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To the university community

An Open Letter to Members of the University Community:

I wish to express my regrets at any hurt that might have been caused by statements made by me in a private e-mail made public late last week regarding multi-faith prayer space and diversity on campus. I profoundly regret these comments and that they may have been hurtful to individuals of the Muslim faith as well as the greater university community. I strongly support multiculturalism and diversity on campus. In the past I have been an advocate for multi-faith prayer space and daycare issues, working actively on the “Dollar for Daycare” campaign and encouraging a “yes” vote in last year’s SAC referendum regarding multi-faith prayer space. I am committed to an improved campus environment, one that is welcoming and reflective of the many individuals who comprise the University of Toronto community. I am interested in continuing my involvement in campus diversity and multi-faith issues; I hope you can assist me in this endeavour.

Andrew Lefoley

More opposition to the Varsity Centre Levy

(Re: Optic and “That’s a crock of crap,” 12 March 2002)

Students slagging Optic don’t realize this party was thrown for their benefit. Hosting a $20,000 party was not a burn-money plan, as Rob Thomas believes, but an effort to encourage students to party not as a college or a student club, but as a university. The council, believe it or not, saw Optic as one of the “services” that SAC looks to provide to its constituents.

Putting aside whether Optic was a worthwhile venture, can you really vilify SAC for trying? Last year’s Optic brought out 1200 people (whether they were all students is unsure). Surely that level of interest is one good reason for throwing the party again.

Again, perhaps you feel this money could have been better spent elsewhere. As for myself, while perhaps SAC hasn’t got it right yet, their intentions are good.

The principle behind the party is an example of how SAC looks out for the quality not only of our education but of our undergraduate life, as set out in the SAC mission statement.

So for every undergraduate out there: I hope that before you slam SAC on its spending habits, you first ponder the fact that everything council does, anything with SAC’s name on it, is supposedly out there for your benefit and your enjoyment.

And for the record, those who threw the party were not also guilty of drinking the beer.

Kurt Wong