Letters to the Editors

Bikes thefts hamper sustainability

Re: “Upgrading sustainability at Queen’s,” (October 29).

Dear Editors

Regarding the grades Queen’s got for sustainability; it is encouraging to see the overall increase from B- to B. However, there is clearly room to improve on the C grade awarded in the transportation category. Based on an informal survey of cyclists carried out around the south-east corner of campus, bicycle theft is a significant disincentive to riding to campus.

Thieves target the concentration of bikes on campus with virtual impunity, often stripping and stealing bikes in broad daylight.

Some riders sustain the losses or switch to even clunkier bikes; others give up and burn fossil fuels to get here.

Riders who live 15-20 km away need better bikes for the commute and either don’t cycle or contravene safety regulations by locking their bikes inside a building.

To make Queen’s more bicycle friendly we need secure lock-ups like the bike corral Kingston General Hospital has provided for their employees, coupled with passive video surveillance.

Meanwhile, if any of your readers have experienced an incident of bicycle theft on campus please send me an email at peter.davies@queensu.ca with a few details: what was lost, value, when and where, did you report the theft to campus security or the police and how has it affected your commuting? Thanks.

Peter L. Davies, Department of Biochemistry

DEVS professors care

Dear Editors,  

The roman statesman Cicero once said that shifts of fortune test people’s reliability. In my recent experience, the shift of fortunes not only tested but confirmed the reliability of many Queen’s professors.

I underwent an application process that required both academic and character references.

Current and former professors agreed to act as academic references, many of whom were from the global development studies department.

The period in which to write the reference letters was tight. Within a few days, I had received all letters except for one.

I learned that a professor had to leave town unexpectedly and could not be contacted. In a crunch, I contacted a DEVS professor explaining my situation, acknowledging the short notice.

Without a blink of an eye, he agreed to help me out, finishing the letter and asking if that was all I needed. He not only came through for me, but was extremely encouraging and helpful throughout the application.

When push came to shove, it was my professors who came through. They were approachable and encouraging. They asked for transcripts, resumes and other documents in order to do a thorough job.

They also did this with courses, masters’ students, sick children, research projects and their own interests.

This has consistently been my experience with the DEVS department. Every professor has been an encouraging force.

As midterms are upon us, we are also undergoing course evaluations. However, I feel, the DEVS professors are a shining example of what professors should be.

Whether or not my application is successful, I have learned so much from DEVS and know wholeheartedly that my professors have our best interests in mind.

I not sure what awaits me next year, but I know that I have a firm educational grounding and a foundation of support behind me.

Therefore, as my undergraduate degree is quickly flying by, I think it is an appropriate time for all of us to thank all the dedicated professors in our school.

Leah Larocque, ArtSci ’11

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