November 4, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 36  

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EDITORIAL & OPINIONS

Letters

Plagiarizing professors?

Re: “Jesse, Turn It In!,” Oct. 29, 2003

To the Editor:
Thank you to The Gazette for providing me with my morning dose of irony by so aptly demonstrating how best to aim for an opinion piece and end up with idiocy.

Aside from skirting very valid concerns about the efficacy of turnitin.com as an anti-plagiarism tool or the fact two other such anti-plagiarism companies have been caught “selling” student papers, The Gazette clearly misses the mark in describing Jesse’s concerns surrounding intellectual property.

If my intellectual property rights are not being infringed, could I ask turnitin.com to remove my paper from its database after it has been checked? Likely not. Turnitin.com relies on having access to a large database of student work in order to be an effective tool, access gained through coercion and not consent. A private company making profit from my work without my consent would be, in my opinion, the very definition of a violation of my intellectual property rights.

Perhaps since The Gazette is such a fan of turnitin.com, it might consider lobbying for broader usage: say, professors might be required to check their work before publication to ensure they are not plagiarizing student work. Sound ridiculous and offensive? Now you know how I feel.

Nicole Nelson
Scholar’s Electives IV

Creativity please!

To the Editor:
With regards to the recent provincial election and the upcoming London civic election, there is an amazing lack of any creativity or originality in the campaigns of the candidates.

I left London for Montreal on the morning of Oct. 2 and on Oxford Street, just east of Adelaide St., I saw something which for me summed up the static and uninteresting nature of modern political campaigns. There were about 30 Progressive Conservative campaign signs, spaced about a metre apart lining the right side of the street, followed by an equal number of Liberal Party signs.

This is how voters are attracted? Whoever can put up the most signs will get the vote? Are voters that simplistic that their vote goes to the candidate who has best hammered their name into their memory? To me, this bombardment is nothing but wasteful especially when you think this was only one street.

This leads me to believe if a candidate were to step outside the realm of convention and do something interesting, he or she might have a fighting chance. Hell, give me an old van, a loudspeaker and a vision and I’ll run with it.

Jimi Skutezky
Civil/Environmental Engineering II 1/2

Insensitivity

To the Editor:
I feel the need to comment on your editorial cartoon from Tue., Oct. 28. I appreciate the humour but suggest your cartoonist should have looked for an alternative for the word “retarded.” I thought this particularly upsetting stereotype had fallen into well-deserved disuse a long time ago and am saddened it has been taken up by a new and supposedly more enlightened generation.

Barbara Decker Pierce
Assistant Professor
King’s University College

Two-tiered health is not a cure

Re: “Some private health care services would help,” Oct. 24, 2003

To the Editor:
It is rather unfortunate Emmett Macfarlane is so clearly misinformed about the nursing profession and the importance of “Health for All.”

Macfarlane suggests “it is doctors that are needed,” instead of relatively useless nurses who “stand around [gossiping] while patients wait for the one on-duty doctor to see them.” Although we do agree more doctors are needed, Macfarlane makes several unfair and uninformed judgments about the nursing profession. A little research could have shown him that nurses undergo an intensive educational program and examination to produce a professional well-versed in patient care. In the context of hospital nursing, “care” occurs from the moment of admittance to the moment of discharge, from administering the bedpan to administering medications — nurses cared for you when you were born, will care for you if you get sick and will care for you when you die.

Secondly, Macfarlane’s belief that selective privatization as the “best way to alleviate some of health care’s suffering” is a poor argument. He makes reference to the “slippery slope” of American health care, where quality follows the money. Privatized MRI clinics, in his example, would be no different. The MRI technicians would follow the money resulting in waiting lists that were just as long as before. What Macfarlane fails to take into consideration is the finite supply of skilled people. A separate self-sufficient health care system does not guarantee a larger quantity of skilled employees to staff it.

We can all agree there are flaws in our “socioeconomic equality”-based health care system, but this should not condemn it to an Americanized demise. Canada already has a world-class health care system and an additional 8,000 nurses can do nothing but advance us towards the national goal of “Health for All.”

Andrea Marsh and Jill Thiffault
Nursing IV

Campus women respond to Western's "people watcher"

Re: “Bird Watching,” Oct. 29, 2003

To the Editor:
I would like to thank Daniel Abichanadi for helping me realize the real reason for my attendance at university is to try to look HOT so I can impress “people watchers” like him when I hit the University Community Centre.

As I read his letter, which might have had good intentions, I found myself wondering about the real issues with his ridiculous commentary. Why is it the girls at Western can be filed under three categories by some leering male and then asked to follow the rule “Go Hot or Go Home?” While I admit there is an element of humour to be found here, it seems we just can’t get away from that good old Western stereotype, which reminds us not to bother coming to class unless we’ve got blonde hair, flawless make-up, a Louis Vuitton handbag and, of course, those infamous Tiffany bracelets. The fact that someone who feels comfortable in track pants is classified as a person with a “lack of self respect” in Abichanadi’s letter makes me cringe.

Perhaps these people don’t really give a second thought to what little Danny Ivey might think about their appearance and I wonder: are their thoughts more concerned with silly things like essays and exams?

Finally, I couldn’t help but notice this letter came from an HBA student, which made me laugh. Thanks for making it so much easier for us arts kids to believe in OUR old stereotype of the Ivey student who breathes materialism and who has a general snobbish disregard for everyone else.

By the way Daniel, we did come here to LEARN a few things, so GET REAL or GET LOST.

Martina Walton
English IV

To the Editor:
They really do let some geniuses into Ivey! First off, this imbecile who decided to spend time categorizing the “girls of Western” made us sick. People like you give guys a bad reputation and most of all people like you get dumped over and over again. After fuming about the article, we all decided to re-evaluate your so called “categories.”

Campus Crew Girls: You have no right to be so presumptuous. If I were on my way to the gym, I would NOT be in a semi-formal dress, thanks. If my cousin had just died over the weekend or I spent all night throwing up because I was sick, my appearance or pleasing losers like you would be the last thing on my mind. And exactly what is wrong with wanting to be comfortable?

American Eagle Junkies: OK, so you’re attending Ivey. I was pretty sure this was a business school, but someone who is business-savvy should realize stores are over- priced. Therefore sales are a great alternative to students who are hard up on funds. Did you ever consider some of us are working two jobs while maintaining a full course load just so we can afford to sit in lectures? Don’t we have the right to show up to class wearing what we want? Have you been living under your Ivey rock? We are students, we are poor.

Tiffany Crew: Ya, that’s right, Western women are hot! We have the right to strut what we’ve got! The funny thing is the next time you are introduced to a member of Western’s “Tiffany Crew,” all you’ll see is their hot ass walking away from you!

Here’s our advice: Find another nest to watch!

Karyn Belanger
Women’s Studies II

Amanda McDaid
Geography II

Kathryn O’Brien
Kinesiology I

To the Editor:
This goes to Daniel Abichandani and his kind. For starters, we’d like to point out that Angie Birgiolas’ letter (“Tiffany isn’t spiffy,” Oct. 24) regarded annoying girls who are more concerned with gossiping in class than learning. You would have realized upon closer reading of Angie’s letter that she was more annoyed with the “precious socialites” behaviour and NOT their attire. Let’s emphasize that some of us are not here to pick-up and impress the Daniel’s at Western, but to achieve higher learning and prosper intellectually.

Our second issue concerns you. Clothes don’t make the person and I guess it’s your loss because some days girls want be a “Tiffany” and some days they simply don’t. Too bad you are not smart enough to figure this out.

For all the girls out there who dress comfortably and realize the one hour getting ready in the morning can be used for better things (like sleeping or studying), congratulations! Don’t be swayed by the Daniel’s on campus.

It’s funny a girl has never written to The Gazette complaining about what guys wear — often guys dress like slobs and we just don’t care, but fortunately for us, we see beyond clothes.

By the way, it’s really too bad you mentioned your program; we looked you up on the Ivey Web site thinking you’d sweep us off our feet — Daniel, forfeit and GO HOME.

Monika Lenkiewicz
Biology Honours IV

Anne-Marie Sanchez
Political Science/French Honours IV

 

 

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