Woodsworth College is not a good example of poor customer service

(Re: “Ah, cumbersome bureaucracies,” 29 October 2001)

With regards to the opinion of Eric Quon-Lee, although I will not argue many of the points he made, I find the photo of the “lack of customer service” to be an attack on the wrong college. As a student of Woodsworth, who has dealt with many levels of the administration, I find it ironic that I have always had excellent service there.

I have heard horror stories of students complaining about other colleges, and I agree that during the rush times of the year, even Woodsworth ends up with long lines.

This is why they bring in more staff at those times and increase hours.

I have always found the staff to be professional and very helpful. In addition, this is one of the only colleges that provides a 24-hour study space during exam periods.

I agree that there may be many problems that could be rectified at the university level, but in my opinion, Woodsworth is setting a good example that other colleges and university administrators could emulate.

Debby Donnelly
Woodsworth College

Social critiques did not give women the vote

(Re: “Conservatives criticize courses but ignore the value of critique,” 29 October 2001)

I found Audrey Giles’ letter of 29 October “Conservatives criticize courses but ignore the value of critique” to be supremely ironic. Notwithstanding the thrust of her argument, her claim that “Feminist critiques resulted in changes in legislation that allowed women to be viewed as people and also gave them the right to vote” is ludicrous at best.

First and foremost, women were granted the rights of persons not as a result of changes in legislation, but rather through court challenges, and specifically a privy council ruling.

Furthermore, the notion that feminist critiques were the leading causes in granting women the right to vote and in the persons case is laughable.

Indeed, the changes took place long before modern feminist critiques had evolved (largely a post WWII phenomenon). Instead the right to vote and the people’s case owe far more to liberal notions of equity then to feminist critiques of patriarchy.

Perhaps Ms. Giles’ studies of women in Canada would be better served by an old fashioned course in Canadian political history then courses in “Sport and Society.”

Then again, that may just be a “white-stream” belief that arguments are more compelling when supported by facts.

Carl Irvine

Unsolicited defence of Mikey Mike

For more than a year I’ve been tempted to write to the Varsity in response to many a misinformed, illogical, and taunting editorial or article. I have refrained on several tempting occasions but I must now stop, take a public stand and defend a cartoon in the Varsity that depicts “extreme” masturbation.

Lil’ Skeeter and the other comical inventions of Mike Winters deserve a place in the pages of the Varsity, not because of any shock factor in their content, but on their own merits as bizarre and hilarious depictions of life’s absurdities and randomness. If you question how pictures of a man dressed only in a helmet and elbow pads, with eyes and mouth daftly open, and hand on his penis, hurling through the air and subsequently crashing into a wall is funny, then you should at least acknowledge that not everyone shares the same sense of humour.

One person’s Farside is another’s Handicapitalist. Chances are if you believe a comic is only being published for the sake of “advertis[ing] what the Varsity will let [this comic] get away with” then its essence is nothing Andrew Tyler finds humourous. But that doesn’t mean it’s not funny. Keep up the insanity Mr. Winters and all the other Varsity cartoonists.

Scott Rudan

Varsity unloved forever and ever

(Re:”The Varsity needs a midterm,” 22 October 2001 and letter “Extreme Cartoons too much so…,” 29 October 2001)

Last week, reading a newspaper on a subway train, as I usually do, I was praying that none of my fellow passengers would glance at the last page of what I was reading. Then I turned a page…and prayed for the same thing again. Then I turned one more…well, you get the picture now, but you probably wouldn’t believe that I was ashamed of reading the Varsity, a paper, presumably, with a long tradition of respectable reporting, on a high intellectual level.

Actually, the Varsity is the only paper at the university that I have been reading on a regular basis since my first year here. I would even say I greatly enjoy reading every issue. I hope the one that made me shudder last week was a sad exception.

Ironically, that was the very issue asking for “a midterm” for the paper.

I am glad someone already pointed out that it had been too much to put the masturbation cartoon [letter writer Andrew Tyler]. I wonder who ever could find it funny.

The other graphically bothering image is a gorilla’s head in a frying pan in a puddle of blood [Feature, Oct. 22] Listen, Dr.Goodall is doing a great job in protecting the endangered species, but please spare me the visual details of the brutalities.

My most “favourite” part in that issue was: “No bitch, you just don’t get it, do you?”

In “The left vs. my mom”[by Mike Winters]. Even if this never happened, as noted in the article, it still was brought up on the pages of the paper, I guess to underline the author’s emotions & determination to stay left whatever it takes. Well, it’s his right, but personally I wouldn’t publish unflattering things about any mother’s name, even in hypothetical context. I just don’t think that’s funny.

In conclusion, no marks to you, just advice: Don’t stretch the notion of democracy so that you include all manner of indecency and bad taste in your publication, and then your paper will be loved forever and ever.

Olga Abramov

Art and letter from Mendelson Joe

(Re: “A little matter called academic freedom,” 15 October 2001)

Kelly Holloway’s article reminds me again that all is not too well at U of T. Who owns these clowns that call the shots at the helm of the academy? Ever since [former university president] Prichard anointed the kinder, gentler murderer George Bush Sr. with an honourary doctorate, it has become painfully clear that U of T is owned by corporations. I personally prefer to own myself in this existence.

Mendelson Joe


16 October 2001: All photos in the Science section on page seven were taken by Nermeen Mouftah.

29 October 2001: The Varsity published a letter by Hamish Marshall with the title “OPCCA shut up.” The title should have read “Political agendas suck.” We apologize to Marshall and the OPCCA.

1 November 2001: It was stated that a BC same-sex marriage case involved eight men. Eight gay and lesbian couples were involved.

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