus, why has the only homosexual club at Western been deratified for lack of leadership and/or interest? I would like to know which source Mr. Hill is using when he refers to an "estimated 10 per cent."

Second, in his last sentence, he states that Mr. O'Neil's "remarks may be considered homophobic and, as a result, do not belong in an open and equal environment that Western strives towards creating." What a contradiction! On one hand, Mr. Hill claims to support "an open and equal environment" at Western, yet, in the same sentence, he warns that Patrick O'Neil's comments might be "considered homophobic" and "do not belong" at Western.

So which is it, Mr. Hill? Clearly, if all statements which you would deem to be "homophobic" do not belong in the public discourse at Western, you cannot be in favour of a truly "open and equal environment," can you?

No worries, Mr. Hill, I know a way around this little predicament: just make up a USC policy that says from now on, Western students will not be able to retain their right to freedom of expression. Problem solved! (Really, it should not be that hard to do – the Canadian Human Rights Commission restricts Canadians' right to free speech all the time. Why can't the USC do it at Western?)

Well, on second thought, your policy might be hard to implement, there is that messy "Charter of Rights and Freedoms" thing, you know. Perhaps you would prefer that every letter to the Editor of The Gazette first be re-routed to the USC gay, lesbian and bisexual issues commission to receive its blessing before being ruled suitable for public consumption?

I wonder, exactly how "open" is the environment that you want to see at Western, Mr. Hill?

Drew Houser
History III

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Copyright The Gazette 1998