Volume 92, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 5, 1999


Editorial Board 1998-99

Tuition AID

Editorial Cartoon

Tuition AID

Rally behind the cause! Fight for what you believe in! Bore yourself to tears!

Unfortunately for the Western community, an important rally was held yesterday to educate people about educational issues – but hardly anyone showed up. Surprised? No one should be.

The Community Coalition for Accessible Education, a coalition of various student lobby and community groups, came together and decided to do something about skyrocketing tuition. Good for them. The problem lies in the methods which were used in order to further this cause. It has been proven many times on this campus that the basic University Community Centre rally is ineffective.

All students are not necessarily apathetic, they just see little merit in attending a long and extremely dull excuse for individuals to stand on a pedestal and complain. In fact, the amount of long-winded babble which went on at yesterday's sparsely attended affair was not merely boring to listen to – it was painful.

No matter what the cause, issue or concern, a well organized rally in today's culture needs some window dressing. The most successful causes in recent years have aimed to simultaneously educate and entertain. By making the experience as excruciatingly uninviting as yesterday's rally, individuals can't help but turn away from a cause they might otherwise try to support.

Why not properly advertise a special outdoor concert with some bands and/or DJs, creating a festive mood. Meanwhile, pamphlets can be handed out, banners can be erected and speakers can truly rally the crowd in between the entertainment.

While this may seem like attracting a crowd on false pretenses, this is exactly how some of the most successful causes have gained support. On a significantly larger scale, 1984's Band Aid provided entertainment, protest and support in one informative package. Amnesty International and the Milarepa Foundation for Tibetan freedom are just a few of the other causes which have used a variation of this idea with tremendous results.

It may take a little more planning and preparation, but with some dedication and commitment to promotion, it can easily be pulled off at a relatively small cost.

And this is just one of many possible ideas to get people out to rallies, encourage them to enjoy themselves and hopefully learn more about a cause they may or may not choose to support. After all, isn't that the point of a rally?

While it is true many may attend for the express purpose of enjoying the provided entertainment, at least the event is placing people in a position where they have potential to learn about the issues affecting them.

That's got to be better than a handful of "rallyers" doing their damnedest not to fall asleep.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999