EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
An aerial error
To the Editor:
The aerial photo that appeared in the Thursday, Nov. 27 Gazette,
illustrating the sparse campus could not have been taken
as late as 1937. In 1934, the Lawson Memorial Library (which
is now part of the administrative complex) was built behind
Media Specialist, Faculty of Science
Re: “Clashing U of T protests
end with arrest,” Nov. 28, 2003
To the Editor:
It always seems strange to me that so many of these left wing
groups like the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, with any
liberal leaning toward sociopolitical problems like poverty,
immediately come to the aid of “Palestinian” groups
on campuses. Why is it that these groups are so quick to
judge Israel, the most forward-thinking, liberal country
in the Middle East, without even a mention of the horrible
atrocities carried out daily in the countries surrounding
it? Perhaps OCAP should organize a protest against Yasser
Arafat hoarding millions of dollars he’s given monthly
by the United Nations or against the Saudi princes controlling
99 per cent of that country’s wealth?
The truth is, criticizing Israel has become the new agenda
of the left. It’s ironic that OCAP, a staunch supporter
of social programs, is so quick to attack the only country
in the Middle East that has any. In fact, if OCAP wants to
see the promotion of these programs so badly, they should be
criticizing terrorism by Palestinians that force Israel to
divert funds from social programs and move them to ensuring
its security. Left wing groups like this one are always concerned
with equality and Israel promotes equality of women, gays and
any ethnic group residing there.
I just can’t pinpoint the reason for OCAP’s support
of Al-Adwa, as it has nothing to do with Ontario or poverty.
If an individual or a group wants to criticize the policies
of Israel or any other country, all the more power to them.
But it should be done after careful research and not just be
a jump on the bandwagon.
School doesn't make you sick
Re: “Education funding falls behind health,” Nov.
To the Editor:
In 2001, when the Progressive Conservative provincial government
passed a proposal to award a tax break to parents sending
their children to private schools (planned to be up to $7,000
per student) I found myself questioning the government’s
commitment to the public education system. As a health advocate,
I would rather see money go towards improving the public
school system in areas of low socioeconomic status (SES).
I am pleased to learn that scrapping this incentive is a
priority for the new Liberal government leadership. A strong
public school system is equally valuable to the health of a
population as is a well-funded health-care system. Researched
and published is the fact that low SES is strongly related
to a higher disease incidence. Strong public schooling is the
best way to bring families out of a pattern of low SES.
Health professionals, although aware of low SES as a risk
factor for ill health, fail to do their fair share of advocating
for a strong public education system as a means of significantly
improving the health of our population. While shorter wait
times for specialists, more MRI machines and better life-saving
interventions are important to improving the health of a small
number of high-risk individuals, expending money on these initiatives
does little to improve the health of the population.
While it is easy to see the health benefits of technology
to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment, and difficult
to envision how a strong public school system also improves
health, the fact remains that breaking the cycle of low SES
through improved public schooling will decrease disease. I
am not implying that we should cut funding to programs that
target high risk groups, I just want to draw attention to the
fact that good public schools should also be on the agendas
of those promoting health.
Housing hard on rez soph
Re: “Not in our house,” Nov. 20, 2003
To the Editor:
While Mr. Vanpee refutes the claim that “orientation
is on a downward slide” and insists that “great
strides have been made on improving relations with Housing,” he
doesn’t explain how last year’s stunt of barring
faculty sophs at the last minute from residences was an improvement.
He also fails to address the people who were removed from the
orientation program altogether this year under the controversial
new appeals system.
No other team (faculty, affiliate, charity, etc.) had a higher
number of appeals shot down by their constituency than the
residence teams. Perhaps Mr. Vanpee, or another member of this
year’s O-Staff, can explain why the committee that judged
these appeals did not have a single representative from the
University Students’ Council or the orientation program.
Mr. Vanpee touts the Orientation Strategic Planning Group
(OSPG) as a major accomplishment. For who? Numerous items in
the report are very questionable, such as veiled references
to disciplining sophs that don’t volunteer enough of
their time after O-Week.
Mr. Vanpee may feel great strides have been taken, but when
such strides come at the expense of our hardworking student
volunteers, and our integrity, the only steps we have taken
University Students’ Council
Elgin Hall Soph 2002-2003