Blaming Students

Monday, September 13, 2004


Written by Kelly Kirkpatrick

Please note, this letter was sent to the Mercury as well as the Ontarion.

In response to C. Todorowski’s letter from the Sept. 9 Guelph Mercury:

I was completely shocked to read the disrespectful generalizations applied to University of Guelph students. The letter states that “…not all students are like this but the majority of them are.” I sincerely doubt that an excess of 7 500 students – a majority – are contributing “destructive behaviour,” downtown.

The idea of forcing students who have nothing to do with the problem to clean it up is no less outlandish than suggesting forcing every single Guelph citizen to clean up other problematic areas of the city.

The suggestion of fines being imposed for illegal behaviour is entirely appropriate. There are, however, people in this city who do not attend the university and contribute to the problem so these fines should be applied universally.

As for the comment that students are “…too disrespectful and lazy to place [garbage] in the garbage bin usually sits empty near where they threw their garbage,” the author should go downtown one night and see how many of those garbage bins are overflowing because there are not enough of them to handle the demand. People do litter downtown but it is not always laziness: the facilities are sometimes inadequate.

If problems in the community are going to be blamed on students rather than discussed with them, the citizens who give the blame cannot expect to receive respect when they do not give it.

Not pretending to be an adult but acting like one,

Kelly Kirkpatrick

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