Volume 94, Issue 79

Tuesday, February 13, 2001


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

It's quantity not quality!

Re: USC presidential candidate ratings, Feb. 9.

To the Editor:

As a student, at what I consider to be one of the best universities in Canada, I really have been quite disappointed with the quality of our student paper this year.

However, I don't wish to make a generalization saying its all bad, since there are some actual news stories that aren't just reprinted from other newspapers.

My real problem is with the Opinions section and pretty much all opinionated non-news articles. They are childish, rude, and only written for their shock value. It seems that The Gazette staff believes that writing a controversial piece just for the sake of being controversial is what journalists do for a living and at no point do they think of the people who they write about as anything more than words on a page.

Have fun with that when you're working for The National Inquirer.

The most recent turnoff for me was the University Students' Council presidential ratings. I am, of course, referring to the section which was written about someone who probably shouldn't have been running for president, but doesn't deserve to be publicly made fun of. I really don't think its right for anyone to be treated that way for any reason, let alone your reasons. I assume that other than the shock value thing I wrote about earlier, your only reason for treating him like that was to teach him a lesson and intimidate him into non-involvement and apathy.

Instead of pointing out people's shortcomings by insulting them, why not just state the problems and say some encouraging words on how they could be improved upon in the future?

Doug Chesterman
Engineering Science II

Analysis is shallow

Re: USC presidential candidate ratings, Feb. 9.

To the Editor:

Ah, The Gazette "Election Team" and their analysis of the candidates. How deep can we get?

Their wonderful correlation between candidate's commercial pizzazz and their ability to be an effective president was awe-inspiring.

Never before did I ever think that the two were related. But now, thanks to the Election Team, I know better.

And wait – let us not forget the cute comments about candidate Tin Maung Htoo. Equating his presidential efficacy with his command of English is a rallying cry for people out there. Oh, and that just beautifully sarcastic line: "...spent three years in a Burmese prison for fighting democracy; that's got to count for something," blew me right away!

Thank you Election Team for reminding me that substance doesn't matter, it's image that counts. I'll make sure that on election day I'll vote for the smoothest talking, best looking, best doing-this-for-my-resume guy out there!

Salpy Kelian
Biology II

Reader loves prez's great big toothy grin

Re: USC presidential elections

To the Editor:

During the past two weeks the presidential campaigns have been in full swing. I have been following the progress of all the candidates by going to forums and reading The Gazette.

While following the news, I have noticed several jabs and condescending remarks about Dave Braun's grin. What, may I ask, is so wrong with a smile?

Last year, I voted for Braun because his smile brightened a few of my days. Western tends to become a very impersonal place if you are simply going to class and returning home everyday. A distance forms between the individual and his or her university, a distance that should not exist in a school with as much potential as Western.

Braun gives out an amazing effort to shrink that gap with a firm hand shake and a good old-fashioned smile. Why is it so wrong that people know him for this simple, effective, physical trait?

With the majority of the student body not voting at Western, I do not think we are going to win students over with talk of "Budget" and "The Student Code of Conduct." If you asked a random student what those two things were, the majority of them would answer you with a blank face.

The way we are going to get Western students to vote is to get them interested in the candidates, to get them to like, and want to hear the candidates speak.

Jenny Scurfvie
Administrative and Commercial Studies II

Too many liberties?

Re: USC presidential elections

To the Editor:

As the student newspaper, your coverage of the election should be unbiased and present all candidates in an equal manner.

It is inappropriate for you to tell us who to vote for.

Your coverage has consistently highlighted forum candidates, whom I will call the "Braunians" (because they're all like Dave Braun). These candidates will do essentially the same thing as each other; the same thing as the previous council. Your coverage has focused on the "Braunians" (Braun, Lawless, Morgan, and Shortill) and even rated them similarly.

On more than one occasion, I have opened The Gazette to see an article focus on these candidates with only a few lines devoted to "non- Braunians."

In particular, your treatment of Tin Maung Htoo has been outrageous. When I saw your article on his life history, I was excited to see coverage of that nature. However, the article proceeded to butcher his story and somehow leaves the reader apathetic.

In your summary of candidates, you criticize Tin for having poor command of English. It is truly tragic to see you judging someone on the fact that English is their second language. Perhaps The Gazette needs to recognize the significant portion of Western's student population and faculty that speak English as a second language.

The fact that you make light of Tin's time in prison is also disturbing. I think that a published apology to Tin would be appropriate.

I will not heed your advice. Come election day, I will not vote for the "Braunians" and their pretty coloured t-shirts.

I encourage others to do the same.

Dylan Burger
Biology II

A complaint towards profs

To the Editor:

To the majority of my professors:

Why do you look so bored, angry, bitter and/or sad? I realize that people have personal problems and that we have the right to express ourselves (facially at least) in any way. It frightens me, though, to think that maybe, just maybe, what you teach is what has made you what you are. Are you so sick and tired of DNA and pollen that you can no longer teach with any passion?

Why do you rely so much on Power Point? Technology is important and I know that some things were meant to be displayed as fancy figures and tables. But, with all of the knowledge that you have to impart, why can't you communicate it by just speaking to me?

Why do you display overheads and then read from them for 40 out of the 50 minutes of a lecture? Don't you realize that I can read by myself? Teach me, do not read to me!

Just help me set higher standards.

Why do you tell me that it is not important/necessary to show up to class? Do you have any idea how that makes me feel like I am throwing my tuition away?

Finally, I'd like to thank those who have nurtured within me the learning process, the numerous textbooks that I have independently read at the library, and "my" microscope, petri dish, lab mice and bacteria.

Student teach thyself!

A. Gonzalez
Biology III

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