LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Opting out of Brendan’s column

Letters to the Editor/Opinion by

Re: “Opting out of QPIRG” by Brendan Steven (26.1.10)

If the groups conducting the QPIRG: Opt Out campaign would like to stay atop their high horses, they should request that students be able to opt out of funding their activities as well. My student fees support many opportunities of which I do not take advantage (e.g. the McGill Gym), some which do not particularly apply to me (e.g. the National Society of Black Engineers), and some which pursue activities which I find wasteful and detrimental (these shall remain nameless). But I support all of these willingly – they’re part of our campus culture, encouraging a diversity of opinion on today’s important issues. QPIRG McGill has fostered many groups in their naissance, including Queer McGill, the McGill Food Systems Project, SACOMSS, the Plate Club, Greening McGill, Campus Crops, Tapthirst, KANATA, the Indyclass Collective (Designing your own class? Far too dangerous to the conservative mindset.), and the McGill Global AIDS Coalition, among others. (Full disclosure: I’m a former member of Greening McGill.)

As to Steven’s criticism of those “others”: what is so abhorrent about opposing security certificates, which assume detainees guilty until proven innocent, allow evidence produced under torture, and blinds the defence by denying them access to evidence? About exploring anti-capitalism? About promoting discussion of the meaning of “terrorism” and the conditions that create it? You’re welcome to attend QPIRG Board of Directors meetings. Speak with your SSMU or PGSS reps on the Board. Engage in a civil debate. But please stop attempting to bully and suppress a group of your fellow students. Give up one gourmet coffee and hand over your $3.75 to QPIRG – to a diversity of voices on campus, to an innovative organization that continues to bring passionate people together, to an organization that McGill would be much more stodgy and conservative without.

– Maggie Knight U2 Environment & Economics