Letters to the Editor – November 2019


Letter to the Editor
Re: Student Choice Initiative deemed unlawful
News» November 27, 2019 

“Aren’t you afraid of another strike?” This question invariably flies toward any high school student who applies to York. Of course, they would be disingenuous to say another strike won’t happen, because strikes don’t seem to be slowing. The York Strike has, for better or worse, represented the York University experience, reputation be damned.  So unsurprisingly, our student union has made its fair share of critics within the student body.

Upon reading a story about the Student Choice Initiative (SCI) in a previous issue of Excalibur, I was disappointed by the news YFS contested the SCI in the courts. Although, this should not surprise anyone. Quoting Excalibur’s November 27 issue: “YFS […] stated that it was an unfair policy because the Ministry did not consult the student groups that would be affected by the SCI.”  YFS seems to think they should choose their funding. I suppose hockey players would rather referee their own games, too. The YFS’s unessential fee represents more than $2 per credit, per student. With 55,700 students attending York, typically getting 30 credit degrees, you can see why YFS hates the Student Choice Initiative so much.

So here’s the crux of the problem, and why I am disappointed with YFS. They argue their organization is important to protect students’ rights. They want to stand up against those who have walked all over students. They miss the irony. The SCI gives students a choice to tell YFS, they have been the ones walking all over them. They take our money, they go on strikes we do not want, and damage the school’s reputation. YFS, which desires to empower students, decry oppression when students are given a choice to say no. YFS’ fight is pure irony. They fight for the ultimate political contradiction: mandatory freedom.

 James Correia

First-year Computer Engineering

Letter to the Editor
Re: Pollution: We Can’t Breathe A Sigh of Relief Yet, Toronto
Op-Ed» November 13, 2019 

I take issue with the characterization of air pollution in Excalibur’s op-ed as “attributed to our everyday oblivious actions.” This statement suggests that all, if not most, people who drive aren’t aware of the fact that their cars burn fossil fuels that pollute the environment and never think about it. This is so far from the truth and, frankly, insulting. The writer of this column does not seem to consider the fact that not everyone always has the choice to take another form of transportation all of the time. Not everyone has the luxury to purchase an electric car or cycle to work. Some people have jobs that require them to drive or don’t have access to transit that takes them to their place of work, and changing jobs because of that fact isn’t an option. In addition, many of us who drive cars plan out our trips ahead of time to make sure they are efficient and worthwhile, when we have to drive, because we’re more than aware of how air pollution works. The writer’s proposed solution to idling is also flawed. While people should definitely stop their engines during a lot wait outside a building for someone or when a freight train passes through a railway crossing, an engine that shut off every time a car stops would just make traffic flow more inefficient. If I stop at a red light and my engine turns off, but then the light turns green a second or two after, it will take longer for me to get going again if I have to start the engine again. Excessive starting would be hard on the motor and battery of the car, as well as slow down traffic, which would result in more idling and, as a result, more pollution.

— Katharine Mussellam

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By Excalibur Publications



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