March 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 86  

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Students to the PM: not impressed

To the Editor:
So, Prime Minister Paul Martin was on campus to participate in a roundtable discussion, but it appeared as though not many took notice or even cared for that matter. This is probably to do with the fact that the Liberal government is getting more than tiresome.

Even with a new leader, the “same shit, different pile” government continues to be plagued by scandal, cronyism and lack of accountability. To the government’s credit, however, I have found lately that I too have a difficulty letting my right hand know what the left one is doing.

Nevertheless, if I had been invited to the roundtable discussion, I’d probably ask the prime minister if I could get my share of $250 million in sponsorship money. A bit of a pipe dream, I’d assume... I’m not a Liberal.

Jamie Wetmore
Economics II

Re: “Prime Minister’s Western visit all about funding,” Mar. 12, 2004

To the Editor:
Prime Minister Paul Martin was on Western’s campus last Thursday, and I must say I was disappointed to hear there were no protesters or student activists marching against the leader’s recent sponsorship scandal.

Call me a skeptic, but I believe we live in a world where no politician is sincere, and Mr. Martin is on top of that list. Name any political leader and I can name an issue in which he or she has caused harm to humanity, and if I can’t name it, I sure won’t have trouble finding an issue. Martin adequately shows that politics is comprised of aristocratic, corrupt capitalists that care more about pleasing the multinational corporation next door than the average Joe who is working hard to earn an honest dollar.

As Plato wrote in The Republic, the political hierarchy should consist of the most humble and pious men, and the ones who wish not to have power should be given it. This is the opposite of what we see today with our politicians: the ones that want power are the least deserving of it.

I wish I had known about Mr. Martin’s visit earlier. I would have constructed my own cardboard sign and picketed against his vain injustices.

Hassan Ahmad
Political Science I

Tell us how you really feel

Re: “USC prez Yeoman discusses year,” Mar. 10, 2004

To the Editor:
After reading the wonderful article on [University Students’ Council President] Paul Yeoman in The Gazette, it has become overwhelmingly clear that Yeoman has failed to accomplish anything of merit. Yeoman is useless.

Erich Isopp
Engineering III

Bookstore policies need to be renovated

To the Editor:
Everyone on this campus pays too much for books they will never use again, and yet resistance is futile as we are all trapped in a monopoly. Despite my hating having to pay hundreds of dollars every semester, I can accept the fact that The BookStore is a necessary evil. Getting an education costs money, and I am willing to accept that.

What I am not willing to accept is the ridiculous way in which The BookStore goes out of its way to promote, of all things, a renovation. Special T-shirts for the staff, a huge banner and posters are the extra frills The BookStore has brought in for “Operation Renovation,” which sounds like something from the end of the Civil War. You don’t see Physical Plant wearing special T-shirts and putting banners up for “Operation Re-Grouting the Washroom Tiles.”

I challenge the university to bring the spending of The BookStore in-line, and taking those funds and putting them into something useful like a renovation of University College Rm. 85. Film classes are taught in a room that has equipment left over from the crusades. The BookStore has the right to a renovation, but not at the cost of thousands of dollars in order to advertise the fact you’re putting down a new coat of paint.

Tim Lade
Film III

Gazette bleeds Tory blue?

Re: “Letter to the prime minister,” Mar. 11, 2004

To the Editor:
PLEASE stop turning The Gazette into a propaganda paper for the Conservative Party, as shown by your editorial. Conservatives are just as inept as the Liberals — Brian Mulroney and his scandal-plagued government being exhibit A.

Contrary to what you may believe, it is not your place to add your personal political views into everything you write. It is not your place to sensationalize everything that happens on campus, and it is not your place to throw The Gazette’s support behind a candidate in the University Students’ Council elections. I expect my student-funded newspaper to be at least somewhat objective, not to taint itself with propaganda.

Though this letter will never get printed since you never seem to put in any letters from people with different political views as yourself, I feel I speak for just as many readers as you seem to think you do.

Mark Vanpee
Science VI

Engineers to Ivey:
Rings diminish out tradition...

Re: “Ivey and engineering at odds over graduate ring,” Mar. 11, 2004

To the Editor:
The Ivey Alumni Association’s ring is to be silver and would be worn on the pinky finger, not unlike the iron ring we engineers receive upon graduation. Now, we have no problems with Ivey giving out rings for graduation, but why with such a similar size and colour, and on the same finger? Ivey put out a statement saying that silver is used instead of gold or other metals for financial considerations, but the permanent colouring of metal is so inexpensive that this is an invalid argument.

It seems Ivey wants to be associated with us; as much as we’re seen as geeks and outcasts in university society, our profession is respected around the world. The iron pinky ring is directly associated with the long, hard years of effort and sacrifice we put in to earn that ring and degree. It symbolizes the pride we engineers have in our profession, while reminding us of our humility.

Ivey wrote that this ceremony is to distinguish the Ivey students and set them apart from other faculties and the rest of the world’s business schools, but how will that be achieved if it looks so much like that of the long-standing tradition of engineers? This will also de-value the experience of HBA students; they probably wouldn’t want to be associated with any other faculty after completing their degree.

We’re sure engineers all over Canada will agree: if Ivey wants to do a ring ceremony, go ahead, but don’t make it so much like ours that it will lessen the meaning. Which faculty will be next to adopt the silver-coloured pinky ring?

Vlad Ivanovski
Electrical Engineering III
Dave Beynon
Computer Engineering III

... and we work harder, too

To the Editor:
The difference between Ivey’s silver rings and the stainless steel rings worn by engineers is visually so slight that as engineers we feel people could easily make the mistake of thinking Ivey graduates have graduated from an accredited university engineering program.

This mistake is so gross and grand that the risk of having people make it should never be taken. The main thing that separates engineering and Ivey graduates is the hard work engineers put into their degrees. While Ivey may demand a certain amount of its own brand of effort, the burden on Ivey students can in no way be compared to the Herculean tasks that are required of engineers. It is insulting and offensive to think Ivey students may be mistaken for people who have put work into their degrees.

Should Ivey really feel the need to have a ceremony that will glorify their HBA degree, we suggest that instead of a ring, they be given a silver money clip with the Ivey insignia. This will allow them to not only quickly identify each other and share an immediate bond, it will allow Ivey graduates an excuse to show off how much money they have.

As engineers, we understand why Ivey students would love to be like us. Unfortunately for them, we don’t want to be affiliated with Ivey in any way.

Andrew Knox
Integrated Engineering IV
Justin Treitz
Electrical Engineering IV

Christians cross with The Gazette

To the Editor:
As a citizen of a country that considers itself a beacon of cultural and religious tolerance, I find humour in the method by which our society chooses what can be the subject of derision and what is out of bounds. A major deciding factor appears to be how mainstream the subject is. If it’s not a minority issue, suddenly respect and acceptance don’t apply any longer.

Using The Gazette as an example, I haven’t seen any jokes about gays, Muslims or Jews in your pages. You have taken some shots at feminists but hey, I guess there are enough of them now to free them from minority status. On the other hand, your editors seem to have fun tearing apart anything mildly associated with Christianity. Yeah, Switchfoot sucks, but their message is far less destructive than some of the lyrics of other bands you have reviewed, so why mention it?

There appears to be a double standard. If M. Night Shyamalan made The Passionlessness of the Buddha, you’d be celebrating it as an expression of religious freedom instead of featuring its director on your Celebrity Dartboard. The degree of respect you give a group should not be determined by the number of members it has. You treat gay, Islamic and Jewish issues with sensitivity, as well you should. How about extending that same sensitivity to Christian matters?

Andrew Turner
Biology II



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