January 28, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 65  

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NEWS

Letters

Plagiarists cheat themselves

Re: “McGill student gets turnitin.com overturned,” Jan. 20, 2004

To the Editor:
I’d like to commend Jesse Rosenfeld for standing up to his university by refusing to submit his work to be checked for plagiarism. I, too, would feel insulted if I were forced to have my work checked every time I turned in a paper, because it shows a lack of trust by my professors and instructors that the work I handed in was actually mine.

However, all the instructors who have taught me throughout my four years at Western have been kind enough to allow extensions on due dates if I was unable to hand in an assignment on time. Some of these teachers have mentioned that they might occasionally use a site like turnitin.com to check for plagiarism, but I’m sure that most of them never will.

Students who cheat on their assignments are hurting themselves more than anyone else. Yes, university is a stressful time in one’s life, but it is also a time to learn important life skills such as time management and effective organization. I’m sure most students at Western are honest people and will likely accept a bad grade rather than live with the guilt of cheating.

Instructors who rely on websites like turnitin.com should use it only as a tool to ensure a suspicious student is doing his or her work honestly and not as a threat to punish students who might cheat. Western’s plagiarism policies are made explicit to students along with the seriousness of the offense. Students who get caught cheating deserve what they get not only because it’s unfair to students who did their work honestly, but also because we all know it’s simply wrong.

Kimberly Leung
MIT/Writing IV

Mixed feelings

Re: “Mixed response to IAC speaker,” Jan. 22, 2004

To the Editor:
What amount of disagreement constitutes a “mixed response?” When a movie is nominated for an Oscar and five per cent of critics don’t like it, it doesn’t get labelled as having mixed reviews. Ninety five per cent of the people in the room gave Walid Shoebat a standing ovation, so why do you consider the response “mixed?”

Are you relying on a few people that showed a complete lack of respect toward Walid by calling him a “liar,” “full of shit” or “in denial?” Imagine if someone from a Chinese sweatshop spoke of the horrible conditions they faced, and then I told them they were lying and full of shit. Would you print my views if I did that?

Please, just let me know if you are printing these comments to make these people look stupid or if you really think they are newsworthy. I simply cannot respect anyone that personally attacks someone because they don’t like their life story. Don’t become a newspaper that allows a double standard for people just because they are commenting on an emotional topics and cannot come up with a comment more clever than “that was horse shit.”

Dino Angaritis
Computer Engineering/ Science II

Lots of snow

To the Editor:
I don’t recall exactly how much my parking pass cost me, but what I am wondering is how much did the snow pay for parking? Because if it paid the fees (as ridiculous as they may be), then that’s fine. If not, then perhaps mine and others’ parking fees could be used to kick the snow out of our expensive spaces.

Josh Herzog
Philosophy III

Ontario gov't to blame, not USC

Re: “USC not very charitable,” Jan. 20, 2004

To the Editor:
Rebecca Waldie claims that the decision to limit the Charity Ball this year to only those who are 19+ is discriminatory and that the University Students’ Council, as the facilitator of the event, is also guilty of discrimination.

It is not the USC, however, or even the LCC that is discriminating against underage students, but instead, the Ontario government (through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario). The only reason the Charity Ball is not a Wet/Dry event is because said program was abused by the very people it was trying to assist, and subsequently disbanded under threat of litigation by the AGCO. Waldie insists there could be “a system to identify underage students” at the event, but this is impossible. This would be a violation of the moratorium on the USC’s Wet/Dry program and possibly illegal.

Her argument becomes more outlandish when she insists that all students should be able to attend the event because everyone pays student fees and the USC’s mandate is “to improve the lives of all undergraduate students.” While this is true, it does not mean that every USC initiative must improve every single undergraduate’s life. This is impossible when one considers the breadth of USC initiatives.

Consider the student bus pass: this USC initiative affects every undergraduate student, though it doesn’t improve all undergraduates’ lives, since many students drive to school and don’t need the pass, considering it an unneeded expense. However, this initiative helps a majority of undergraduates and, so, is mandatory for all students. This is exactly what happened with the decision to restrict Charity Ball to only those students of age.
Maybe, while I am enjoying myself at the Ball this year, Waldie can draft a discrimination suit against the government for not granting her the right to drink.

Ben Filippini
BA 2003
Special Student Science

Get back, Loretta

To the Editor:
This is to all the people that rely on the bus to get to school, but refuse to move to the back to let more people on. Do you pretend to be oblivious to the situation? Do you get satisfaction from knowing people waiting for a bus in the cold couldn’t get on because of you?

I can tell you from personal experience, as most people can, that there are few more irritating experiences than waiting for a bus in the cold, seeing it drive right by you because it’s full and catching a glimpse of how empty the back is. I’d just hate for you to have to step back a few feet or stop talking to the friend you ran into near the front of the bus — but we all paid for a bus pass. Some bus drivers are nice enough to refuse to continue driving until all the space is taken. Why should they have to do that?

If you want a luxurious ride to school everyday, I suggest buying a car and paying for gas, insurance and repairs. Not to mention giving up an arm and a leg for a parking pass at Western. If this doesn’t sound tempting to you, please continue taking the bus, but try not to be so ignorant.

Robert Jelenic
Electrical Engineering II

UCC & Philadelphia: many offensive flyers

Re: “Mid-East flyer causes uproar,” Jan. 21, 2004

To the Editor:
Last week in the University Community Centre, members of the Israel Action Committee were handing out materials that incite hatred towards Islam and Muslims. One of these cards allegedly claims “Of 28 armed conflicts today, 25 involve Muslim forces against a non-Muslim enemy.” Perhaps who wrote this neglected the fact that most of these conflicts involve people who are under occupation and struggling for freedom (i.e. Iraq, Kashmir and Chechnya).

Distributing such false statements that promote hatred against Muslims is considered a crime in Canada. The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits communicating statements in a public place that incite hatred towards an identifiable group and likely causes a breach of the peace.

The IAC’s media chair Matthew Fisher, however, claims that the flyer was on the table by accident. I would like to advise the IAC to have a huge umbrella above their table the next time to prevent flyers from landing “accidentally” on their table.

Rafiq Qutub
Chemical Engineering II

To the Editor:
Last week, while passing through the tunnel to the Social Science Centre, I saw a poster advertising the Western Pre-Law Society’s Annual Mock Trial Competition. It read, and I quote: “Did her boyfriend rape her? Prove it and win $1,000!”

On a campus where more than half of the approximately 30,000 students are female, and in an age where one in four women have been sexually assaulted and 57 per cent of rapes occur on dates (Ontario Women’s Directorate), I found the poster to be extremely tasteless. I promptly took it to the University Students’ Council’s office and was later informed that the poster “does not incite hate or discrimination against any group or individual protected under the USC’s Community Standards policy or the Canadian Human Rights Code.”

Western Pre-Law, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Treating the prosecution of date rape as the topic of a game show is not only despicable, but also ignorant: you do not seem to realize the effects your poster may have had. Next time Western Pre-Law, please consider your audience before distributing another poster with such a horrific tag line.

Shannon Lane
Psychology III

Entranced

To the Editor:
Last Thursday, The Wave had a special DJ come in that played mostly trance and hip-hop. The event was called Ignition and was attended by maybe 30 to 40 people at the most. This wasn’t surprising, as most people don’t like this kind of music, but why is that? With today’s North American culture dominated by the Top 40 charts, it’s hard to get exposed to new kinds of music, especially from foreign sources.

The popular music and radio stations never have any trance content; even the clubs in town have a pitiful dance set. I’m not asking for them to change their whole line up to inspire a trance revolution, but playing a few of the popular Euro trance hits will help expose people to something new. At least if these media sources make an effort to put out a few songs, then people will be able to come to an informed choice, instead of simply rejecting it outright because it isn’t that fucking 50 Cent or Sean Paul bull shit that’s been played to death.

If you want to broaden your palette, look up these few DJs: Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold and Paul Van Dyk. Don’t dismiss it just because it’s different.

Guillaume Woof
ACS IV

 

 

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