Volume 96, Issue 79
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

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"The Siren" clarifies

Re: "Candidates debate platforms, eye prize," Feb.14

To the Editor:

There was an unfortunate misquote in the Feb. 14 edition of The Gazette which painted me in the wrong light, and I would like to set the record straight with my fellow students.

What I actually said during the Thursday USC presidential debate was that God gave me "the right to have an opinion," not "the right to speak on behalf of cultural and religious groups;" I believe that everyone has free will and can have his/her own opinion.

Following that statement, I made a separate point that my extensive membership and experience with Western cultural and religious groups gives me "the right to speak on behalf of [the needs of] cultural and religious groups to a greater degree than any of the other candidates." As an international student peer guide, and a member of various social justice groups, as well as an executive on both the Christian Unity Committee and Western's Multi-Faith Council, I think this is a reasonable statement.

It may also be worth questioning the measuring sticks used by The Gazette in the presidential candidate ratings. Apparently, attending USC meetings, being a soph, being a club and residence council executive, as well as having executive status on two Western faith councils does not constitute much "Experience" or "Leadership;" nor does having the best Web site, most colourful Presidential Carnival booth or creative promotional items around campus. In addition, apparently TV/audio commercials with high production value do not constitute much in terms of "Presentation," and having original, feasible ideas do not constitute "Quality of Ideas."

I hope that students in the Western community truly make an effort to research each candidate before voting and, therefore, make an informed decision on who they want their next president to be.

Myron "The Siren" Belej
USC Presidential Candidate

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2002 THE GAZETTE