Commentary  Letters

Letters from our readers

Substance or appearance

Dear Daily,

Courses at McGill can be very difficult, and they can only be made harder the larger the enrolment. By cutting 100 classes in the Faculty of Arts, the administration is demonstrating that if it had to choose between being ranked the best university in Canada and being the best university in Canada, it would choose appearance over substance.

Some of the most engaging classes I have taken, classes with professors who were available to talk through difficulties, have been with course lecturers. The worst class I have taken was with a long-tenured faculty member. The supposition that faculty are better than course lecturers has not been true in my experience, nor I expect is it the case for many others.

While the employment status of the professor might not have much of an impact on students, class size certainly does. Smaller classes allow for more dialogue and discussion, for engagement in the process of learning; yet even when teachers who do not take advantage of this opportunity – when they use the same lecture style they would in a 500-person class – the small class size means that professors or TAs are more available for personalized help and to build relationships with students that can help in the future.

The pursuit of “excellence” as measured by Maclean’s or the U.S. News and World Report should be replaced with the pursuit of excellence as experienced by students, faculty, and staff at this school. Community members are hard at work pushing for this better, more inclusive vision of McGill. Some of us are promoting divestment from the Tar Sands, fossil fuels, and the Plan Nord, others are working to oppose military research, while still others fight for a pluralistic, democratic administration.

We deserve better than these cuts. We deserve substance over appearance.

—Christopher Bangs, U3 Political Science and Economics

Gert’s, go vegan

Dear Daily,

As an aspiring alcoholic, Gert’s is my second home. But as a vegan, I find my drunken self endlessly tempted by their animal protein pub fare. It’s time I took a stand, stumbled around, and mumbled the word. If people demand a prominent vegan dish besides a salad and appetizer, the establishment will introduce one. Capitalism!

With love,

—Marcello Ferrara

U1 English and Geography 

Explicitly (wrong) content

Dear Daily,

While extolling his love of hip hop in the article “Parental advisory: explicit content,” (Commentary, January 21, page 3) Davide Mastracci incorrectly identifies the name of the famous Biggie song: it is “Big Poppa,” not “Big Papa.”

Respectfully submitted,

— J. Oliver Conroy

U4 History and Political Science