Volume 94, Issue 26

Tuesday, October 17, 2000


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Reader says USC vision still myopic

Re: Braun says USC vision needs focus, Oct 12.

To the Editor:

The Gazette recently reported that Dave Braun, USC president, "will assist in lobbying other progressive universities to enter the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Western's national lobby group."

There are at least three problems with this statement.

First, one would hope the USC would spend less time lobbying other student unions and more time lobbying the government.

Second, in case Mr. Braun didn't know, all of the "progressive" student unions already have their own national lobby organization, the Canadian Federation of Students – the largest organization of its kind in Canada.

Finally, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is not Western's national lobby group. It is the USC's national lobby group. The Society of Graduate Students, also at Western, is Local 47 of the Canadian Federation of Students.

I'm not convinced the USC is any more focused than it was since I arrived on this campus six years ago. It still resembles a fraternity, intent on networking and career-building.

Richard Telfer
MA Sociology III

Ed. cartoon disgusting

Re: Editorial cartoon, Oct 5.

To the Editor:

I know abortion is a very touchy subject and for many it seems like there is no right answer. Both sides of the debate have such catchy slogans that it makes you think if you disagree with either, you are wrong.

Pro choice; the right for a woman to choose what should happen to her body, I agree. Pro life; the right to live, not killing an innocent baby, I agree.

Being Catholic, I side more with the pro life argument, to saying that pro choice is bad, but that a responsible choice can be made nine months earlier.

I know about the "what if's" of rape and all that. I can honestly say that if I got pregnant today I would be very troubled as to what to do, but there is where my problem with the comic comes in. I can guarantee I would not be performing a self-induced abortion in my closet with a coat hanger. Not only is that disgusting, but I would argue it is also unthinkable.

Now I must say I'm not so sided as to not see the point Arnold was trying to make. It is valid. Protestors are very intimidating and may turn some young girls in other directions. I think the path he took was unnecessary and very ill humoured.

Maybe you solve all your problems that stem from unprotected sex in your closet with a blunt tool, but let's hope with counselling and other options available, you are the only one.

Erin McDevitt
Anthropology III

Coverage a let-down

To the Editor:

I was disappointed at the lack of coverage by The Gazette of the clashes that occurred throughout last week in the occupied territories of Palestine in the Middle East.

Speaking with many students, almost most of them hadn't a clue of the Arab-Israeli conflict that has erupted.

There was a petition going around against the violent measures taken by the Israeli army against demonstrators. There was a lack of response by the Western community I thought.

Until genuine peace is established, we must pray and hope for justice for all those who have been oppressed.

Leena Ibrahim
Dentistry I

Give peace a chance

Re: Demonstrations offend some, Oct 13.

To the Editor:

The plight of the Arab people in Canada has fallen upon deaf ears. Unfortunately, because of distortions perpetuated by the media, many people assume Arabs to be terrorists and in some way deserving of military excessiveness.

The purpose of the demonstration in this sense, I believe, was to inform the masses that Arabs too have been victims and subject to great suffering at the hands of the Israeli military. Some of this suffering was indeed malicious and unnecessary.

I do not believe the intention was to be one of promoting hatred on campus. Conversely, I believe it was to raise sympathy for the many lives lost in an inequitable battle of stones and home-made concoctions against military weaponry.

Had Glick attended any of last weeks' protests, he would have witnessed silent protests for peace and like-minded petitions for the same. It is unfair for him to assume that one quoted statement is the mandate behind MSA activities.

As Arabs on campus, we will continue in our quest to raise awareness and sympathy for the human lives lost and the human rights violations incurred. If readers like Glick would lower their defenses for a moment, they might realize that our objectives are all the same.

We all strive for peace.

Rema El-Tawil
Classical Studies III

Found: one used condom

To the Editor:

I am a part-time student and an occasional Gazette reader. I understand there is an ongoing concern on campus about garbage.

Let me add my experience.

Last Saturday, I parked in the library lot to escort my daughter into the University Community Centre pool. My young son, who, as usual was lagging behind us, suddenly exclaimed: "Look Mom, I found a balloon!"

I turned around and he had a used condom in his little hand.

As if this blatant disregard for the safety of others was not enough, I was further disgusted as I headed over to the UCC, where all sorts of paper, food wrappers and other garbage had blown up against the library steps. Not a pleasant sight.

Let's hope the problem is resolved soon.

Janette Baillie
English IV

Prof.illustrates something worth praying for

Re: Jewish Students Union peace prayer vigil, Oct 13.

To the Editor:

On the face of it, the "peace prayer vigil" staged by the Jewish Students Union seems an eminently nonpartisan and admirable response to the current violence in the Mideast.

And yet it is important to take note of what an abstract emphasis on peace in the Mideast – which is all too commonly the take on Palestine promoted by the Western press – does and does not do.

What it does is suggest that the conflict is driven mainly by mutual hostility on the part of two groups with more or less equal resources, and would end if these two groups started liking or at least respecting each other more.

What it does not do is take account of the tremendous power imbalance between oppressor and oppressed in this case, that is, between the power of a government that commands one of the most powerful military forces in the world and the lack of power of an oppressed people whose major military resource is an endless supply of rocks.

Then too it is an emphasis that overlooks the fact of oppression itself, of an entire people who have for 50 years born the brunt of military and police assaults on civilian populations that anywhere else in the world would be called "ethnic cleansing," and who have had to live daily under social arrangements (rarely described in the West but very real to the Palestinians who experience them) that anywhere else in the world would be called apartheid.

And speaking of apartheid, recall that when the black population of South Africa was struggling to end apartheid, the emphasis in the Western press was not on peace. It was on wishing them well in their struggle to secure control over their own future.

An end to violence in the Middle East?

Simply grant to the Palestinians the same rights that we were and are willing to grant to oppressed peoples in South Africa, Serbia, Kosovo and everywhere else in the world except (it seems) Palestine.

Now that is something worth praying for.

Professor Michael P. Carroll

Student has mad parking skills

To the Editor:

It has come to my attention that a number of students who occasionally drive to school expect to simply pay $3 and enter the student parking lots.

Much to their dismay (and lack of observational skills) they soon realize that their money will not lift up the gate.

Imagine that, the $3 visitor parking which lasts from 4pm to 7am doesn't work at 10 minutes to eight in the morning!

To those of you who are trying to get into the already full student parking lots by these means, please stop. It is an exact science to be able to time your drive from home in the morning rush hour, to get to class exactly on time without sacrificing sleep.

Spending 10 minutes waiting for someone to realize that they can't pay to get into the parking lot, negates all of my "mad timing" skills and has made me late for class numerous times.

Ryan Dunne
Hons. Biological & Environmental Science III

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