Small-time complaints unwarranted

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The Queen’s students and faculty who protested in order to express displeasure with conditions at the soon-to-be-opened Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts need to give it a rest.

Last Friday, a group of Queen’s students held a protest hoping to pressure Queen’s administration into creating a better transportation plan for the Bader Centre, which is located beyond main campus. The students also voiced concerns about the lack of food options at the new building and the need for a new crosswalk and traffic lights on King St. outside of the location.

Most of the online comments on the Kingston Whig-Standard article about the protest suggest that the students are whiners. While the grouchy grinders who frequent the Whig’s comment boards tend to hyperbolize, they’re correct in that no one should be overly sympathetic to the concerns of these students.

The protestors would have been better off continuing to sit down and consult with Queen’s and the City of Kingston rather than overplaying their hand. These scholars are on the verge of reaping the benefits of a $60 million investment dedicated to their pursuits. All things considered, the protest’s tone was entitled.

Signs that protest participants carried which read “starving artist” and “feed me” were particularly misguided. Despite the absence of a food outlet at the Bader Centre, students are free to bring their own snacks to tide themselves over while they are away from main campus. In the context of this non-predicament, allusions to starvation trivialize the experience of those actually going hungry.

The group does have some reasonable demands. More direct transportation should be arranged so that students aren’t late for their classes. Yet we need to keep in mind that some students already have classes on West Campus that don’t seem to cause major issues.

The group’s complaints about the safety of the location are their most valid. Queen’s administration and the City of Kingston should work towards rectifying these concerns by installing traffic lights or a crosswalk on King St. to ensure student safety.

The Queen’s students who protested on Friday made a tactical error and played into the worst stereotypes of entitled students. A more consultative approach would likely be more effective.

— Journal Editorial Board

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