Volume 96, Issue 6
Friday September 6, 2002

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Welcome to Gazette Opinions

Between Lines
Tait Simpson

Opinions Editor

Welcome to the Opinions section. Having been mostly on the outside looking in last year, I was taken, as many rerturning students were, by the quality of dialogue that took place on the pages of this section.

Every day, undergraduate students were writing in alongside professors and grad students to respond to the previous day's letters, the news or whatever they felt was worthy of debate. This year's Opinions section won't see commentary from the likes of Arthur Miller, Thomas Hobbes or Shakespeare – our goal is to act as an outlet for the student voice on campus, to bring insight to the current issues.

For those of you picking up your first copy of The Gazette – I'm damn impressed. You made it to campus during a week of epic drunkenness and managed to open a paper. This year's Opinions editor didn't find his first copy until well after mid-terms of his frosh year.

Over the course of the next eight months, if you do feel the desire to show off your improved university vocabulary to someone other than your roommate, the Opinions section publishes letters in every edition of the newspaper.

The only thing you need to keep in mind when firing off letters critiquing the opinions of your fellow Western students is that they are indeed your fellow Western students.

As much as you may not agree with the letters written by some of your peers, keep in mind that they are probably microbiology majors on their way to curing that rash you can't get rid of. They aren't "dumbasses," "idiots," "slower then the girl from Clueless" or "people who deserve to be shot." Keep it above the waist and you might be surprised by the complementary letters you receive in reply.

In the words of Dave Matthews during his VH1 Storytellers performance: "I don't know what this is all about, I just work here." I don't know what will become the hot topic of this year. There are only a few student paper certainties – letters on tuition increases, free speech and beer prices. After that, it's a mystery to me.

To any new students getting to the end of their first week here, I will say this: no matter what makes the news this year, at least find out what the news is.

As any returning student can tell you, the college life makes it remarkably easy to forget about the world around us. Fortunately, and as we saw last year sometimes unfortunately, there is a world outside this campus where more important things go on every second than we see in our classes and nightly trips to the bar.

Read a little each day that doesn't come from your overpriced textbook – since you blew all your money on those textbooks, this free daily student newspaper is a good place to start. Grab a copy each day on your way to class, give it five minutes of your time (teachers never say anything of importance in the first five minutes anyway), and then move on. It's probably safe to say, as a Western student – you'll be better for it.

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