Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: "SU will not waive fees for Ramadan," Feb. 26, 2004,
By forcing the Muslim Students' Association to pay more than $2,000 for the use of student facilities during the holy month of Ramadan, the SU is effectively discriminating against Muslims.
The expansion of MacEwan Student Centre occurred so students could have larger spaces in which to hold events at a low cost, by using the larger spaces to hold large concerts to subsidize student use of Mac Hall. It is very distasteful that the SU is forcing the MSA to pay a fee 10 times larger than last year.
That, in retrospect, the SU now wants to develop a policy for waiving club fees for religious events is wrong headed. Ramadan comes every year, and every year the MSA has only had to pay a token fee. The fee should first be waived and then a policy developed that gives all student groups access to an appropriate space (pending availability, but with respectful priority for religious observances) at low or no cost for any event that is not revenue-generating and contributes to the well-being of the campus community.
To charge an outrageous amount first and develop policy second is hurtful, discriminatory and makes all students look bad.