Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the month of September

Tuesday, Sept. 25

Dear Students,        

We are landlords of three properties rented to Queen’s students. We have been landlords for a long time and are past Queen’s grads ourselves. You need to know that you have a voice in your community and you can make it heard in the upcoming city elections. The councilor for the Sydenham District, where a lot of you live, is Peter Stroud.  He is not representing you the way he should be. He claims to be an advocate for your needs but he is really an advocate for the single-family owners in the area. Just last year he attempted to freeze all city building permits in the district, to put an end to what he calls “monster homes.” These are the homes that landlords like us are modifying and restoring to accommodate the growing needs of you—the students who support Kingston and help our community thrive. He didn’t target any large additions being put on by single families– he only came after the ones being done for students. Councilor Stroud was forced to make a formal apology to us by the Integrity Commissioner as he breached ethics in the way he treated us, and by proxy you, last year. This is also the same Councilor who stepped out to a pub during a council meeting last summer—sounds fun but not a cool move for somebody being paid to attend and understand the issues being discussed.        

You are an important part of Kingston. Make sure your City representatives are looking after you. You have three other options in the upcoming election that you can vote for instead of Peter Stroud—two of these are Queen’s students themselves (Dylan Chenier and Matt Gaiser) and the other is a local business owner in the heart of the Queen’s area (Steve France of Old Farm Fine Foods on Barrie St).  

Please vote!

Chris and Cristy Gaudreau

Monday, Sept. 17

Dear Editor, 

I read your piece on Cassidy Dean's silver medal at the FISU world rowing championship. Of course, I understand the focus on Cassidy in a Queen's newspaper, but I was surprised by the complete and total omission of any information about her teammate in this brilliant performance. Her crewmate, Kristina Walker—that's her name, by the way—was not even captioned in the accompanying photograph. I know that Kristina is not a Queen's student—she's at UBC­—but she is from this area, grew up on Wolfe Island, attended Kingston schools and, like Cassidy, rowed with Kingston Rowing Club. She's also a fantastic person who has raised thousands of dollars for cancer research at KGH. I can bet that Cassidy would be the first person to acknowledge that this was not a solo effort, so please do not erase the achievements of brilliant women–even if they aren't at Queen's. 

David Murakami Wood

Department of Sociology 

PS: On the race itself, Cassidy and Kristina held off New Zealand, not the USA, for second place, only to see China just edge them for the gold. They will be back. 

Saturday, Sept. 15 

To the Editor: 

An individual's life is a continuum. If there is anything after death, I don't know, but when does life begin? At conception? At birth? This seems to be the crux of the problem regarding both embryonic stem-cell research and abortion.

On the most basic level, what distinguishes one individual from another. I think most would agree that, biologically, each of us is defined by out genetic code—our DNA. So, perhaps the question should be when does an individual's DNA first appear? The answer is that each person's DNA is formed when the egg is fertilized at conception.
If, in addition, life is defined as self-generated action, then it's clear that the embryo represents an individual life. There are no little fingers in the mother's womb sculpting a being out of an undifferentiated mass of cells. The mother provides the environment and materials (oxygen, food) from which ... the embryo creates itself. It makes no sense to argue that since the embryo is not physically apart it is not a separate entity. A newborn child is just as dependent upon others for survival; it is only the way it acquires what it needs that is different. Of course women have the right to do what they wish to their own bodies, but that right does not extend to destroying the life of another, except in self-defense. There are no special women's rights (or men's rights, black rights, white rights, etc.). Only the individual possesses rights–the most basic of these being the right to life.

Michele Alice     

Tuesday, Sept. 11

Hello:

As a longtime Queen's Golden Gaels' football fan, I have attended many home games over the last four decades. This past Saturday, September 8th, I was greatly dismayed to observe the Queen's Bands—symbolic leaders of the renowned Queen's spirit—were conspicuously absent. I'm sure it was the first time in anyone's living memory the Bands were not present at a home game. Where were they? It has been painfully obvious the Live Event Planners have gone out of their way to diminish the involvement of the Band's during games. The death nell sounded over a decade ago with the introduction of the recorded music, although some might argue it sounded even earlier when the National Anthem was taken away from the Bands. Then, as more and more "attractions" were added to halftime, (supposedly to entertain those in attendance), the Band's performance was reduced from the entire 15 minutes, to a mere five. I'll admit, the overall decline in quality of play and organization of the Band's, have contributed to their decline, but it is the Event Planners who control the puppet strings on game day. An example: the Band's used to play spontaneously. For some years now, they have been linked by walkie-talkie to the Event Coordinator, who tells them just when and for how long they can play, excluding—supposedly­—when Queen's scored a touchdown, when everyone knows they will play the Oil Thigh, (everyone except, it seems, whoever actually inserts the recorded music, as demonstrated the week before, when some random tune played following the team's first touchdown, even though the small number of Bands members who were in attendance bravely played. By the way, if ever the Bands are absent again, the recorded music played immediately following a Queen's TD should be an Oil Thigh, not the random tune heard so often September 8th - DUH!) Games occurring prior to the start of term do cause a problem for the Band's, I realize. Recruitment doesn't really occur till well into Frosh Week, if not later. That said, the small group who attended the first home game September 2nd should've shown up for the next game. They were expected. I'd like to know just who was responsible for their absence? Whoever it was just drove another nail into not only the Bands' coffin, but into the coffin of Queen's spirit, too.

Sincerely,

Lynn Hargreaves

Thursday, Sept. 6

Greetings,

This morning while jogging to the newly unveiled Gord Downie Pier, I was dismayed to see the solo cups, beer cans and refuse littering this lovely new edition to our waterfront.  This sight, coupled with my experience at the pier when it first opened, leads me to write this letter and call on Queen's University to take action regarding the behaviour of its students in regards to this public space. 

When visiting the space for the first time, I observed students day drinking, throwing cans and bottles into the lake and using loud profanity with no regard for those around them.  I remember being in university and thinking the world was my playground; I get it.  But this space was completed for the enjoyment of ALL visitors and residents of the city, to say nothing of the safety issues associated with drunk students and swimming.  It reflects very poorly on our city, and Queen's, that this space has become a student public drinking spot.  Queen's needs to step up to either police this area, hire people to clean up the trash, and make it know to its students that such behaviour is unacceptable.  And what is the city doing about it?

I'm hoping this problem will be addressed before Gord Downie Pier becomes the next Aberdeen street in the news.  Residents (whose taxes were/are wrapped up in this project) and visitors will quickly become put off by the current atmosphere and abandon this wonderful spot to the student mob.

Rachel Vandenassem

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