Volume 94, Issue 90

Tuesday, March 13, 2001


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Those crazy "PostDogs" never learn

Re: Bank boss says PhD deficiency disturbing, Mar. 6.

To the Editor:

As a wife of a PhD, I fully understand that "the demand far exceeds the supply." Just check the list of PhDs at Western, most of those highly educated brains are from China, Iran, etc., instead of Canada.

The reason? Simple: A PhD is one of the poorest jobs in the Canadian education system! The average salary is far below the Canadian average income line. But working more than 12 hours a day, plus weekends, is just a normal life for those PhDs.

At the same time, a PhD candidate can't be treated equally as other staff on campus, so they don't enjoy the same kind of medical care as other staff. No wonder PhDs are always kidding themselves as PostDogs!

Wei Hu
Department of Computer Science

Hooliganism, but no futba?

To the Editor:

This is a message directed at the University College hill afternoon Christian choir.

I am the hooligan that hollered defamatory remarks about you spreading your propaganda and I apologize for my remarks. I was wrong. I truly support your rights to free speech and would not accept them being taken away. On my part, it was a loss of control.

The reason for my outburst was that as a former Christian, I resent the fact that I sometimes feel like there is something missing in my life, due to the fact that I got conditioned to be somewhat dependent on my faith.

But in my own defence, when on a typical walk to school, I have to hear a song that says the word "Jesus" in excess of 40 time and;.on that same walk, I have to see the stickers that have been littered across campus saying "YOU NEED JESUS NOW," I feel my own inner-strength suffers.

I truly see these Christian acts of publicly spreading gospel as attacks on my sometimes shaky self-affirming cognitive balance (for lack of a better term). I would very much appreciate hearing the fantastic messages that the Christian religion has to offer such as "we love you" or even "Jesus loves you." These are much healthier and supportive slogans than "YOU NEED JESUS NOW."

Donald MacOdrum
Electrical/Computer Engineering IV

Huh huh, you said "caucus"

To the Editor:

I am extremely impressed at the extraordinary response this year's First-Year Student's Caucus Report has generated.

As the USC's First-Year Student's Commissioner, I had the great privilege of working with the caucus in producing this report. Last year's release was the first of its kind and although it too received both praise and criticism, it certainly did not inspire the level of interest and action this year's report has.

The purpose of the project was to hearten debate, understanding and change within the first-year community. Clearly the views and beliefs contained in the report do not represent specific profiles of each individual first-year student. For example, I am sure there are many first-years who are perfectly content with their residence food services or their exercise facilities.

The report should be taken as a cross-section of the general concerns of first-year students. It is a teaching tool intended for any and all groups interested in the diverse dynamics of the first-year population. It is these qualities that actually validate the report, making it an unbiased, impartial inquiry into first-year life.

The report is not perfect; it's not supposed to be. If it were, it would fail to reveal the reality of the first-year experience.

The students that compiled this year's report are outstanding, ambitious, and courageous people who have dedicated themselves to the betterment of this university. Over half of them are moving on to positions as residence presidents and other high-level student government positions. This is a truly remarkable group. First-year students should be extremely proud to have them represent and defend their interests.

Congratulations caucus members, they're listening.

Julie Harvey
Political Science II
First-Year Student's Commissioner

Reader asserts report lacks direction

Re: First-year student caucus report misunderstands new comers' concerns, Mar. 8.

To the Editor:

I was slightly disappointed to read Cierra Watson's letter to the editor in last Thursday's Gazette, regarding the First-Year Students' Caucus Report, (herein referred to as FYSC).

Although some of her criticisms were justified, it is my opinion that Watson has the wrong impression of the FYSC and its role with the University Students' Council.

The FYSC is essentially a collection of first-year residence representatives, from all across main campus and the affiliated colleges. It is chaired by the Commissioner for First-Year Students.

The FYSC provided a forum of discussion for first-year student representatives to voice their concerns.

The report made recommendations to council in the form of the FYSC report. This report proposed many honest, valid solutions to problems such as making friends outside of residence and the affiliate colleges' feelings of isolation.

This is the only year the FYSC conducted an extensive survey, highlighting the opinions of first-year students on issues such as campus safety and the threat of drugs and alcohol.

The FYSC did make a professional presentation to council, but that's where it ended.

Right now the problem with the report is not the "generalizations" or the "editing job" in some parts of the report. If there is a problem, it is this: The FYSC is lacking direction.

The report has dealt with a wealth of information pertinent to first-year students. If utilized properly, it could be one of the USC's greatest tools in addressing the needs of first-year students.

This is a challenge to next year's Commissioner for First-Year Students and ultimately, the next USC VP-campus issues. Give the FYSC an action plan for actually accomplishing the solutions it proposes in its report.

I agree that some of the proposed solutions in the FYSC Report were invalid. However, the report also contains a wealth of great solutions to many problems expressed by first-year students. The real problem lies in not following up and implementing these solutions. Here is where we truly need to be critical.

Michael Rudd
Social Science I
King's College USC Residence Representative

Phone purge is all wrong

Re: I just called to say "I love you", Mar. 9.

To the Editor:

Estey's bottom line of getting rid of cell phones is absolutely a step in the wrong direction.

I have been working in the wireless industry for nearly two years now, and have worked for more than one company. Right now one in every four Canadians owns a cell phone. Compare that to parts of Europe where 98-99 per cent of individuals in our age group own cellular phones.

Cellular phones now use digital technology that allows users to use their cell phones for more than just "gossip mediums." Phones are now able to access the Internet directly on their screens, be used as wireless modems to hook up to hand-held devices, send text messages between phones, and even e-mail.

In the next couple years, more individuals will have wireless Internet access, as opposed to "wired" access. Wouldn't it be nice when in a foreign city to be able to get on your "Web phone," find the closest Italian restaurant and get directions there, or get a train and bus schedule, even buy a ticket? These devices can presently do this in varying degrees.

Students these days are faced with busier schedules than ever; part-time jobs, volunteering, athletics, classes, homework, exams, etc.. What is wrong with a cell phone saving time or providing a bit of convenience?

The moral of the story here is that cellular phones can be used for so much more than just the "latest gossip!"

Darren Spicknell
Music III

Reader gives pep talk

Re: Prostitution could still be an option, Mar. 7.

To the Editor:

I would like to offer a counterpoint to Chad Finkelstein's commentary on finding summer employment.

He talks about the uselessness of the Canadian government's Web site to job seeking students. The way I was raised and the way I have always lived my life is with the belief that I am owed nothing in this world, and it is not the government's responsibility to find me a job.

I agree with the fact that it can be easier to find jobs through networking, but I don't want to do something just because my family set it up for me.

I have read before that some 80 per cent of jobs are not advertised. In fact, conspicuous advertising has made it even harder for me to find employment, for the simple reason that I am competing with so many more people that way.

In my experience, employers, especially the smaller or medium sized ones that nobody else may have heard of, like to see the initiative that is shown in students researching their operation and seeking them out. The business library is full of company directories. Many companies receive so many unsolicited resumes that they probably don't see the point in advertising.

Nobody said that job hunting would be a lot of fun or wouldn't be a lot of work, especially at the student level. Most people probably find that each successive job makes finding the next one easier. Also, I respect Chad's position as opinions intern. Volunteer work can go a long way.

Daniel Ardeline
Engineering IV

Less walkie, more talkie

Re: I just called to say "I love you", Mar. 9.

To the Editor:

When I read Estey's letter to the editor, I busted out laughing. I could not believe his naive way of thinking and narrow-minded solution to the problem he sees with mobile phones.

Estey blames technology for an increase in gossip. At the same time, he says that cell phones are mediums and contradicts himself.

The point that bothers me the most is Estey compares cell phones to nuclear warheads. I can just tell you this much: Cell phones aren't out there to kill you, nuclear warheads are!

It seems like he's taking his courses in film a little too seriously and mixing up Hollywood creations with reality.

What's totally ridiculous is Estey's proposed solution to discriminate against cell phone users. By doing that, he turns his back on the corporate world – the people who provide the funds he needs to finance his projects in the near future.

Estey also accuses cell phone users of having "underdeveloped social skills." Don't cell phones improve social skills, since they give us the opportunity to talk to people who aren't close to us at the time?

All I can add is: Condemning technology is denying the future.

Nikolas Oelkrug
Engineering I

Get off yer ass and get a job

Re: Prostitution could still be an option, Mar. 7.

To the Editor:

In response to the column written by Chad Finkelstein in Wednesday's Gazette, I would like to offer hope to Chad and other students who are currently looking for employment.

The Student Development Centre's Career Services team is eager and willing to help you with your search for summer, part-time or full time employment.

Every Western student on campus has free access to SDC's online job postings through both of our employment programs, On-Campus Recruiting and the Job Listing Service (http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/career). Employers regularly offer interesting and challenging positions for Western students on this site.

If you need help developing a job search strategy or getting your resume and interviewing skills in order, book an appointment with a Career Counsellor, sign up for one of our career development sessions or drop by our Job Search Clinic (Mon. - Fri. 2-4 p.m., Rm. 200 UCC).

Pam Silcox
Career Services
Student Development Centre

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