Letters to the Editors

Debating SGPS performance

Dear Editors,

Re: “The SGPS’s ineffectiveness” (Journal, April 5, 2007)

B. Shiva Mayer’s opinion piece on the “ineffectiveness” of the SGPS is flat out wrong.  He might have recognized that if he turned back from his article to page 3 of the April 5 Journal describing the task force on the needs of Muslim students that the SGPS participated in through its membership in the Canadian Federation of Students (Ontario), and brought to Queen’s. 

The SGPS is an effective organization at Queen’s. It isn’t as big as the AMS, but it still has hundreds of its members participating in a wide variety of committees all across campus. It provides services to its members ­­­— beyond the ubiquitous ISIC card, the SGPS offers a health and dental plan, the SGPS organizes social functions for graduate and professional students, and the SGPS provides free day planners to its members. The SGPS also runs (and will now be funding most of) the Student Advisor program, which provides valuable advocacy to graduate and professional students facing conflicts with faculty members.

 Further, B. Shiva Mayer’s article has its facts wrong. The SGPS has never committed to funding the Queen’s Centre. In fact, the SGPS Executive has clearly and emphatically indicated to the University’s administration that it will not do so. SGPS members already make substantial contributions to Queen’s through tuition and ancillary fees, and the University administration has a responsibility to fund new construction projects. 

The SGPS is aware of the importance of the new Queen’s Centre, and has remained actively involved in consulting with the administration on its development, including most recently in consultations on proposed governance structures.

 B. Shiva Mayer had best check his facts about the decision to close the After-Hours Childcare.  The last usage report regarding After-Hours care showed that undergraduate students accounted for 49 per cent of hours used, compared to only 22 per cent for graduate students. Despite the importance of the service to its members (demonstrated by actual use of the service) and the small impact the cost had on its budget, the AMS closed After-Hours Childcare. Perhaps former AMS executives should look at their own organization before questioning the SGPS.

Andrew Sadler
LL.B., 2007 and former SGPS VP (external)

Lack of journalistic rigour compounds QEA’s spelling error

Dear Editors,

Re: “Repetitive De Rigeur trumps Living Planet for Title” (Journal, April 5, 2007)

In your April 6 issue you ran a review of the QEA Battle of the Bands.  I am the bass player from ‘De Rigueur’, the band who won said competition.  I would like to start by saying that I appreciate the criticisms of your writer Taylor Burns, and I don’t intend this as a disgruntled response to his less than sparkling review of our band.

That being said, I found it rather repugnant and unprofessional that after assailing our performance with criticism he thought it worth the insult to suggest that we are too ignorant to spell our band’s name properly. I want it to be known that we have spelled the name ‘De Rigueur’ correctly since day one, and have made jokes on stage regarding the constant confusion amongst concert promoters with the spelling. Thus, through your writer’s own lack of journalistic rigour (excuse the pun), he mistook the ignorance of the QEA for ours and published in his article that we misspell the term as ‘De Rigeur’  for the Queen’s population to read. 

As an aside, the anglicized spelling can be both ‘De Rigueur’ and ‘De Rigeur,’ and that if your writer consulted a dictionary he might also have known as much.

Furthermore, his criticisms of the QEA’s operation were misguided.  While Mr. Burns focused on the QEA’s mainstream (and apparently bland) choice of making us the winners of their competition, he failed to mention the organizational miscues which made the show a mild failure in the first place. 

Firstly, the QEA asked that the bands sign up 10 of their own fans beforehand to receive a discount on tickets. Essentially they made participation in the Battle contingent upon fulfilling a minimum quota of attendees. They also advertised that the Battle would span two nights, but because they were unable to secure enough bands they limited it to one night. 

Finally, no prize or token was provided for any of the bands who lent their talents so the QEA could put on a show. It seems the real story here is the QEA’s attempt to get a freebie, and make a little money to pull ever-so-slightly out of the debt trap they have plunged themselves into.

Thank you for your consideration, and I hope that you approach your responsibility as the voice of this campus with more integrity in the future.

Josh Krusell
ArtSci ’07

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