Volume 94, Issue 69

Thursday, January 25, 2001


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Gazette guilty of "tabloid journalism"?

Re: Something's rotten in Denmark, Jan. 24.

To the Editor:

After five years in student politics, at many different levels, there are very few people who are as cynical of the bureaucratic process as I am.

However, even I am speechless with disgust at the level of shoddy tabloid journalism to which The Gazette has sunk.

While I understand Wherry's disillusionment at the state of student politics, I feel that his comments on the "rumor and innuendo of the presidential elections" and his claim that "elitist sentiment has never been stronger" are unjustified.

There are those who stoop to levels of negative campaigning and there indeed exists elitist segments within the University Students' Council. However, I think you have generalized the whole organization in your last two columns regarding the USC presidential elections. I also believe you have expressed complete disregard for the democratic process, and this is both careless and dangerous as it invites students to be apathetic.

While the USC has its faults, and makes mistakes often in assessing the needs of the students, it has not wholly ignored them.

They recently began a food bank to serve needy students, ran a Christmas party to aid special needs children, won a battle on the issue of the Student Code of Conduct, have represented post-secondary platforms within the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. The USC also convened an Ad Hoc committee to report on voting structure and stabilized Orientation week.

My first question is what has The Gazette ever done to make the students interested in issues? Where were you when some of the aforementioned events took place? I saw no articles on the Christmas party, the food bank, or CASA campaigning on campus. Even your recent article "Students won't get VP elections vote" seemed one-sided, in that it did not fairly reveal obvious inherent flaws of the motion.

I, of all people, know the USC's faults and as an elected representative, I will work tirelessly to rectify them. But the day that The Gazette uses its sacred right and privilege to inform the general population of events relevant to them objectively and fairly, is when students will be able to hold their representatives accountable in an educated manner.

What the USC needs is constructive criticism, not careless condemnation. I have spent five years hearing The Gazette claim their right of editorial autonomy and for every one of those five years, the students of this university have not been given the courtesy of editorial integrity.

Prabhu Hariharan
USC Business Councillor

Bill 137 will give Ontarians more choice

Re: Private licensing should raise public concern, Jan. 24.

To the Editor:

Privatizing driver testing is a step in the right direction. There were, however, concerns voiced with regards to privacy and regulation of safety.

Regulation of safety need not be a concern. If one of these privatized businesses passed too many poor drivers, more drivers would get into car accidents and possibly die, thus lowering the amount of customers available. It would not be advantageous for a business to do such a thing. If it did, it would no doubt go out of business.

Privatization introduces competition into an environment where previously none existed. This would allow only the best of companies to thrive and thus provide the fastest and safest service.

As far as privacy is concerned, a business would gain no advantage by selling personal information. If this happened, as it happens now, the fake ID would eventually be discovered and traced back to the business which would damper its image.

Personal information is transferred all the time.

Credit card companies have as much personal information as does the Ministry of Transportation and there are safety mechanisms in place if your card gets stolen. The same scenario can be applied to driver testing. If regular checks on ID were done properly, fake IDs and other personal information would be found and dealt with accordingly. Corruption is present in every situation. If an employee was found to have sold someone's ID, he would be fired. With current unions in place, there is no doubt, protection for such a criminal.

People think businesses are untrustworthy. Government is no better and the ironic thing is that everyone knows it. People always say "you can never trust a politician." It's time we stop trusting politicians and start trusting ourselves because in the end, if Bill 137 passes, we will have the one thing we don't have now – choice.

Adrian Koziak
Science II

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