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Readers respond to contentious columns

Speech and Debate Society responds to column

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Editors, the Gauntlet,

Re: "What's your point?" Oct. 26, 2000

I love people who don't get the point.

As far as I'm concerned, Ruth Davenport has just accomplished this task. People such as this often have this incredible knack of attacking groups and categorizing them into a certain mould. If Ms. Davenport "wishes to air one's views in intelligent company, the first and foremost condition is that one knows what they are talking about," she should at least know what she is writing about. Ms. Davenport demonstrated this with her lack of understanding regarding Speaker's Corner and what was said and by whom Thurs., Oct. 19.

The forum Thursday afternoon was interesting, due to the spending of the Students' Union. The forum on that day brought awareness on many levels from the $99,850 allocated spending for Gauntlet relocation and construction, to the $239,810 allocated to be spent on SU office renovations. In my mind, the most important thing addressed was students concerns about how their $100 a year SU fee was being spent. There were many things for Ms. Davenport to address that unfortunately others did not. I was saddened by her reluctance to strike the podium or speak out.

I cannot account for the students who shouted personal attacks at Mr. White. Personally, I find it deplorable that people would associate in such a manner. Speaker's Corner is a place in which any student can air their views about anything they perceive to be important. The University of Calgary Speech and Debate Society brings forth issues on Thurs. at 12:30 p.m. that are deemed to be of possible interest. Many students participate in this event, mostly from outside of our club. If Ms. Davenport believed some things said were untrue, she had ample opportunity to voice her concern. Ms. Davenport had every opportunity to speak to the issue at hand. Unfortunately she did not. I guess strategic apathy strikes again.

Instead of taking a proactive stance in addressing some concerns about the students to show that they were indeed fallacious, she retreated to her hobbit hole to write an article against concerned students. I also think that by singling out only men within her article, Ms. Davenport unfortunately did a great disfavour to the females who voiced their opinions at the forum.

The purpose of Speaker's Corner is to be many things to many people. Speaker's Corner brings awareness to issues. I can't guarantee that it will solve world hunger, save the children, or even our "beloved Students' Union."

For myself and the two other members of the Speech and Debate Society, I believe that we conducted ourselves in a respectable manner. I can't account for the actions of the other 40 people. It would be appreciated if next time Ms. Davenport used her own philosophy of "making time to understand the situation and its realities" and apply it to her writing before pointing the finger at my club.

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