Letters to the editor

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McGill Reporter
December 8, 2005 - Volume 38 Number 08
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Letters to the editor

Parent lauds McGill's courage

McGill, through its interim provost, Anthony Masi, demonstrated courage and leadership by cancelling the Redmen's remaining games and punishing the players more appropriately, following a complaint regarding a Redmen initiation ritual that turned ugly.

The young student and his father who reported the Redmen's sexual and degrading initiation ritual showed much courage and their decision to tell delivers a message of hope and will help any student who would like to talk in the future.

McGill sends a clear message that it will no longer tolerate any form of hazing and that it welcomes any disclosure of such practices. This is in complete opposition to football coach Chuck McMann's decision to brush off the hazing incidents.

McGill sends a message of hope to all its students, as the university showed the desire and the capacity to change things. After all, McGill is a worldwide leader that must set an example for its students, as it is forming the future citizens of this country.

In view of McGill's reaction and actions in the Redmen hazing scandal, I am proud to see that my three daughters, VĂ©ronique, Genevieve and Anne, all with a doctorate degree from McGill, chose the university to complete their studies.

Denise Villeneuve Morinville, Piedmont, QC

Students respond to Rae article

Last issue's article "Rae pushes for gold", by Jeff Roberts, in which Bob Rae talks of the need for increased funding for universities, certainly got some attention. Students of the religious studies professor Norman Cornett wrote to the Reporter with their own views on education and funding, bolstered by a recent in-class discussion with former McGill principal Bernard Shapiro and former Concordia University rector, Fred Lowy.

The volume of letters speaks to the students' passion on the subject. They were opinionated, thoughtful and recognized that money has to come from somewhere. Below are some excerpts, edited for clarity. Thanks to everyone who wrote in.

Private education [should] be systematically eradicated so that the only differentiation between a good secondary education and a great one is not the amount of tuition paid by the student but the entrance criteria. Smarter students equal motivated professors. Alumni who see a continuing trend in excellence at their former schools will donate, increasing quality of facilities, technology and research.
Sonita Bindra, U3 Psychology

[Quebec students] need to fully understand how good of a deal they are getting and also to understand that increased financial commitment on their part would only enhance their education instead of trying to get something for nothing.
Adam Rohloff, U3 Chemistry

Frederick Lowy...calls upon additional public funding for schools in economically disadvantaged areas, and he feels that standardized tests and increasing grades required for higher education will put students from disadvantaged communities in an even worse situation. Rae proposes no meaningful solution to the chronic under-representation of students from poorer backgrounds
Abrar Khan, U3 Microbiology and Immunology

I am willing to pay a higher rate for my education if it means smaller class sizes, more teaching assistants and better libraries. If we uncap our tuition rates and at the same time increase scholarships and bursaries, those who can afford to pay more will, and those who can't will receive social assistance. The Charest government must either increase tuition or increase funding before another faculty is sold. I didn't come to McGill to obtain a McDegree with a side order of fries; I came for the best education in the country.
Jeffrey Rock, U3 Microbiology and Immunology

The issues raised in Roberts' article make me nervous that Canada might some day look like America, where students from middle-class families get the worst deal, having to take out loans to pay tuition, while financially challenged students get a free ride.
Erica Zelfand, U3 English and Religious Studies

[On taking out large loans to attend] By doing this, we are effectively forcing anyone who goes to university to get a well-paying job. That will shift the focus of education even further into the direction it has been going for years; that education is not about learning but about getting a good paying job.
Paul Nedzela, U3 Math

...measures need to be taken in order to ensure that Canada does not go down the path of the United States instead of Australia and England. Education should be available to anyone who wants to pursue it, and not an elitist privilege.
Madison Atkins, U3 Latin American and Caribbean Studies

I think we should wait and observe the foreign systems of tuition fee calculations. Maybe we could save ourselves some great troubles and implement such systems when they have already been well refined in other countries.
Youri Kaitoukov

The government gives the school money so that the school can give money to its students. The school will then give its students the money, which will essentially be fed immediately back into the school. Years later, when (and IF) students ever get a good job, they can say "Awesome. I'm still incredibly in debt, but now I owe my school AND the government money I used to get real smart-like. Please pass the Kraft dinner and Gatorade mix, it's time for my daily meal."
Scott Hamilton

...we have a CEO running our school now, business is business. This is the best administration to go about hiking tuition rates. I think they should take full advantage.
Adam Symington, U3 International Development Studies

I hear students complaining about Zoom ads in one breath and then about the quality of their professors/buildings/computer labs in the next. Maybe it is time that we become less picky as to where our money comes from. If we have to post ads on every surface of this university, that's fine, as long as what I paid for, my education, improves for it.
Kevin Weitzman, U3

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