Letters to the editor

Re: Hidden cruelty exposed, Nov. 20Cudos to Matt Lillie for his piece promoting veganism. Factory farming reduces living, breathing, feeling entities to commodities for profit.
Food production today can give us almost limitless alternatives to eating animal products. It’s a matter of educating ourselves, and changing habits. Instead of shopping where you always do, you may have to go five blocks further to find bigger choices in alternatives, but almost all grocery stores in St. Catharines are progressively catering to people who do not wish to end an animal’s life for their own dinner plate, nor contribute to the horrendous suffering which takes place in the process of preparing animals for market.
I contributed to this horrible plight for 53 years. After finding out what really goes on in factory farming I no longer consume animals or animal products. If animals could ask us to spare their lives, they would, and if they could thank us for doing so, they would. On behalf of those whose lives may be spared because someone read this article and took it to heart, thank you, Matt.

Betty Scott
3rd year sociology
and staff member

An open letter to parking services:

I would like to bring to your attention the daily violations of rules and regulations that take place in parking lot A. I have a general permit and whenever I come to school in the evenings, I see people, who have no parking permits at all, driving in without a care in the world. I reckon over 300 cars, possibly more, each evening enter the A lot without permits and they take up space that doesn’t belong to them.
The solution to the problem is painfully obvious. Shut down access to the parking lot after the attendant leaves for the evening. Everyone who has a valid permit can enter with swipe access — and whoever wishes to enter after paying a deposit, can do so as well.
With the gate open, every Tom, Dick and Jezebel drives in without a care in the world. It’s ridiculous to see people with no permits — and no deposits — just driving in and taking up places that they do not have any right to park in! I’m sorry but that’s a violation of parking rules, regulations, plus my rights as a hard working, and paying, student at Brock University! I, and thousands of other students, have paid good money to Brock in order to have legal access to the parking lots. The least you guys can do is to implement your own rules.
Please address this issue at once. With free parking about to close, this will become an even larger problem for everyone.
The gates to A lot must be closed when the attendant leaves, allowing entry only to people who have swipe access or those who pay the deposit. That will make things much easier, and people like myself, who have paid to use the facilities, will not feel cheated by parking services.
God knows, we’re paying enough for everything as it is. The least you can do is make sure the proper people get to park in the parking lots and not a bunch of cheap freeloaders!

Sean Harris
3rd year political science

Re: smoking is bad

We are lucky to be living in a nation where freedom of choice is so abundant that we take it for granted. We are so used to being able to do practically whatever we want, that we rarely find ourselves questioning how our behaviour may be affecting others. I remember in elementary school, there were always a few kids who’d try the “I’m going to swing my arms, but if you get hit, it’s not my fault” stunt.
Once spied by a teacher, this behaviour learned a quick death. But instead of learning our lesson as children, we grow to be adults who simply do whatever we feel like, regardless of the harm it may be causing others.
A classic example of this scenario is smoking. We all feel we have the freedom to choose to smoke, and if it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then why not go on puffing? The significant fallibility of this reasoning is, of course, that smoking does hurt others. Yes, you have the right to light up and poison your body, but what gives you the right to take days off my life? With every whiff of that acrid, nicotine smell, I am filling my lungs with fatal chemicals, and there is nothing I can do about it.
I have the right to a long, healthy life, free of disease and sickness. That means I also have the right to breathe clean air. Smokers have this same fundamental right. But just because they choose to spend their money on thin white sticks filled with the most addictive drug readily available, doesn’t mean they’ve earned the right to slowly murder their peers, friends, and family.
So don’t quit smoking; go ahead and keep puffing. I’ll just quit breathing.

Shawna Katz
2nd year BBA student

Re: residence dining halls

I am writing this letter in question of the recent decorations added to the Residence Dining Hall. The theme of “Santa” and the “North Pole” are, whether or not intentional, undoubtedly in reference to the Christian holiday Christmas. At such a large, culturally diverse institution, it worries me that only the Christian ideology prevails. Even if the majority of the school is of Christian background, it is ignorant and disrespectful to make such a display in an atmosphere that should be welcoming to everyone, both religious and not. Since many different holidays are celebrated in the upcoming months, it would be just as pleasant, and more considerate, if the cafeteria was decorated in a “winter” theme.

Another point of concern happened during the house dinner I attended last month. Before the meal, a Christian minister asked everyone to join him in saying “grace.” Once again, though I am sure his intentions were honourable, it was inappropriate, and offensive, to assume that everyone in attendance was a Christian. Religion should be a personal choice and everyone should be allowed to worship or not worship as they please. Having a religious figurehead is not necessary on such an occasion.

I hope my words will be taken into consideration as I am trying to speak in the most open-minded and considerate perspective.

Melissa Middleton
1st year philosophy

Re: Bookstore run in

Hours after an encounter with the infamous Brock Bookstore, I am scrambling to come up with the words to describe how I feel about the place Brock has become. The place where apparently you can’t be yourself anymore — because frankly none of us can afford to go to Brock. Wasn’t an education one of those things that everybody got and no one could do without?

Then how is it that I find myself distrustful of the one institution I believed was there for my benefit? I am not only furious but saddened by the way that Brock has become more focussed on money than students.

Early Sept. 24, I rushed to the school to return a textbook. As I rushed from my car to the building, I struggled to keep all my things as dry as possible.

After arriving at the bookstore, I was directed to get approval for my refund. After about 15 minutes, somebody recognized I was waiting for assistance and rudely asked “what my problem [was].” After another five minutes, I was told that because the top of the pages is slightly damp, my brand new book has just lost $45 in value. My first reaction was to laugh. A book virtually untouched but temporarily a little damp on the very top edges had depreciated by half its value, which I’m sure is only an eighth of what the bookstore charges to begin with.

This store, which is pretty much the centre of Brock’s universe, is not here for our benefit at all. Instead, its interests lie in the pockets of students who need supplies and books and need them in time to start classes. How can our school support an organization that takes advantage of people who are merely trying to get an education? But the buck doesn’t stop there. I feel like I can’t go to class without my chequebook or my VISA. This isn’t a place where I can feel comfortable because I always need to be looking for the fine print for everything Brock offers.

In the end what we have here at Brock are not a bunch of young people with great potential to become the leaders of the future, but instead over 11,000 exploited people paying more than they need to for items and services provided and/or supported by an institution we thought would treat us better than any other.

Amanda McCormick,
3rd year business communications

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