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9 


OPINION 


opUiion@gate\vyv.u;ilbMla.cii • llmrsday. GsepUmber, 20(1/ 


Time to face facts: 
the city’s gone sour 


THE SLAYING OF A MAN IN HIS 50s IN THE 
Clarke Park parking lol Tuesday afternoon—a murder 
that came only a day after two bodies were found 
outside the Fulton Place community lull—marks 
Edmonton’s 23rd homicide of the year. 

In and of itself, that number is far too high, but 
when taken in conjunction with the 39 killings in 
2005 and the 36 last year—giving Edmonton the 
highest homicide rate in Canada for 2005—it makes 
a compelling argument for Edmontonians to feel 
concerned about their safety in the city. 

What's most disconcerting about the recent killing 
is the circumstances under which it occurred: broad 
daylight, and in a fairly busy part of the city. Clarke 
Park is awful close to downtown, and the fact that this 
murder occurred In a less-than secluded area without 
the cover of darkness should incite at least a little fear 
in citizens. 

Of course, the joke has always been that Mill 
Wtxxls was the centre of Edmonton's seedy under¬ 
belly; but of the 23 murders in 2007, only one of 
them—the 7 April killing of Stephanie Rae Butler— 
occurred there. Rather, the higltest concentration of 
murders have happened in the general downtown 
area. 


With ten murders either just across the river from 
the University or somewhere else along the I RT line, 
it's easy to be a little worried about the location of 
your off-campus housing. 

It bodes well, however, thar none of these killings 
have occurred anywhere near campus on this side 
of the river. While north of the North Saskatchewan 
has had enough death to scare anyone walking 
alone at night, the south side has remained relatively 
untouched by these violent crimes, maintaining a 
comparatively safe environment in which we attend 
school. Even the Whyte avenue area has been fairly 
quiet beyond the usual bar fights and ocassionai stab¬ 
bing sprees. 

But there are good reasons why this violence 
hasn’t—and won’t—spread to campus proper. The 
first is that the large volume of people at almost any 
time of day or night is a deterrent for many criminals, 
wltich is why Campus Crime Beat is often filled with 
tales of 5-0 officers playing babysitter to a bunch of 
drunkards. Campus Security’s 24-hour protection 
helps keep the nogoodniks and ne’er-do-wells to a 
minimum as well. 

This isn’t to say that university campuses are 
safe havens from serious violent attacks—witness 
Virginia Tecii. And as the incident in Ottawa this 
weekend lias shown, even the safety blanket offered 
by services such as campus security and Safewalk 
can only extend so far (specifically, the edges of 
campus grounds)—and even then, it isn't 
impenetrable. 

Of course, it's a lot more difficult to prevent 
crimes titan to catch those who commit them, and 
it's an issue dial all types of law enforcement in the 
Edmonton area need to catch up on. There's no pride 
in being “The Murder Capital of Canada,” and the 
fact that Edmonton’s murder rates have risen even as 
the overall crime rate falls is a testament to the lack of 
public safety in our city. 

While Edmonton Police Service lias done a solid job 
in the past couple years of distancing themselves from 
their troubles of the previous decade, die one thing 
they have yet to gain a handle on are the homicide 
rates in this city, and until that changes, it will con¬ 
tinue to be a black spot for a police force attempting 
to redeem itself. 


I’AllL OWEN 

Managing Editor 

In other news: death 

JESUS CHRIST THE NEWS IS DEPRESSING THESE 
clays. It seems that nobody has anything to talk about 
but murders, sex offenders, and horrors that are 
occurring overseas. The end of summer is sad enough 
without all the fluff pieces being replaced with 
bullshit fear-mongering. Fuck off and give me my dog 
on a skatetxiard. 


CONAL PIERSE 

Opinion Editor 





But don't worry, 
well cowtiue to 
advocate for things 
that matter to you. 


And in light of the 
University's decision 
to reduce oxygen levels 
in SUR we feel that we 
wouldn't be justified 
in providing the 
excess 62 


Sure lots of students 
use Pear Scat, but it 
compromises our moral 
authority to support it. 


We also feel 
that welcoming 
new students to 
campus compromises 
our morals, seeing 
how they never 
voted for us. 


LETTERS 

Samuel ignoring students 
by abandoning Boar Scat 

I think it s appalling that ojr elected 
officials—those we've chosen to 
represent us. our 'wishes and our 
needs—are so blatantly blind to a 
vital service to students a: this uni¬ 
versity. 

They were elected by the majority 
and therefore have a responsibility 
to the maiority, and it s a well know 
fact that the majority of students rely 
on Bear Scat for all of their school 
scheduling. 

By the end of 2006 the SU 
wasted $210 000 on the Power 
Plant, something the maiority of 
students—Listerites being the 
exception—obviously don't need or 
use And yet the $10 000 promised 
to the Bear Scat team, a minimum 
amount needed to keep service 
running for the Jpcommg semes¬ 
ter, was taken away because Bobby 
Samuel thinks we don't want SU 
money put into Bear Scat 

Well Mr Samuel. I. and I'm cer¬ 
tain the other 20 000 stjdents who 
used Bear Scat last year, feel that 
$10 000 is a small price to pay for 
such an amazing service. 

In fact. I feel Bear Scat is worth 
five times that amo jnt So maybe it 
would be more prudent to check the 
facts and ask me and my fellow stu¬ 
dents what we want done with our 
money before you decide for us. I for 


one don't appreciate being told what 
I want or what I need. 

We as students need to stand 
up and let the student Government 
know that this is something we care 
about, and need for years to come 

Nease write toyour elected official 
and let them know you care about 
Bear Scat, and the service it's offered 
to so many students 

LU RIER " FRENCH UE" ROCH0N 

Computing Science 

The official' registration 
system is toilet-trained 

In the recent Gateway article titled 
'SU says no to Bear Scat” (30 
August), the [writer] is referring 
to Bear Scat as 'the registration 
system" 

Well, it's nor, and it has never been 
the U of A registration system, and 
I say "well done" to the Students 
Union for not supporting it anymore 

And. stop calling Bear Scat the 
registration system Bear Tracks is 
the University's official registration 
system 

No wonder students get upset 
and drag their registration prob¬ 
lems to the wonderful staff at the 
Registrar's Office becajse they 
tried to drop a class on Bear Scat 
and it didn’t work, and now they 
have to pay for it. 

Well, how many times do they 
have to be reminded to use Bear 
Tracks and not Bear Scat for regis¬ 
tration? 


Bear Tracks shows information in 
real time, so students can see the 
real, actual class availability. Bear 
Scat has never done such a thing, 
plus it isn't secure. 

Kudos to the SU for a job well 
done! 

SLMON O'REILLY 

_ Open Studies 

Survival guide doesn't 
teach wilderness skills 

(Re: the GatewaySurvival Guide, 30 
August) 

(1) Written to entertain a narrow, 
typically Albertan in-group who 
also happen to be most knowledge¬ 
able about the University. Alberta is 
Texas North, so why not a military 
style George Bush Stephen Harper- 
approved survival guide? God Bless 
Texas! 

(2) Who cares that this odious 
abomination is of no use whatsoever 
to foreign stjdents who need reliable 
survival information in a language 
they understand 

Yup, the Gateway is morally 
onside God Bless the Gateway. 

RICHARD HODGWNSON 

Via email 


Samuel pulls a Lando 

How would disabling Bear ScaT 
improve student life? It |ust wouldn't. 
I personally don't believe the fact 
that student's don't want Student 


Union money to be spent on Bear 
Scat, as said by VP (Academic) 
Bobby Samuel. 

I will not believe this until I see cold 
hard facts. 

The vast majority of my f riends use 
Bear Scat to add and drop classes, as 
well as the handy schedule-printing 
tool. Bear Scat makes it easier to 
search for classes as well, something 
-hat Bear Tracks lacks 

Also, since the beginning of my 
university experience, Bear Scat has 
neverfailed me. whereas Bear Tracks 
has failed me numerous times. That 
is why I chose to stick with Bear Scat, 
because it was simply more reliable. 

Until you can prove to me that 
student's don't want SU money to 
be spent on Bear Scat. I stand behind 
my claim that the SU is making a 
major error in not funding Bear Scat. 

I voted for Bobby Samuel for the 
reason that he would stand behind 
what the students wanted, and me 
(a student) wants [sic] Bear Scat to 
stick around. 

I will be willing to pay the '75-cent- 
per-semesrer charge to continue 
to use it. and I’m sure many other 
students would as well, That minor 
charge to our already inflated tuition 
cost wouldn't matter to me at all, as I 
use Bear Scat on a regular basis. 

So please, SU. I am a student, I pay 
my fees, and I want Bear Scat to stay 
around. 

RAZA HUSSAIN 

Science IV 

PlEASE SEE LETTERS • PAGE 10