PTs ain’t all they’re cracked up to be
Re: “Personal training at the U of O” (Sports, Nov. 10)

AS A SELF-PROCLAIMED gym rat who frequents both the Montpetit and Sports Complex gyms, I feel I owe it to my fellow students to respond to this article.

Despite the personal trainer (PT) mentioned in the article claiming to take into account fitness goals, injuries, and lifestyle, I have seen countless University of Ottawa PTs doing a serious disservice to their clients.

First of all, the PTs can usually be found chatting with their clients, even while the client is performing sets of an exercise. The point of exercise is to push yourself—if you’re doing it right, you should barely be able to finish your reps, let alone gossip with your trainer.

Second, and most concerning, the PTs consistently fail to demonstrate or en- force proper form. I’ve seen poor (even dangerous) form in squats, dead lifts, rows, bicep curls, and even calf raises! The PT owes it to their client to ensure proper form and appropriate weight is used.

With the aforementioned Chatty Cathys, clients weren’t using nearly enough weight. In the case of poor form, it’s easy to strain your back, pull your ro- tator cuff, or damage knees and elbows through hyperextension, along with doz- ens of other potential injuries the client presumably wants to avoid by using the services and knowledge of a PT.

I want to warn the U of O students to research their trainer before paying, and always remember you get what you pay for. If your trainer doesn’t have his bache lor of science yet or his only qualification is that he’s CanFit certified, think twice about paying a discounted rate for what might be discounted services. Look for someone with experience—maybe even his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist qualification—and always ask for referrals.

Natalie Davis Fourth-year criminology and psychology student

The other side of the medal
Re: “Scaling the wall of debt” (News, Nov. 10)

I COULDN’T HELP but notice the many articles in the Fulcrum this week regarding tuition fees and student debt. Many things were quick to grab my attention, such as “We’re no longer in a period where pursuing post-secondary education is an option” and “tuition fees are going up because of a lack of government involvement in the prob- lem.”

I can understand where these views are coming from as our North American institutions are permeated with a left- wing, Keynesian style of thought. However, you guys don’t seem to look on both sides of the medal, because on the flip side, things seem much brighter.

We all know government is the champion when it comes to squandering resources, which is why we generally try to limit the size of government. So would we not be better off if government got out the way completely? If student loans were not guaranteed by government?

Many would argue that people could no longer afford to go to school, which is ap- parently their only option; however, this is simply not true. By letting the free market take over, universities would have to lower their prices so as to attract more students.

Much like the market for cellphones, iPods, and computers, where there are no impediments, universities would have to compete for their students and wouldn’t be able to increase tuition fees every year. This would dramatically decrease tuition fees. The fact that government is involved with post-secondary education, guaran- teeing student loans and subsidizing uni- versities, creates moral hazard.

Furthermore, post-secondary education is an option. What is the thing we hear most from students that have graduated? “I have a great university degree, but I can’t find a job?” Well, with no hands-on experience, it’s no wonder why many—if not most—are having difficulty finding a good job.

Elite institutions make it sound like there is no hope for those who don’t at- tend post-secondary education. The fun- damentals of a strong economy are based on savings and production. Our economy nowadays is driven by consumer spend- ing; however, we are all broke!

People need to go back to working jobs that produce goods and start saving again. Denying some students access to universi- ty will enable them to get hands-on expe- rience and further help our economy grow through production and reduced debt.

Sending all our kids to school so they can get a degree with no experience and loading them up on debt doesn’t quite seem like the proper solution to me. This can be shown in our weak national in- come figures, complete lack of household savings, and federal deficit. I mean, can my options really be worse than what’s in place right now? We cannot spend our way out of recession, nor can we borrow our way out of debt. We need to return to sound fundamentals.

Corey Duford Third-year economics student

Selling out at the U of O

IT WAS DISAPPOINTING to read this week about the university’s decision to rename the Sports Complex to the Minto Sports Complex in “honour” of the Minto Group—a North American real-estate conglomerate. While the university may have couched the renaming as recognition for Minto’s philanthropic community ven- tures, it is the clear result of a prolonged session of mutual back scratching.

Minto made a donation enabling the purchase of the land where the Desmarais Building—home to the donation-riddled Telfer School of Management—can be found. In exchange, our university found- ed one of the few buildings on campus without a namesake and has revamped it as the Minto Sports Complex.

Not only do I fail to see the link between Minto’s real-estate business or their dona- tion and our Sports Complex (at least 90 University would have been more appro- priate), but I am appalled at how the Uni- versity of Ottawa continues to allow hon- ours such as building names—and even names of faculties—to be bought and sold.

Our buildings used to be named after outstanding persons from our university, such as Roger Guindon, and those who made substantial changes to our nation, like Gérald Fauteux. Now it seems that it only takes a fistful of cash to achieve what once took a lifetime of hard work and dedication to higher learning. Are there no former University of Ottawa athletes or health science faculty members deserving of the same honour as the Minto Group?

Although this may have started in 1988 with the building of Pérez Hall, it is sad to see it continue. I understand that some in- dividual research projects may not be pos- sible without access to corporate resourc- es, such as pharmaceutical compounds. These have to pass through various levels of ethics review—many established by the university.

Unfortunately, the university administration seems to have trouble turning down donations, no matter the source—I would be delighted to be proven wrong. It is not difficult see this spreading to the endowment of the Saudi Arabian Department of Women’s Studies or the Pepsi Cube.

Eventually, if not already, academic standards will be compromised and questions have to be raised about the true mis- sion of a university. It is comforting to see that my faculty—medicine—is taking a leading role in the battle against corporate sponsorship, down to the elimination of free backpacks for entering medical students. The same cannot be said of other faculties, especially those claiming to churn out professionals.

As an academic community, we have to decide: How much of our body are we willing to sell?

Madison Gray Second-year medical student

Is the SFUO ashamed of veterans?

COULD THE STUDENT Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) please clarify whether or not they are ashamed of veterans?

On Nov. 11, I noticed that not one of the SFUO execs were present at the University of Ottawa Remembrance Day ceremony. Why is it that Amy Hammett has time to use Facebook during her paid working hours to give tips to the Occupy Ottawa protesters (this was on UoLeaks.com), but when it comes to paying respect to Canada’s fallen soldiers, she is no where to be seen?

Also, on the SFUO Facebook page, the SFUO chose Nov. 11 to make a post about “how to clean a garden.” It was only because of the Men’s Resource Centre that there was anything regarding Remembrance Day at all from our student federation.

As far as I am concerned, this small act made the Men’s Resource Centre more classy than all of the SFUO’s so-called student leaders, who on a sacred day did no leading whatsoever.

Freedom is never free. During both world wars, brave soldiers paid the ulti- mate sacrifice to ensure that all people (including students) could live a care-free life. The fact that the SFUO deliberately ig- nored Remembrance Day by not making an announcement is an outrageous and pathetic attempt to efface countless coura- geous acts by men and women who cared more about the well-being of others than they did about themselves.

For shame. Lest we forget.

Amélie Cadieux Third-year arts student