Groups aid locally and overseas

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Students respond to media trends, cite need for awareness.”
March 31, 2009

To the editor:
We are glad to see that students are paying attention to the media, and that they are also concerned about the amount of coverage human rights issues receive in the mainstream media.

However, we take issue with many of the things said by Celine Poirier. Celine complains of groups focusing their attention overseas when there are problems “here in our very own Canada.” While it is true that there are many important issues occurring in Canada, they in no way compare to the enormity of human rights violations occurring many places overseas. We are privileged to be living in the society we live in and with that privilege comes responsibility.

Also, the writer may be interested to know that STAND is in fact working to help those “in our own backyard.” STAND is currently running a volunteer-based tutoring program twice a week for children coming from families with English as a second language. These STAND volunteers give up six hours a week because they care enough to give their time to really make a difference in our community.

In addition, though we agree with many of the things said by Dave Beitelman, we disagree with his statement that donating to STAND " or other organizations like it " doesn’t contribute to “lasting awareness.” STAND is first and foremost an advocacy organization; we use that money to ensure that people are kept aware. At the very core of what we do is educating the Canadian public about the ongoing genocide.

We agree that there are a number of pressing world issues that deserve attention, however, getting involved in even one " such as the genocide in Darfur " opens your eyes to a host of other issues and causes as well. People may initially get involved with what they hear about, but this can only lead to more awareness. If anyone does want to get more involved in many of the great initiatives happening here on campus " that largely go uncovered by the media, please visit www.getinvolvedwestern.ning.com
"Alex Hodgson
VP-media STAND Western
Biochemistry IV

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