February 12, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 74  

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Class in "the Smith"

To the Editor:
I see that Western has yet to properly name the North Campus Building, likely because a wealthy donor has yet to come forward with some money for media, information and technoculture.

Well fret no more, because if you name the building after me, I will donate $500 to the pseudo-faculty. Not enough for you? I will pay for the lettering to be installed on the front of the building. Still not going for it? Over the years, I — and, eventually, my descendants — will even pay for the upkeep of the letters as they get stolen or tarnished.

Let’s call it the “Michael Smith Centre for Media Studies” or the “Michael Smith Media Centre.” I really don’t care what you crazy kids at the top pick, so long as my name’s up there.

So come on, 500 smackers. We all know nobody else in their right mind would want to be publicly associated with MIT; this could very well be your only chance to get any money for this faculty.

Mike Smith
Visual Art III

Parent trap

Re: “Supreme Court needs a spanking,” Feb. 4, 2004

To the Editor:
In response to the article on the Supreme Court’s decision on the spanking law, I’d like to bring your attention to some of the facts for the opposing view. While it was argued the Supreme Court of Canada was attempting to “dictate parenting” in reviewing the law allowing corporal punishment against children, I’d like to argue that abolishing the spanking law would only improve parenting skills. Many people are quick to react to the screaming kid at the mall by thinking the parent needs to give the kid a good smack.

But while I don’t deny the fact those kids do need disciplining, many people are unaware of not only the negative impact of spanking, but also its ineffectiveness. Aside form the fact that spanking has the possibility of escalating to abuse in the odd case, it’s generally an ineffective disciplinary act.

Research has indicated that corporal punishment is not effective in creating any meaningful change in a child’s behaviour, as they do not gain any understanding of why this behaviour is not acceptable. They miss out on this teachable moment and learn instead to fear the caregiver and that violence is an acceptable response to anger.

Aside from all that, I have to pull myself away and think about the general principle of the situation. Why are people arguing for the parent’s right to discipline their children? Who’s arguing for the right of a child’s proper and healthy upbringing? After all, we’re living in a society where corporal punishment against adults and even animals generates serious consequences (even if it’s with “reasonable force”), whereas for children these consequences are still nonexistent.

Sarah Howes
Psychology II

No evidence equals no belief

To the Editor:
There is no God.

I was raised in an atheist family and educated in the public school system, so my religion is science. Science is fact and fact is indisputable. How could I believe in something so vacant of physical evidence such as religion? Am I to accept that God created the universe because it was written in a book and a priest says so? What about conflicting beliefs such as Christianity and Islam? Both have their own unique ideas about God, lifestyle and the afterlife thus both can’t be “correct” in their suggestion that there is only one God.

This has completely discredited religion for me, in addition to the absence of any kind of material proof. Bloody conflicts initiated and fueled by difference of religion would never happen if people could look past someone’s own spiritual beliefs. Extremism, oppression and exploitation are all unnecessary fallouts as well.

That all said, I do understand the good that comes from religion and respect anyone’s personal belief.

Andrew Kerr
Mechanical Engineering III

Messy campus reflects badly on Western

Re: “University Piggies’ Council?” Feb. 6, 2004

To the Editor:
When I saw the mess left by the University Students’ Council I was appalled. They have been voted into power by the students to represent the students and to set an example. What kind of a standard do they expect to set on campus when they can not dispose of their own trash?

I seem to find the University Community Centre in disarray every weekend and I ask myself why. Why do we not take pride in our own community centre?

Do we not want to live in a clean environment? Can we not take pride in our beautiful campus? How hard can it possibly be to throw out our trash, not just in the public places, but also in class rooms and auditoriums? It cannot be that difficult to pick up our own trash at the end of class and throw it in the garbage on our way out the door. There are trash cans located all across campus.

I ask our USC, what are you going to do? Will you take a stand to improve the quality of life on our campus? Will you take the next step to promote a cleaner and healthier environment?

Michael Greff
Science I



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