LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letters to the Editor/Opinion by

Butt out

I’m so happy that McGill is enforcing the new anti-smoking legislation by implementing new policies. It’s about time that non-smokers had some rights around here. Non-smokers are sick of breathing in second-hand smoke everywhere we go. If people want to smoke, they should do it in places where they are not affecting anyone else’s health.

I think what’s even more shocking than smokers wanting rights to smoke in front of entranceways is that McGill students actually smoke in the first place. It’s not like these students are from a generation that didn’t know smoking was so bad for your health.

These are young, vibrant, intelligent people making the conscious decision to smoke cigarettes. Why? I can’t think of one good reason to smoke cigarettes, but I can think of a

hundred reasons not to smoke. Any idiot knows that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, bad breath, stinky hair, yellow teeth and not to mention a shitload of litter all over the place. I always think to myself as I’m enjoying my lunch hour walking through McGill’s campus-this would be the most beautiful campus minus the cigarette butts everywhere. I’m not trying to go all “after school special” on your ass….but really people, get with it.

I have a friend who works in the cancer ward at one of the hospitals downtown and she says that seeing a person suffering from a life of smoking is like seeing a “fish out of water.” The bottom line is I don’t think any of us want to spend the last years of our life literally gasping for air. That especially includes us non-smokers. Oh, and one more thing, stop throwing your fuckin’ butts all over the place-it’s ignorant and disgusting!

-Nadine LessardAdmissions Counsellor

Give Classics its due

At the SSMU General Assembly, during the debate over the motion concerning corporate presence at McGill, some speakers chose to use Classics as an example of an area of study which is under funded in favour of other, perhaps more profitable areas of study. There are a few things about this which are problematic. First, it seems rather

disingenuous of these speakers to even bring up Classics in this debate. If they were truly concerned about funding for Classics, then they would have been at the first general assembly of the Classics Student Association (which was held on Monday, October 2nd).

Furthermore, Classics does not receive funding in the amount that certain departments do because it is not a department. It is a programme of the History Department. Currently, there are 68 students who are pursuing an Honours, a Major, or a Minor in Classics. The

Classics programme has, however, seen some growth in the past few years, with new professorships being created with focus on classical subjects. Some of the funding for Classics scholarships and prizes, though, comes from outside organisations and foundations. Would the supporters of the motion concerning corporate presence at McGill have these awards taken away from deserving students?

-Timothy GortaU2 Classics

FEUQgate explained

As a due-paying member of SSMU and a FEUQ executive, these past days have been difficult for me. I am disappointed that SSMU Council has initiated a needless referendum that is not in the best interests of McGill’s students, based solely on the testimony of Jacob Itzkowitz, without ever giving me the opportunity to state my case and defend myself against these utterly false accusations.

The “secretive meeting” at the centre of this scandal was a gathering of four SSMU members and one FEUQ executive to prepare for the impending referendum on renewing SSMU’s membership of FEUQ. The fee is only $2.50 per student per semester, which is a bargain when considering what FEUQ accomplishes. Given the personal conflicts that existed between SSMU executives and FEUQ last year, I did not want to risk SSMU Council endorsing a non-renewal out of spite.

At no point did we break any laws of SSMU or FEUQ. Itzkowitz was present at the meeting because he is a skilled campaign organizer who claimed to be in favour of renewing SSMU’s membership in FEUQ.

Clearly we were duped, as Itzkowitz has since spread false allegations that we plan to influence SSMU Council and attempt to prevent an affiliation with the Canadian Federation of Students. SSMU Council does not have the ability to renew the FEUQ membership, so I fail to see what would motivate the FEUQ executive to attempt to influence it.

There is no reason we would wish to prevent SSMU from affiliating with CFS. In fact, the Concordia Student Union is a member of both federations and FEUQ has encouraged other student unions to join CFS.

I call upon all parties involved to let cooler heads prevail. It is in the best interests of students at McGill and across Quebec that FEUQ and SSMU return to the productive and respectful working relationship that existed before this incident occurred.

-Trevor HannaU3 PhysicsFEUQ VP Federal and International Affairs