Volume 93, Issue 24

Wednesday, October 13, 1999


Saugeen no longer a democracy

Suspensions mean a lot less cash

Envious of Western's school spirit

The absolute last word on clubs week

Who's running this show?

The absolute last word on clubs week

Re: "Clubs week lacks colour" Sept. 23

To the Editor:

I have been pleased by the amount of interest shown in discussing extra-curricular groups and clubs at Western, as presented by The Gazette and its contributors.

I have also, however, been concerned with the absence of a point of view stressing the importance of diversity and acceptance of such groups, especially in light of what might be a vital lack of information about what each group represents.

Although I have been undecided on how best to respond to certain columns and letters published during the first month of school, I resolved this question thanks to the letter written by Kate Kristoff, who intelligently questioned the validity of public, or USC, support of what she terms segregated clubs.

Ms. Kristoff articulates an important side of one debate on group status by noting that any means of dividing a society may take away from the efforts of, for example, the multi-cultural movement, or equal gender-rights lobbies.

According to our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, groups MUST be allowed to form and it is this very liberal attitude that will foster a true Canadian, multi-cultural and equality-seeking culture.

We cannot deny the tendency of people wanting to join groups. I feel that a sense of belonging is part of basic human nature and this is diminished by relegating all people to one large homogeneous group.

It is and should be a crime to outlaw a religious group from choosing to associate with its members on campus, or a men's group, or a women's group, or even an "anti-conformity club" as was suggested earlier.

Such a view can cause conflict. What of groups that exist not to form benign culture-enriching societies, but merely to form a clique? I suggest that these groups are not as closed as we think.

I further suggest that it is our responsibility, especially if we choose to contribute to The Gazette forum, to truly investigate who these groups are and what they really do, rather than speculate based on rumour.

I think many would be pleased to learn that they are welcome to join the Jewish Students Union, the Indo-Canadian Students Association, a fraternity or a sorority, if they merely approach those groups and ask. To translate fear of asking into criticism of these groups is also a questionably exercised right.

Granted we all have the freedom to express ourselves, but should we do this at the expense of others? Can we, for example, ignore journalistic responsibility as writers? Is it not our duty as university students to challenge every view we have by acquiring new information?

We must be careful and observant in our analysis of groups at Western and I think the best way to do this, is to JOIN ONE!

Graham A. Singh
Political Science IV
Huron College

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Copyright The Gazette 1999