Volume 94, Issue 53

Friday, December 1, 2000


OPINIONS

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

New theorem: politics + math = huh?


Re: Council erupts with Massive debate, Nov. 24.

To the Editor:

Luke Petrykowski's remark to the hard working, equally elected University Students' Council members is absolutely insulting and offensive.

I have a funny feeling Petrykowski is thinking about running for USC president again at the end of this year. A fair number of these people who you have just alienated are probably going to be re-elected. Most of them know quite a few people. That's partly why they got elected in the first place.

Now it's time for a math lesson: Roughly 10 per cent of the student body votes in a presidential election on an average year, right? OK so that's 2,000 people. There are 62 councillors on the USC. Let's add in everyone else affiliated with the council that you've managed to offend or insult and that gives us about 200 people. Now, were going to shoot low just for fun and say that these people each have 10 friends that vote.

Now, here comes our math. Take those 200 people and multiply them by 10 people each. And guess what? That gives us 2,000 people... the same number that vote in the presidential election.

What does that mean?

It's one of the dumbest political moves I've ever seen!

All that aside, I think Luke Petrykowski needs a serious reality check. He should come off that bloody high horse he and his ego have built. And he should start, as Scott Belton brilliantly put it, "working with the team."

Paul Yeoman
Honours Politics II




Lost soul looking for whiners to shut up


To the Editor:

"What's going on in my life?" A question I find myself asking over and over to my buddies, in a desperate search for advice. When agitated I might say, "What's going on in my life?" only to the reply of, "well I just don't know."

Speaking as a first-year student and an Ottawa native, this entire Western thing is very strange and new to me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy trying new things. But it is certain observations of university life that upset me and I need to ask that ever so famous question.

My current qualm is regarding the attitude of first-year students mainly, but it does apply to others. I want to know why so many people must whine and complain about work and the intensity of work that they are given.

This confuses me, why can't anyone just bite the bullet and do it? You knew what you were getting into when you came here, didn't you?

When you have something you've got to do, instead of heading over to your neighbour and complaining about it, just do it.

I've noticed this a bit previously, but not to the degree that I notice it here. I think the reason for this, is that I can view all aspects of other people's lives, not just academic.

This is my plea and beckon-call for people to stop whining about mid-terms, finals and heading home to daddy and just deal with the problem at hand.

Go home and eat some turkey. (Credit to Greg Ablett, "What's going on in my life?")

Derek Rhodenizer
History I




Writer labels N'SYNC debate as "ludicrous"


Re: Rock star status questioned, Nov. 17.

To the Editor:

It's a tragedy. For every pale-faced, acne-ridden, Morrissey-loving, indie-music listening musical "elitist," there's a wholesome yet na•ve, vain and tone-deaf listener with a life-size colour cardboard cutout of Ricky Martin in their bed.

The world is filled with these two groups and to those who fall into neither category. The argument of whether N'SYNC are "rock stars," have "raw talent" or have hair like Kim Mitchell is simply ludicrous.

They derive such massive revenue for the industry and it's the bands that don't sell 2.5 million copies in one weekend that benefit from it. There's enough money now so bands that do not sell boatloads of records have the luxury to take 2-4 years to record an album with today's hottest new uber-producer and your latest version of Pro Tools.

In an industry where such money exists and the image of all is bands completely bastardized, who's the rock star now?

Radiohead? I think not.

As for N'SYNC's "raw talent," this is by far the most inane comment on music I have ever heard. For a band that is swallowed, digested and spit up through the tireless hype machine, "raw talent" is the last thing that will be left. What will be left is five "talented, young men" who invariably will believe their own publicity and will be blown into New Kids on the Block-esque obscurity.

It's disturbing to read these arguments in The Gazette and realize that some people may actually believe them.

But for God's sake – don't say they have "raw talent!"

And don't knock Kim Mitchell. He's only doing his rock and roll duty. At least it's far better than the 15,000 of you who went to the ACC to see Jon Bon Jovi this Monday.

Terence Leung
Economics III




Sprint and Bell the same, says reader


Re: Students angry as Bell changes rate without notice, Nov. 29.

To the Editor:

I must admit I got a bit of a chuckle when I read the article regarding Bell Canada changing the rates on their $20 plan. My chuckle was not directed to all the students who got ripped off, but rather by the inference that switching to Sprint Canada is going to somehow solve the problem.

I feel I must enlighten you. The exact same thing happened to me with Sprint Canada when I attended Western last year. I had a $20 day time calling plan that was capped at 800 minutes. For every minute after that, the rate was 10 cents per minute.

Well, much to my chagrin, one day a bill shows up for $100 and much to my surprise, Sprint had started charging 10 cents a minute after 200 minutes!

There must have been a mistake, I thought.

I phoned them and they informed me that they had changed the plan. They also mentioned that I should have received something in the mail about the rate change.

Guess what?

I never received anything about this rate change – nada. After bickering for weeks, I finally got the bill reduced and my relationship with Sprint Canada came to an end.

I told all my friends and family never to use Sprint Canada and decided to change to Bell Canada because it was my belief they would never pull anything like that.

Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Paul Gurney
BSc. Computer Science '00




Education should be Crown controlled


Re: We hate to admit it, but..., Nov. 29.

To the Editor:

I was very dismayed to read The Gazette's editorial regarding private universities. The editorial suggests that the "concept must be discussed further" and implies that critics have not considered "all possibilities."

In fact, the concept has been discussed and researched endlessly. Critics have not arrived at their conclusions haphazardly.

Not only students are troubled by the introduction of private, especially for-profit, universities in Ontario. Many associations of educators, parents, and citizens have also assessed and publicly denounced the Ontario government's Bill 132.

Sentiment against private universities is rooted not in fear, but in historical examples and careful analysis. The Gazette's editorial, on the other hand, is based on spurious comparisons and elitist rhetoric.

The "private system of education" at the secondary school level is absolutely unlike the system being introduced at the post-secondary level. Bill 132 will permit the establishment of private, for-profit, degree-granting universities. In other words, private universities will result in enormous tuition fees and cash-hungry shareholders.

Producing profits, not educated citizens, will be the goal.

To meet the challenges of higher student enrollment, expanding choice, and putting Canadian institutions on the international map, governments should be re-investing in our existing system of public, post-secondary education. That means restoring the $400 million cut by Ontario in 1996-97 and the $5.2 billion cut by Ottawa since 1993.

Two-tiered education is not the solution. Only a publicly funded and regulated system of post-secondary education will ensure access for every willing and qualified student. And only a public system will guarantee democratic control and decision-making within our institutions.

Richard Telfer
MA Sociology III
Ontario Constituency Coordinator
Canadian Federation of Students




His point makes sense, but...


Re: When will girls "work it?", Nov. 29.

To the Editor:

Michael Gilmour made some interesting points about Ladies' Night held at The Wave recently, most of which I agreed with.

Firstly, Western students are adults and they can make their own decisions regarding whether or not to attend such a show. For those who are uncomfortable with the idea or have objections to it, there is a simple solution – don't go.

Secondly, he suggested that criticism would have been much more forth coming had the strippers been female. I agree with this also, though there is no reason for it – if you object, don't go. I would neither attend these shows, nor condemn them. People have the right to make their own decisions about what kind of entertainment they wish to view.

However, I was appalled by Mr. Gilmour's two concluding paragraphs. In them, he used such terms as "jiggle-fest" and "working it for daddy." Where does he get the audacity to speak like this?

Women, whether they are strippers or not, are not objects, and deserve more respect than Gilmour is giving them. I am astounded that a third-year university student doesn't seem to have more maturity and common sense than what he has displayed thus far.

Jennifer Lamb
Biology I




Comic mocks Christian ethos


Re: Corroded Disorder, Nov. 29.

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to express my disappointment with the comic Corroded Disorder which ran in The Gazette on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2000.

Regrettably, in this age of "political correctness," it seems that Christianity is the one group who it is okay to belittle, if not totally disregard.

Christians recognize Jesus as being both fully human and fully divine. Thus, as we enter into the Season of Advent, when Christians begin their immediate preparation for the Feast of Christmas and the more remote preparation for Christ's return in glory, it is insulting to both believers and to God, to depict the one who we hold to be the Messiah, crowned with thorns and offering a benediction, as being a simple amalgam of "cheddar, gouda, mozzarella and parmesan."

My hope would be that on a campus filled with some of the world's brightest young minds, a comic could be created which would be entertaining, appropriate and respectful to the various bodies represented on campus. As of late, this has been sorely lacking.

Father Michael Bechard
R.C. Chaplain
UWO/King's College




If you disagree, don't attend it


Re: Strip show helps Western in no way, Nov. 29.

To the Editor:

It's my first year at Western and although I didn't attend Ladies' Night, I think that it was a great idea!

The fact of the matter is, sex sells. How many people haven't heard that? I know everyone is open to their own opinion. But honestly, everywhere you look, there is some sort of sexual content involved, like billboards, television commercials and newspapers.

Ladies' Night at The Wave was an innovative and exciting way for them to make a profit. Judging by the outcome, it was a good night's profit, too. It gave the gals a chance to do something a little out of the ordinary without having to travel hours to get there.

As for Mr. Gilmour's letter, I agree totally. Men should also be given this opportunity, especially since we are always saying the sexes are equal. Kudos to you for pointing that out!

Much like the Sue Johanson episode, if you don't agree with something and you believe it is morally wrong or against your beliefs, then don't do it!

It is YOUR choice, YOUR option, but just because some of us don't agree with the event, doesn't mean it should be forgotten, condemned and never done or thought of again!

If The Wave held another, I know that I'd go!

Jen Alexander
Science I



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