Letters to the Editor

The Excalibur opinions section welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (no longer than 300 words). All submissions must be accompanied by the writer’s name, major, year and  telephone number/email address. Submissions longer than 300 words will be sent back to be shortened. All submissions will be edited for clarity, spelling and grammatical errors. All editing is up to the discretion of the editor.
Materials deemed libelous or discriminatory by Excalibur will not be printed. All opinions expressed in the opinions section are those of their authors and are not necessarily those of the Excalibur staff, editorial board or Board of Publishers.
Send submissions to our office at 420 Student Centre, fax to 416-736-5841 or email to
letters@excal.on.ca. Please embed submissions in the body of the email.
“This is what an activist looks like”
features» feb. 2, 2011
Feminist hypocrisy Luke Robinson
I realize it is not easy to be anti-feminist.
I realize that it is not chivalrous to paint women in an unflattering light, and so I can appreciate your attempt to humour the ladies featured in your article.
I want to be clear from the start that I am not sexist. I love women, but I hate silliness, and that brings me into almost-eternal conflict with feminists.
So let’s be real about the Feminist Action @ YU discussed in your article. From what I gather, it seems their only stated goals are anti-oppression and to not get raped.
Well, good for them. I also don’t want anyone to get raped. That’s not really a feminist argument, or even an argument at all. But what is their argument? They don’t want to say.
“How can we sit here and talk about systems of oppression when we’re using privileged methods?” says Cersei, a Feminist Action member highlighted in the article.
So wait a minute? No one’s actually oppressing you? You have the ability to discuss your arguments in rational, formal settings designed to maximize your logical output and audience, and you can’t because it’s too privileged?
That’s not oppression, that’s almost retardation. But we are being chivalrous today. That’s silliness.
So if they don’t want to discuss their argument, or let people know about their cause, it seems their only goal is not to get raped, to be anti-oppression and to brighten everyone’s day with boring, trampled-under-feet sidewalk graffiti and feel-good erotic bake sales with high school-caliber sex jokes.
That’s a good thing.
I like graffiti, especially when it’s not feminist at all, and who doesn’t enjoy a penis cookie? It’s a good thing nobody’s oppressing them, because oppression is bad. I don’t think you can find anybody who would argue for oppression.
Oh, wait. Here’s one. And look, it’s right in the same article. How convenient: “Unless [the administration] have this new way of thinking, anything that disseminates downward from them is totally useless,” says Cersei, an “anti-oppression” feminist.
Let’s just review this: the complete and total invalidation of a system of thought based on little argument and no discussion. That, my darling Cersei, is oppression of the most narrow-minded variety.
Of the many atrocious logical fallacies in this, the only argument a feminist presents in the whole article, there is the outright hypocrisy of arguing against oppression with oppression.
This was Cersei’s response to the York administration’s attempt to oppress her and all women by accidentally overlooking that an environmental agency advertising in York Lanes was founded by and is no longer associated with Vanier rapist Daniel Katsnelson, and removing the advertisement promptly when people complained.
To conclude: Feminist Action @ YU wants you not to get raped. They want you to be anti-oppression. They want you to think like they do, and if not, they will attack you with Stalinist logic and oppression.
To the ladies of Feminist Action @ YU: you’re discrediting your own cause by arguing against oppression with oppression, though thankfully nothing in the article suggests that your cause might have anything to do with feminism.
If anything, it just makes you seem like a bunch of slightly crotchety, angry old spinsters who love to bake and not to think.
Luckily, I know better, and think that you’re all probably lovely people.
So use your brains, ladies, or go back to high school.
Oh, and you can use my real name.
“York pres on Egyptian youth in revolt”
news» feb. 2, 2011
President’s candor Frank Marchese
I appreciate the candor President Shoukri showed in his responses to questions posed by Excalibur in regards to the crisis in Egypt.
Understandably, this is a personally difficult time for him: Egypt is his country of origin, he was born and educated there, has family in Cairo and his concerns for their safety must be very worrisome. He comments that although the opposition has outlets for their grievances, “the authorities,” he says, “appear to be totally disinterested […] they treat the opposition with disrespect or disregard.”
This seems to harmonize with much of the media coverage that comes through CNN, BBC and other news networks, in their reports on the government’s
response to this crisis and how journalists are being mistreated.
I think it is important for the York community to be aware of President Shoukri’s personal association with his country of origin at this time, his sensitive and insightful views on the current crisis, and I appreciate Excalibur’s initiative in interviewing him.
“Founders fights to keep residence”
news» jan. 26, 2011
Save Founders  Brandon Atkinson, vice-president external affairs, Founders College council; Julian Jasniewski, director of social/cultural McLaughlin College council; Laksh Vig, president, New College council; Nikki Adamo; Christina Angeloni; Ted Arniotis; Rana Attia; Michael Baggetta; Daniela Banbur; Daniel Bay; Brendon Best; Arya Bissoon; Victoria Blom; Andrew Brown; Maria Burbano Santamaria; Cristina Candea; Yap Charito; Massa Chavoshi; Alexander Cindric; Andrea Crivici; Ben Davis; Christina DePalma; Samantha Dias; Megan Ducille; Emily Dunn; Benjamin Eyison; Marc Facca; Monica Fontana; Laura Fox; Alexander Fyles; Jessica Giglio; Taylor Graves; Daniela Giuliani; Alicia Hart; Abdulkadir Hassan; Stephen Hutchinson; Joanne Huy; Paolo Iafrate; Ashavari Anna Joshi; Jessica Keith-Taillon; Nicole Kerr; Nahom Khiot; Uniaza Khan; Ray Kocur; Canova Kutuk; Matt Leung; Simon Li; Emiljano Mance; Nick Mantzios; Denise Marshall; Felipe Matos; CJ McClease; Vanessa Melo; Serafim Nanos; Laura Narvaez Diaz; Douglas Nash; Ellaine Ordinario; Lisa Pall; Sarah Pietrkiewicz, Cassandra Preston; Diana Radelescu; Sennai Russom; Sabrina Savji; David Schofield; John Schokman; Tom Sinclair; Abigail Smeath; Taylor Soares; Vasko Stojkosk; Amritha Swaminathan; Aloysius Sychangco; Amanda Tsang; Vimogchen Uthayakumaran; Benjamin Vandorpe; Elise Visentin; Natalia Weiss; Aaron Welch; Evan Wickham; Victoria Wright; Anne-Marie Zawadzki; Jesse Zimmerman; Stacey Zonneveld
To the York administration,
I am writing to you regarding my opposition to the Founders residence closure and to ask that the York administration reconsider its decision to close the Founders residence for the benefit of the Founders College community and the student population as a whole.
Founders College is York’s oldest college, named after the founders of the university and established in 1965. There is a lot of history and emotions surrounding the college and residence. Over the years, the Founders residence has served as a beacon for the students that it has housed and for its strong connection to the Founders College community as a whole.
I, along with the many past and present students of Founders College, feel strongly that the loss of the Founders residence would severely impact the Founders College community, as it would with any other college community here at York.
I believe that the amazing thing about Founders College lies within its student population and the strong ties that the college currently has and had with its residence. Residence students are just as important as other students here at York and all of the residences that are affiliated with the colleges are extremely important to each community. The college system here at York is unique and very important to the identities that students have with their colleges and residences.
This college has lost spaces in the past and it still has not recovered from it. Those spaces included a reading and listening room, an art gallery, a music room and the Cock and Bull pub and coffee shop. As a result, it has been noticed that student involvement and pride within Founders College has gone down from the previous levels. The loss of a residence would further damage this community due to a smaller number of students being involved within the college and having that tie severed between the students who live on campus and are close by in Founders residence and the college community as a whole.
I do not believe that the solution is to shut down an entire residence building, whichever building it could potentially have been. Just as the Founders residence is critical to our college, other colleges’ residences are equally critical to their colleges and successes. I feel that breaking the tie that Founders College has with its residence would be detrimental to the Founders College community in the present and future.
It has been mentioned in public by people within the York administration that the main reason for closing the residence has to do with a loss in revenue. It has been alluded to that the loss in revenue has to do with the Founders residence but really it has to do with the entire housing situation at York University. A loss in revenue does not necessarily mean a net loss or a loss that the university would not be able to recover from. A loss in revenue provides an opportunity for the university to upgrade its housing infrastructure to be competitive with the Village and other off campus housing options.
I understand that York University housing has employed an outside consulting firm to review the housing situation and needs here at York. I also understand that this report is not finalized yet and that students in all years are most interested in having bedrooms within a suite-style accommodation rather than the current dorm style accommodations that are in Founders and other residence buildings across campus. It is quite reasonable to believe that if the current residences here at York were to be converted into suite-style accommodations that there would be less rooms across the system due to more space being used and that there would be more demand for a suite style of accommodation.
This would undoubtedly result in there being fewer vacancies within residence here at York and it would negate the need to shut down an entire residence building forever. It would also draw people away from moving to the Village where they now have the ability to choose which people they wish to live with. Suite-style accommodations in Bethune, Calumet and Pond are almost entirely full. Those statistics are hard to deny.
Additionally, it has been alluded to that Founders residence won’t continue growing, but this isn’t the case for just Founders residence, it is the case for a majority of the residences here at York, which again is why, as I understand it, York University housing is employing an outside consulting firm to provide options for the entire housing situation at York.
This is why I am asking you, the senior administrators here at York University, to reconsider your current decision to shut down the Founders College residence and leave it open for a minimum of another academic year until the final housing report has been released and until York University actively consults with the Founders and York community on how to make the university housing situation the best that it can be without irrevocably damaging an entire college community.

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