St. Mike’s double standard
Despite the efforts to elevate the Catholic faith at this July’s World Youth
Day, the heads of St. Michael’s College will, in all likelihood, retain their
misguided belief that Catholic standards can be compromised for the
sake of maximizing their summer revenues.
In August of 2000, a 34-point grievance (ascertained from several U of T residents) was presented to SMC’s administration. Complaints against
CISS (Canadian International Student Services) teens included countless late-night lawn parties, profuse littering, repeated urinating upon the revered War Memorial Archway, obstructing aisleways and stairwells, vandalism, marijuana socials, and numerous hazardous acts that jeopardized these teens’ own wellbeing. Stephen Fish, SMC’s Director of Facilities and Services, preserved the status quo with the curt reply: “College business is just that, college business.”
That fall, the college was deemed hypocritical for tolerating this summer
lawlessness, while compelling full-time residents to uphold much stricter
behavioral codes (“Tolerating the Manure of the Cash Cow,” The Mike
newspaper, Nov. 2000). Yet neither President Alway, nor former president Reverend James McConica, nor any other member of SMC’s Governing Board commented on this blatant double standard.
Lastly, when CISS’s “animal house” antics continued in the summer of
2001, an appeal was sent to SMC’s Chancellor, Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic. His Eminence was provided copies of the above-mentioned
grievance, The Mike article, and recent complaints of CISS teens having
sex on SMC’s lawns in broad daylight. Nevertheless, Cardinal Ambrozic
restricted his involvement to a three-sentence letter thanking me for my
concern for the moral tone of St. Michael’s College.
One of the main organizers of this summer’s World Youth Day expressed the belief that this spiritual celebration provides the Catholic community “a very important shot in the arm” for taking God and one another very seriously (The Scarborough Mirror, August 2001).
With no small miracle from that very God, maybe SMC’s chieftains will be equally influenced.
Michael A. J. Pereira, HBSc (0T1) resided at SMC from 1997-2001.
Censorship is not the answer
I wish to express my concern over the proposed response to concerns
over “The war against terrorism is a war against Islam,” by Mr. Somer.
In the April 15 issue, you say “[an] incisive vetting process for opinion
articles to ensure such concerns do not arise again” will be used.
This is not the way to handle the issue.
I would think a newspaper that has no qualms with printing cartoons that
are potentially offensive-and certainly in bad taste-would resort to
censorship. Censorship is not the answer. Mr. Somer’s position was
perfectly valid in his mind, and perhaps reading rebuttals to his stance led him to change his opinion.
Perhaps, instead, you should consider an alternative measure:
Print a disclaimer with any editorial that might be deemed offensive to
some group of the University population.
Publish a countering opinion on the same page as a “potentially
A logical debate of contentious issues is the appropriate course of action, not censorship.