Re: “Front Page Photo in Bad Taste” and “What happened to the Gazette?” March 23, 2010
To the editor:
It is ignorant to try to pretend partying and excessive drinking does not happen around campus. I do not think such a photo encourages that kind of behaviour, because it is going to happen whether the Gazette publishes a picture of it or not.
In all honesty, in my time at Western, I think the Gazette has become quite boring. I used to read every article, and now I pick it up, read one or two, and do not bother with the rest. The articles do not provoke enough thought or discussion, which is what I would like to get out of a student newspaper.
The Gazette Sex Issue this year was also really boring. I am not trying to undermine the efforts of the Gazette staff, because I am aware of how much work goes into this newspaper. I am saying people like the ones writing in about how offensive that picture was that are making the Gazette censored and boring. Sex and nudity and drinking should not be off limits. Although not everyone on campus engages in such activities, why does that mean that the school newspaper should not report on them?
The Gazette cannot please everyone, and there will be some controversy, but what is wrong with that? People are taking themselves too seriously. I do not think that appropriate and considerate content will appropriately reflect the student voice. So what exactly is the point of having a school newspaper that does not reflect the student voice?
To the editor:
I try not to curse. I don’t go out of my way to stir thoughts of aggression or violence. Admittedly, my humour can sometimes be a little off-coloured, but I like to think that I don’t make people feel uncomfortable. Like most Western students, I’m not an offensive person, yet I have never been offended by a Gazette article or opinion piece.
Although I have never been directly involved with the Gazette, I have noticed a steep decline in edge within the programs I do participate in. I am in no place to declare that my thoughts on swearing, censorship and humour are absolutely right — but who is? It’s just a shame that those with negative things to say are often the only ones to say anything.
Consider the following — movies rated 14A may contain coarse language and sexual innuendo. Public radio stations may broadcast songs with provocative lyrics, even airing completely uncensored past peak hours. There is more leeway in content for the mainstream Canadian media, than the material presented in rallies geared for students that are supposed to be welcomed to university as adults.
There needs to be a line drawn; nobody should ever feel uncomfortable or threatened based upon their race, religion, gender, sexual preferences, age, disabilities, etc. But where should the line be drawn? As it stands now, only one side of the argument is voicing their opinion and being represented, and I know that this isn’t the proper way to make a decision. All perspectives need to be heard.
I’ve been at this school for almost five years now. I’ve seen a lot of things change, the Gazette included, and I don’t think it’s for the better. I feel that Western students are being unfairly treated like children.
Orientation Co-ordinator 2009
To the editor:
I hope to represent the fun-having and logically minded majority of the student population when I say that letter-writers Niels and Hannah both sound like huge downers. A keg stand may be an irresponsible way to drink, but it is a reality, and an image of such shouldn’t alienate anyone.
I enjoy drinking, and I am not alienated by the constant images of sober people I see in the media all day. Also, 18-year-old frosh are adults and have heard the term “Blow Me” before. Everyone should be able to make their own choices regarding drinking. You seem to be judging those who decide to participate in the festivities, and there is no evidence in the picture of anyone participating to excess.
Mechanical Engineering V
To the editor:
I find it really sad and pathetic people can no longer take a joke or disregard something they do not find appropriate. If you find the Gazette so offensive, don’t read it.
Did they not leave their front door and notice the thousands of students staggering down the street, being flipped upside down to do keg stands or engaging in a friendly game of beer pong on their front lawn?
Just because they partied doesn’t make them any less intelligent than the people who chose to waste their sunny day and study. I saw plenty of inappropriate shirts and outfits but it didn’t make them any less comical. If you think its offensive don’t look. As for the latest Sex Issue, I was very disappointed with the lack of outrageous, raunchy and taboo content. It is the one issue I look forward to every February.
Why does the Gazette have to tune down and censor reality? People have sex — it is a part of life; people drink — it is a part of life.
To the editor:
I’ve been reading the Gazette almost every day for almost three school years, and I feel that our school spirit and pride is slowly being quashed by the few that don’t agree with some of the things being published. The Gazette is by the students, about the students, for the students, and therefore should reflect happenings in and around campus.
Those objecting to some of the content, or those looking for more “professional” material can easily pick up a copy of Western News, or the London Free Press. For the most part, the front-page image of students partying on St. Patty’s day was a fairly accurate portrayal of the events of the day. Naturally there will be people who object to this type of behaviour, but the fact is, the majority of people enjoy seeing this type of article. It’s unfortunate the few who disapprove, do so very vocally, and as a result they have a much greater impact on what is published.
I’ve always been proud and excited to read the annual Sex Issue, and I was seriously disappointed with the issue this year. Frankly, it sucked. I appreciate the content being wholesome and respectable, but the end result was a bland, disconnected image of real Western life. Who are we trying to “hide” the content from? It was stated by someone earlier that we have to protect the underage minds of our first-years from such content, and if you truly believe this, then clearly you never truly experienced O-week.
As far as the Gazette staff, I hope you guys continue to push the envelope with so-called edgy content. I love what you do, and clearly you don’t get enough feedback from people who really enjoy your articles.