Letters to the Editors

Council decision, Garrison’s comments reveal shameful bias against Queen’s

Dear Editors,

Re: “City wants Queen’s to foot the bill” (Journal, Oct.19, 2007)

I was appalled to read “City wants Queen’s to foot the bill” which outlined city council’s decision to have Queen’s pay all extra costs for municipal reinforcements during homecoming. The council’s actions betray a clear prejudice against the Queen’s community and many remarks about its students were totally unreasonable.

Certainly the University should be responsible for some of the cost for extra municipal reinforcements, but to peg Queen’s with the entirety makes the city look uninformed and unjust. As was pointed out in last Friday’s edition of the Journal, Queen’s in no way sponsored, endorsed or even condoned the events on Aberdeen Street (and has no history of doing so). In addition, the majority of students on Aberdeen Street were not from this university at all.

Even if the University had in any way encouraged students to attend the Aberdeen Street party, there is yet another reason not to force them to pay a full 100 per cent of the extra municipal costs for Homecoming. Perhaps we could look into the profit local business owners made over the weekend, especially restaurants and bars. The tidal wave of economic gain that slams into Kingston every year for Homecoming is tremendous. It probably makes the amount the city shells out for police look miniscule in comparison. But of course, this fact was conveniently overlooked by city councillors.

And finally, councillor Steve Garrison should be scolded for his inflammatory and absurd remarks made against Queen’s and its students. Among other things, Garrison claims that Homecoming, and effectively the Queen’s community, have “held the city hostage.” He also throws out the statement that the “majority” of students who received tickets for liquor violations will brag about it to their friends and “hang it on their wall”.

Kingston City Council should be embarrassed that a man in his position, who should be focusing on positive problem-solving solutions and University-city relations can do no more than call names and turn all of our students into one big stereotype. Bravo.

 
Sarah Bruckschwaiger
ArtSci ’09

Journal compromises objectivity in Israeli boycott story

Dear Editors:

Re: “British schools back out of boycott” (Journal, Oct. 12, 2007)

Kerri MacDonald’s story on the British UCU backing out of its proposed boycott of Israeli universities is grotesquely biased. Clearly, all the Journal was interested in was providing a platform for the views of anti-Israel professors at Queen’s, presenting them without context or contrasting opinions (except a few token lines from a professor who opposes boycotts as such) in what is supposed to be a news story.

Certainly, checkpoints and security zones have imposed hardship on Palestinian Arab residents of the West Bank who need to travel, including university students. While the article goes on about this at length, it does not include any indication as to why Israel feels it necessary to take such measures—no mention of the constant threat of jihad terrorism.

Similarly, the disingenuous comparison to apartheid-era South Africa is allowed to go without context or challenge, presenting this libel as fact. In reality, there is no institutional racism in Israeli universities or anywhere else. Israel has many Arab citizens who are equal under the law, serving even in Israel’s version of parliament, the Knesset.

One of her commentators even manages to get in a crack at the sinister power of the Israel lobby—the acceptable means today for a Western leftist to express paranoia concerning the age-old bogeyman of the international Jewish conspiracy.

If the Journal still cares even a little about maintaining a semblance of journalistic objectivity, then MacDonald needs a refresher course on that subject before she does your reputation any more damage.

Douglas Treilhard
ArtSci ’10

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