Letters

Re: Where’s The Money?
I read with intruige the letter ‘Where’s the money’ by Mr Hughes (last issue), regarding whether or not it is fair that arts students face the same tuition fees as science students. As a chemistry student myself, I feel I have a slightly different angle to come from, and agree that some debate on the issue would be a good idea.

Granted – my subject will cost significantly more to teach. Considering the labs and resources that we require, and that a typical week can have 30+ hours contact time, there is certainly a large amount being spent on us lucky chemists.

However, when we look at how much free time I have in comparison with, for example, a history student, and add onto that the time required for extra reading and tutorial work, a different side to the argument begins to emerge. I, myself, do not undertake any part-time work, as I feel my degree course leaves insufficiant time. As a consequence, I have less oppurtunity to fund my own education than arts students do.

Also, in reality, the vast amount of research undertook by my department brings in significant funds from industry, which in turn can be invested into many areas, indeed such as teaching of undergraduates. And may I also suggest that it is better for the government to invest more in science undergraduates, because of the increased benefit graduates will bring to our economy in the long run? Another relevant point to mention- we are desperate for more GP’s, so personally I think funds should be directed more away from (what have become known as) ‘mickey mouse’ degrees, and more into areas such as medicine.
John Westell, Halifax

Cake War Continues
I am writing to express my disappointment and alarm at your article ‘Cake Fuels Cold War’ about an incident last Thursday at Vanbrugh stalls.

The sub-headline suggets that Students Against War ‘picketed’ the Jewish Society stall. This is untrue. SAW were handing out leaflets advertising a demonstration for Freedom for Palestine. Our presence at the stalls was nothing to do with the fact that Jsoc were there.
The leaflets we gave had out had nothing to do with anything that appeared on the Jsoc stall, we did not prevent anyone from reading anything that was on the Jsoc stall and we did not make any attempts throughout the course of the afternoon to engage anyone manning the Jsoc stall (although SAW members did argue back when approached by Bieber).

Any reasonable person would recognise that this behaviour did not amount to ‘picketing’.

Furthermore, the article implies that SAW members initiated confrontation. In particular, the caption accompanying the photograph suggests this. The exact opposite was in fact true. Despite the fact that Israeli and UK flags appeared side by side on the stall, and that Jsoc Chair Hugo Bieber wore a t-shirt printed with the slogan ‘proud to be Zionist’ (both provocations, as anyone with any insight into the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict would realise instantly), SAWmembers did not engage anyone manning the Jsoc stall all afternoon.
Conflict occurred when Bieber offered food to SAW members and later taunted that by eating it they had ‘supported Israel’. Contrary to the article’s assertion, confrontation did not occur because SAW members would not accept food. It is clear from the front page of Jsoc’s website that those on the Jsoc stall did not feel remotely threatened by the experience, but rather enjoyed it: ‘We would like to thank everyone who came along to support us and Israel at our stall in Vanburgh last Thursday, including York SAW and SWSS.’

This article attempted to portray SAW members as the instigators of a damaging and significant dispute. In fact, what happened on Thursday was a fairly minor incident which only threatened to flare up due to the actions of the Jsoc Chair.

As I am sure you are aware, inaccurate reporting is particularly dangerous when dealing with an sensitive issue of this nature. I request that Nouse apologise for the factual innacuracies and misrepresentations in the article.
Jacob Mukherjee, Goodricke

P.S. I did not notice any Nouse journalists present this Tuesday when Bieber approached (unprovoked) a Jewish member of SAW and grilled her about how she could reconcile her opinions on Palestine with her Jewish heritage.

Women’s Rugby: Oops
Having eagerly opened up your pages to see the report of our monumental victory in the women’s rugby 7s and 15s over the weekend I was more than disappointed to see your poor attempt at a write-up. It is clear that your reporter only strolled over to see the last few minutes after the mens seconds had finished.

It was completely inaccurate – Lancaster were certainly never on the back foot as far as the scrum was concerned, they drove us off the ball on several occassions, especially when our hooker and tight-head prop were substituted due to quite nasty injuries (NOT minor ones). Also, the substiution which brought winger Victoria ‘Spud’ Campbell-Fitzpatrick (not Jess Frith, our first choice scrum half) onto the pitch was not tactical- rather, repeated high tackles had shaken our inside centre Lynn Huynh up so much she felt unable to continue, wing Sarah Taylor was brought into the 12 position, and Spud filled her place. Also, she did not score the try- it was brought short due to the high tackle and we were awarded a penalty try under the posts.
Lou Phillips, Women’s Rugby Team, P+P

SPORTS EDITOR REPLIES : I accept your criticism of the report as having been weak, this was mainly due to the reporter who had agreed to writing the piece pulling out at the last minute, leaving the write-up to myself, who had not seen most of the game due to the demands the Roses weekend places on the Sports team. DP

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