Editors, the Gauntlet,
Re: "The bad apples of the student population," Feb. 15, 2001
In his column, Bowal states:
"In most of my courses, I use readings that are a fraction of the cost of textbooks. For convenience I sell these in class. I used to trust students to pay me by the next week if they did not have the money on them; they signed their names on this honour (IOU) list. More students than I am pleased to admit used the readings all term and refused to pay for them."
Bowal uses readings that he has authored rather than a proper text. In his introductory and advanced business law course outlines he states:
"Note that some pages may have been deleted from this course, so do not be concerned if you notice that some pages and sections are missing. Again this is the first draft of a textbook and it will contain some typos, inconsistent formatting and grammatical defects that will require editing."
With missing pages and sections, typos, inconsistent formatting and grammatical defects in a book that the author forces us to use and demands we pay for, I wonder why students would refuse to pay. Could it be that students do not want to pay for second-rate materials that we are forced to use by the author?
I understand from other students that Bowal has sold his own materials for many years. He is not being truthful when he claims in his course outlines that this is the "first draft." Should we be the guinea pigs? Is it fair to mark us down for grammatical and spelling errors on our exams in the course but for Bowal to subject us to the same type of mistakes in his own text? I understand that last year the only three other course professors, Ingelson, Kingma and Malach, did not use Bowal's text. I wonder why?
Bowal accuses students of "stealing from printing services." I find this a strange comment from a lawyer. If the students have committed a criminal offence as Bowal states, why haven't they been charged and prosecuted?