November 4, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 36  

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Gazette = Sucks

To the Editor:

On a regular basis I am offended, annoyed and disappointed by your paper. You regularly print headlines, captions and pictures that have no purpose other than to shock.

Thursday's editorial pushed me over the edge. What exactly was the purpose of printing this rant, other than the fact none of the editors wanted to sit down and write something intelligent? News flash: just because comments come out of your mouth does not mean they are printable. It is much easier to write for the lowest common denominator (i.e. the person who laughs at swear words just because they are printed in the newspaper) than it is to actually say something witty or clever.

I challenge you, on behalf of all the students, staff and faculty at Western who are tired of throwing away your paper in disgust, to raise your standards. Instead of pushing the limits to see how shocked you can make people, try to provide some newsworthy content that is not offensive. This tactic might result in more readers who actually respect your efforts.

Lauren Starr
Scholar's Electives IV

Gazette = Socrates

Re: "Ducking controversy not part of our job," Oct. 29, 2003

To the Editor:

I miss a lot of things about my time as a Western student. I miss football games, I miss listening to Rick McGhee at The Spoke and how could I forget about gorging myself on poutine and gyros at Sammy Souvlaki's after a spirited night at The Ceeps?

However, one of things I miss the most about my time at Western is The Gazette. I often visit to see what is happening on campus -I particularly enjoyed the piece by Emmett Macfarlane. I am pleased to see The Gazette has not strayed from its commitment to provide news about life on and off campus while maintaining a level of light-heartedness.

While some may argue Gazette stories are baseless, tasteless and even offensive, I see it another way. The Gazette allows us the opportunity to see issues from a different perspective. After all, is that not what newspapers are supposed to do? By presenting a different side to a story, whether satirical or serious, each of us can make our own conclusions and form our own opinions.

Controversy and debate often yield some of the most beneficial outcomes. Socrates and Martin Luther King Jr. were two people who refused to accept the norm and challenged people to think -they were able to accomplish great things while doing so. A certain level of controversy should be expected from newspapers. In fact, while at Western I wrote to The Gazette and expressed my dissatisfaction with a Gazette article.

In retrospect, I realized the controversy made me more aware of how newspapers promote critical thinking. When newspapers or society for that matter, cease in causing a little controversy, we all lose.

Mark Mathieson
HBA, Western Class of 1999

"Gotta support the team." -David Puddy

Re: "Fans fumble," Oct. 30, 2003

To the Editor:

While I feel supporting our Western football team is important, I sometimes have to wonder why everyone thinks football is the God of all sports. If Mr. Salentyn felt so obliged to apologize for the student bodies' absence at the football game two weeks ago, then I should think he would extend that same apology to every other varsity sport lacking in student support.

Furthermore, unless he is attending every game of every sport, then who is he to judge? While he was so faithfully attending the football game, he was also missing other sporting events where other athletes (even female ones) were also "working their asses off."

Although I agree with the point that Mr. Salentyn was trying to make, I think we need to remember athletics at this school do not consist only of football, but a wide range of talented individuals.

Megan Carere
Kinesiology I

Student religious rights stampeded

Re: "Rental costs angers Muslims at Calgary," Oct. 30, 2003

To the Editor:

Gavin Preston, VP-finance and operations of the University of Calgary's Student Union, blurs the fine line between religious discrimination and special treatment to school clubs. For those who don't understand what all the fuss is about, Muslim men and women require a clean and quiet area to pray in congregation to God Almighty. Daily prayer five times a day is one of the pillars of the Islamic faith and as such is compulsory for every Muslim.

While attempting to "treat all clubs equally," Calgary's Students' Union has in fact marginalized the Muslim community on campus. All students have the right to the freedom of religious worship under the Canadian Constitution, no matter if the religion-based club exists on campus or not.

The Students' Union has charged the Muslim Students' Association with close to $2,500 for room bookings in only three weeks! Since approximately 32 weeks of the year are spent in school, the cost of praying at the University of Calgary will amount to over $26,000.

It is unrealistic for the Calgary MSA to pay such an amount in order to fulfill their religious obligations. It's unfortunate this lack of common sense seems to have infected this institution of higher learning. Only through knowledge and understanding will we become unified citizens of a country in which the rights of all people are both protected and respected.

Rami Sultan
President of the Muslim Students' Association



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