December 3 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 53  

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NEWS

Letters

Bursary and OSAP blues

To the Editor:
According to the Ontario Student Assistance Program, it is nearly impossible to be financially independent. The equation that leads to the eventual amount of loan funds released to a student depends greatly on their parents’ income. It is assumed parents are donating a percentage of their income to fund their kid’s education.

Now sure, that may be true in most cases, but what about for those of us where it isn’t? My parents have chosen not to contribute financially to my education, and I explained that on my OSAP application. Imagine my surprise when I find out months later, after a stressful battle to try to keep what little money OSAP had given me, that there is no way for the average person to get around this assumption of parental support.

It takes the complete dysfunction of a family for the government to accept that parents are not giving their kids money. My family may be weird, but we’re not dysfunctional, so in the computer of financial services, the government says my parents have given me nearly $14,000. Funny, I don’t remember getting $14,000 — I just remember getting shafted by a program failing to help the students who need it most.

Sarah Stephens
History I

To the Editor:
I was turned down for a Western bursary. I’m not trying to pitch a big sob story, but merely state that the criteria they set might need re-evaluation.

The response I received from my financial aid officer as to why, stated, I “made too much money working during the summer and you have enough money to cover this year on your student line of credit.” So, is this insinuating I have to be unemployed during the summer and spend all the money on my line of credit in order to receive a bursary from the school? Considering I have a line of credit, this should lead her to the conclusion that I am obviously in debt, and therefore, would very much appreciate a little extra help through a bursary; but sadly I am unworthy.

Chantel Kondracki
Sociology II

Dave Pulitzer?

Re: “Note to photogs: stop re-Joyceing,” Nov. 28, 2003

To the Editor:
Regarding my multiple Gazette appearances, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It’s not my fault photogs are always there to capture the events of my day. Angry over respectable journalism? If Joseph Pulitzer was here, he’d print-press your ass out of here.

Dave Joyce
Honours MIT II

If you want a seat, call shotgun

Re: “You down with NDP, yeah you know me,” Nov. 26, 2003

To the Editor:
Thank you to Rob Ford for responding to my letter on the current issues in the Ontario parliament and reinforcing my plight as “good.” But please allow me to ask: what the hell are you talking about?

I never suggested a reduction in the actual amount of representatives in the Ontario legislature. That is a Conservative policy and an effort to undermine democracy. I argued that the required seats for official party status ought to be reduced from its current level of eight. If anything, I support increasing the amount of representatives and carving up all of the constituencies gerrymandered by the former Harris-Eves dictatorship.

Furthermore, Ford concludes that the official party status requirements are just, and my grounds for contesting it are not. Granted, population is a factor in determining the amount of representatives in parliament, but it does not affect the party status requirements. That number should reflect a proportional result of the total seats in the legislature, which can be completely arbitrary. The federal House of Commons requires a party to hold only 12 of 301 seats (or four per cent) for status. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, it’s two (three and two per cent respectively). If we calculate Ontario’s requirements, eight out of 103 seats translates to seven per cent! Is that fair?

My argument was simple until re-evaluated by confused political science students and clueless [member of provincial parliament] Deb Matthews. Ontario must be more democratic and adopt commensurate official party status requirements.

David Molenhuis
VP-Communications UWO NDP
History/French III

Gazette's angry editorial sparks more anger

Re: “Editorial,” Nov. 28, 2003

To the Editor:
Damn you. Damn you for silencing us. Damn you for calling our struggle for human rights a “cycle of useless rhetoric.” And damn you for letting a few individuals who can’t control their tempers steal all that is good from our cause.

What the hell do you want us to discuss that we haven’t already been trying to? You rarely print our letters and you seem to think moderation means accepting Palestinians be denied human rights. How dare you be so self-righteous? At the top of your opinions page, you quoted, “Anger is never without an argument, but seldom with a good one” by Lord Halifax, head of Foreign Affairs during England’s colonial days. Ask former slaves if they were angry during slavery. Ask a South African pre-Apartheid. Ask one of Halifax’s colonies. More often, anger is the result of arguments being ignored and silenced.

You wasted expensive space in that editorial and your mediocre knowledge determined the issue to be useless. It is not useless or ignorant to fight on behalf of Palestinian’s rights to life and liberty.

Hundreds of thousands fighting with pens and words are ignored in favour of a few who use violence. How dare you sensationalize us and then condemn us for being overly sensational. Our identity is at stake and you decide it’s not worth your energy. You wasted space to declare your boredom in an uninformed, unfair manner. It is asinine comments like yours that prevent the promotion of constructive discourse.

Einstein said “the world is too dangerous to live in — not because of those who do evil, but because of those who sit and let it happen.” Damn you for being those people.

Randa B. Mouammar, M.A.
Faculty of Law, LL.B. (2005)

To the Editor:
What kind of a bull-shit anti-editorial was that? Your editorial is the only thing showing ignorance. How ignorant do you think the “extremists” are when they are successful in getting you to turn off and cop out? Theirs must be a strategic coup, since you’re taking down a huge chunk of people with you. You’re taking them down into a place where they inherently support illegal occupation, subjugation and oppression, and oppose their fellow humans.

That’s what ignoring this problem means. Here’s the real news flash: ignorance is not bliss. Palestinian human rights will be violated regardless of your coverage. Innocent Israeli lives will be lost despite your new focus on how Western could be a better party school. The real solution will always be justice, not the Merkava tank. Both the scariest and most empowering thing for our prospects of peace is that neither the Israeli Occupation Forces, nor the suicide bombers, can ever solve the problem. Only we can by showing disgust at injustice and demanding justice and human rights.

Instead of throwing your hands up and walking away from your obligations, you should do your work more diligently.

Tarek Loubani
Medical Science I

 

 

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