Commentary | Letters: Sex, the military, and Zoog

Inform yourself about Harper’s “harm-reduction” policies

Re: “Health care issue often ignored in campaigns” | Mind & Body | Oct. 9

I was disappointed to find that your run-down of each of the federal party’s health platform in the October 9 issue didn’t include any information about their stance on harm-reduction policies.

According to the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) the number of new infections of HIV attributable to injection drug use “remains unacceptably high.” However, the Harper government continues to vehemently oppose scientifically proven harm-reduction strategies, such as needle-exchanges and safe tattooing parlours in prisons, and safe-injection sites. They have even gone as far as to appeal a decision made by the B.C. Supreme Court which allows Insite – a safe injection site in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – to operate.

Health Minister Tony Clement embarrassed Canada repeatedly at the International AIDS conference in Mexico City this past summer with his rhetoric of “law enforcement” as a method of harm-reduction. With another Conservative minority in power, it is important, now more than ever, for students to inform themselves and unite to ensure that harm-reduction is taken seriously by our government. Lives depend on it.

Jamie Lundine

U3 African Studies & Honours Geography

McGill Global AIDS Coalition Director

Don’t insulate campus from the realities of the world

Re: “Endorsement: Let’s go to the GA” | Commentary | Oct. 6

As both a student and as a former member of the Canadian military, I was disappointed by The Daily’s endorsement of the GA motion to ban military recruitment on campus. On a strictly personal level, I don’t agree with many government policies, and I fully support the complete and open debate of all issues relevant to society. The fact is that most of the policies and actions of the government that people take issue with are not a result of the military, but of decisions made by our elected representatives.

Military members, including many in the McGill community, provide an essential service to our society, and if you do not like the way your elected representatives are employing them, I believe those representatives would be a more suitable target for your criticism. A university campus should not be insulated from society, but should encourage as much interaction as possible with all elements of society as a whole. I was recruited on a university campus, and the personal experiences I had in the military taught me more about myself and society than I learned in my entire undergrad.

The bottom line is there are many things the government does which I personally disagree with. I don’t agree with current federal environmental policy, why not ban recruitment for the ministry of environment? I don’t agree with their positions on industry and trade, so I suppose we should ban campus recruitment to those ministries as well. In fact, why don’t we put a blanket ban on recruitment to any government agency on campus, and stick with oil, mining, financial, and pharmaceutical companies instead? If this motion passes the referendum, it is unfortunate that many students will not be exposed to many excellent employment opportunities that can provide concrete benefits to society.

James Curtis

Medicine I

Devon, The Daily will not call you Zoog

Re: “Sane shit from a made-up super hero” | Commentary | Oct. 2

Greetings Daily! Salutations and back rubs!

Correction: back rubs only for those who do not insist on belittling a VERY REAL super-VILLAIN. Daily, The Dark Motorcyclist does not have time for snarky editors, skeptics of the existence of parallel life forms, and other feeble-minded malcontents. Your humours must be unbalanced.

Secondly, I would like to declare open war on health-consciousness. Precious time that could be spent tearing up The Daily’s “Features Section” is wasted pondering the benefits of vegetables and carb-free diet soda. Enough with your precious Diet Dr. Peppers! The Dark Motorcyclist, a.k.a Zoog will not stand for it.

Thirdly, Concordia’s decision to ban Facebook was an intelligent one. All those demon hunters will now have to work twice as hard to seek out and destroy the demons haunting Facebook!

As for all you freedom-haters (the demons): Destroy those dirty pictures of your mother! Destroy your father’s dirty underpants, they’re all sniffed out!

Shantih Shantih Shantih,

Zoog

P.S: I demand (with a cherry on top) that The Daily refer to me as Zoog in the letter headings from now on. Appreciations and back rubs.

Devon Welsh

U2 Religious Studies & Theatre

Am I too heteronormative for you, Queer McGill?

I do not like Queer McGill. It is, without a doubt, one of my least favourite campus groups. What is interesting is that after two years at McGill, I have realized that I am not alone in this. So many people that I talk with – gay, straight, Canadian, American, Quebecois, etc. – have a beef with Queer McGill. Some find its power in campus politics unsettling – granted, it’s not really Queer McGill’s fault that so many of its members participate in SSMU politics, but why should a minority platform dictate policy for the whole? Others are put off by its constant and strident advocating and mobilization for increased queer rights, equality, and privilege on campus – is there really that much queer-specific injustice on campus? Many, gay and straight alike, feel excluded from Queer McGill – they are “too heteronormative” and do not fit in.

This is unsettling. How is it that such a vital and inclusive organization – the only one on campus created to both support and represent the queer community and provide a space for discussion both within the queer community and between the queer community and the straight community – elicits such widespread dislike and feelings of exclusion? Clearly, something is wrong. I fully support Queer McGill’s mandate and mission, and if the new executive is in fact attempting a policy of greater acceptance and alliance and less “straight-bashing,” then I whole-heartedly support them. I do not see myself as a homophobe, and I would like to see myself as an ally. However, this is impossible when I feel excluded – am I a part of the heteronormative patriarchy? If Queer McGill was a little less adversarial toward the world – it really is not out to get you! – and a little more diplomatic, I think it might have more supporters – queer and straight. 



Molly Krishtalka

U2 Honours International Development Studies

The Daily received more letters for this issue than it could print. They will appear in the next possible issue. Send your letters to letters@mcgilldaily.com, The Daily edits for style and brevity, and does not publish letters that are homophobic, sexist, racist, or otherwise hateful. But we often publish silly letters.


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