Volume 94, Issue 92

Thursday, March 15, 2001


OPINIONS

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Budget not so blue: VP


Re: USC gets the budget blues, Mar. 13.

To the Editor:

I would just like to clarify the statement made in Tuesday's Gazette regarding the proposed student fee increase.

The Gazette stated "To make up the difference Brebner has recommended a student fee increase of 1.3 per cent, or $4.67 per student."

This is not entirely accurate, as the student fee increase is not because of last year's deficit. The proposed increase is primarily to overcome the increase in occupancy costs that the University Students' Council will be facing next year. This increase in occupancy cost is directly related to the increase in gas prices that everyone has been experiencing.

Complete budgets are available in the USC office (Rm. 340, UCC). I am available in the USC office for anyone wishing to discuss the budget.

Dave Brebner
USC VP-finance




Cellular gratification


Re: Phone purge is all wrong and Less walkie and more talkie, Mar. 13.

To the Editor:

I have been following the cell phone debate that has been going on for a while, and while I normally could not be bothered to write a letter about something so inane, something happened to me today that motivated me to voice my opinion.

First let me say I think, to this point, I have yet to see someone who has shared my view in the paper. Sure, the use of cell phones for such menial purposes as finding out the latest gossip seems like a waste of good technology, but that does not mean they should be abolished or their owners shunned.

Tolerating people who seem to have cell phones surgically grafted to their ears is one of the small sacrifices I make in exchange for living in a modern urbanized society.

By the same token however, when one of these wireless junkies getting their fix directly impinges on my life, I just want to use their pseudo-syringe as a ball in my own little punt, pass, and kick competition.

Three times today, my classes were interrupted by the electronic tunes and chirps from a cell phone. Sure, this may not be too unusual, except for the fact that I only had two classes! Some idiot did not get the message the first time, so they allowed their phone to ring a second time, disturbing everyone again.

Look folks, I understand that some of you just cannot get along without a direct line of communication to your friends at all times, but you have a duty not to allow it to affect everyone else's lives. If you take your cell phone to a class, movie, or an exam, please shut the ringer off.

There is a reason beyond sexual gratification for the vibrating feature. And if you attempt to master the complex combination of using your phone and walking or driving at the same time, remember that the locomotion half of the equation gets priority. If it gets too hard and you feel the need to let your attention towards one of the activities slide, end your conversation and start watching where you are walking or driving.

It's not rocket science, people. Even though technology is making the world a smaller place everyday, we are all still here. Just because you can talk to whomever you want whenever you want, that does not give you free license to forget everybody else.

Please show some courtesy.

Bevan Earhart
General Studies




Hill choir hums about Jesus, God


Re: Hooliganism, but no futba? Mar. 13.

To the Editor:

We, the participants of the so-called University College hill afternoon Christian choir, would like to address some of the important issues Donald MacOdrum identified in his letter to The Gazette.

Overall, we appreciate Donald's respect for our freedom of speech. He mentioned that he, as a former Christian, resents the feeling of emptiness we have induced with our singing.

We would firstly like to respond to Donald by saying that he may be a former Christian in practice, but in his heart, if he has accepted Christ, he has His life in him.

This is an unbreakable bond between God and Donald. Because he believed into Jesus Christ, he was born of God, His life became part of Donald. This irrevocable bond can be seen between a parent and child.

If a person is estranged from his mother or father, he/she is still their genuine son/daughter. Our feelings, resulting from being offended or condemned, often lead us to feel that we cannot be related to God at all. But the fact remains that Christ gave His life up for you and imparted this life into you.

Secondly, we are not there to just shout slogans to annoy or stir up people. We are appealing to the deepest desire in every person, which is to have a relationship with the eternal God.

Dick Cheung,
Occupational Therapy II
Ian McCall,
Mechanical Engineering II
David Moreno,
Mechanical Engineering III
Aaron Brubacher,
Computer Science II
Jeremy Vandergoot, ACS II
Ben Marcus, Applied Math IV




USC shouldn't give cold shoulder to fee freeze


Re: USC gets the budget blues, Mar. 13.

To the Editor:

Sure enough, talk of the looming University Student Council's surplus and plans to pay down their massive debts have proven, yet again, too good to be true.

Figures for the latest USC "budget" are in, and the much anticipated surplus of $316,555 has mysteriously turned into a deficit of $51,424. Who is to blame for this all too familiar scandal? Why those crazy folks that wanted to freeze student fees, of course!

Darn those lunatic fringe past members of the USC that wanted to limit the amount of money taken from students every year! How dare they try and end the hypocrisy of lobbying for a tuition freeze, while simultaneously expropriating more money from students!

Quick, raise student taxes again before this deranged fee freeze idea catches on!

Oh, the tragic irony. The USC's brief flirtation with fiscal sanity has ended with those who tried to protect students from further fee hikes being blamed for the projected $51,424 loss.

USC members are now justifying raising fees as the "safe" and "conservative" thing to do. Why won't the USC commit to getting its own house in order, before taking more money from students? Maybe incentives in the form of bonuses need to be given for balancing the USC's books. (i.e. losing $30,000 on a party means you don't get the bonus)

Perhaps the USC needs to cut staff, roll back salary increases, or curtail expense accounts. Maybe someone doesn't need a cell phone, or there could be one less computer. Perhaps the new general manager and the board could agree to a temporary pay cut until the books are balanced. Any combination of such measures would be a clear demonstration of leadership.

The bottom line is that, at some point, the USC has to start making tough decisions. Reaching into students' pockets for more cash is NOT a tough decision. It is a cop out, an admission of failure and a refusal to do the right thing.

For the USC to have any credibility when lobbying on the tuition issue, it should tighten its own belt and re-instate the student fee freeze.

Ray Novak
BA Political Science,
University of Western Ontario
MA Political Science Candidate, University of Calgary



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