Opinions

Den issue exposes greater problems

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I considered typing the f-word over and over this week, but instead we'll settle for this.

Your Students' Union is divided into two branches. There is the elected side (mostly immature, grandstanding, petty, shortsighted, ineffective, etc.) and there is the business side (mostly full-time, professional, articulate, level-headed).

The elected side are the buffoons who try hard to organize and fight for your tuition every year. If there are two or three competent and driven elected officials, they sometimes achieve some small measure of victory, like "no increase," or in normal-people speak, "the status quo."

The business side actually runs the SU, including the Used Bookstore, the Copy Centre, and the jewel in the SU's financial empire, the Den. These men and women are older than your average student, and they behave as such. As students, we should be grateful that they exist because they are the reason we have good student facilities.

These two forces came together when the issue of Den security was brought up before the Students' Legislative Council Tue., Oct. 15.

Here's how it went.

The first issue raised (at this Den meeting that business staff attended while they have families at home) was whether or not to allow note passing in the Council Chambers. You can thank Academic Commissioner Gavin Preston for grandstanding and wasting everyone's time. After this brief foray into stupidity was squashed, the elected officials spent hours trying to decide whether to lower Den prices; how to charge cover; who should be charged cover; and what abstract reasons there are for charging/not charging cover. Then they tried to figure out what a student is and they arrived at a conclusion that a student attends post-secondary somewhere in Calgary (but not DeVry).

U of C students are "students" while SAIT/Mount Royal/ACAD students are "other students." Each have different privileges, though apparently, my friend O.J. from the University of Victoria is not as "student" or an "other student."

So as a "student," here is what I propose. Instead of letting over two dozen inexperienced, irresponsible, elected youngsters run our Den, we should let bar management handle the bar. Allow them the freedom to charge cover however they want. Allow bouncers to throw people out and let the Den decide what they want to charge for beer. For God's sake, let these people do their job. Let the bookstore sell books, let the Copy Centre make copies and keep this unorganized, ruthless, petty mob away from our facilities. Their behaviour this year (and every year) is nothing short of appalling so please get them away from the things that make the SU great.

If we do that, maybe then they'll concentrate on academics, tuition and other things students are qualified to speak on. However, for all things business, nineteen-year-olds and twentysomethings should keep their mouths shut. As "students," that's the least they could do.

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Comments

You do several grand injustices in your editorial. Granted a few paragraphs is hardly enough room to successfully argue all the points you bring up, but an attempt at consistency would be appropriate, don't you think?

First off, the reason why we have those pesky elected members of the Student's Union is to keep the SU honest. After all, we elected them; They are there to serve us. If they do not serve us, we can find someone else who can. I don't really want a bunch of professionals running my SU. After all, a professional would probably decide to charge everyone a cover and increase beer prices to match Cowboys or one of the other banal clubs around the city. I would much prefer having my elected SU making decisions that affect me over some nameless businessman.

Secondly, your inference that younger students have nothing to contribute is both offensive and imbecilic. I realize it is trendy among the older students at University to look down at others, but what exactly gives you that right? As children, we are taught to respect our elders, to defer to them. As I passed the age of majority, I quickly learned that there are some elders who aren't worth respecting. I've had great conversations with 17 year olds that have left more 'mature' adults silent for fear of proving their ignorance.

As an aside, I would be hesistant throwing around the words "unorganized", "inexperienced" and "immature" if I were the one who had written an article that barely beat out an entire page of the f-word.