Rockefeller clouds numbers and ideology
To the Editors:
I am writing in response to Patrick Rockefeller's opinion piece ["Judging
the actions of terrorists," April 19, 2002] that mentioned the Disorient's
list of casualties in the Israel/Palestine conflict. While I am not a
member of the Disorient staff, I feel that the numbers listed were not
intended to show that "Israel is the brutal, oppressive government
and that the Palestinians are victims." Such a list is also not a
"prime example of moral equivalency." Is a list of facts not
the very opposite of an example of moral equivalency?
The writer continues by saying the list suggests that Israel is at fault
and Palestinians are the victims. How could simple figures say so much?
Jesse Cargill '03
To The Editors:
In her recent Orient column ["Recent plus minus debate is truly
ironic," April 19, 2002], Genevieve Creedon dismissed the student
movement against the plus/minus grading system as laughable and compared
its significance to her sock choice. While I'm glad Creedon gets a kick
out of this movement, I would like to suggest to her and to this campus
that no issue which students deem important is laughable.
I agree that the plus/minus grading system does not have widespread ramifications
for world hunger or the violence currently wracking many parts of the
globe. I'm also inclined to agree that campus activism still has room
for growth as innovative campus publications arise and discourse begins
anew. However, the grading issue is indicative of a larger pattern of
miscommunication and a lack of dialogue between the faculty and students
on this campus.
Students have a right to know and to contribute to the conversations
occurring with Faculty and administrators. Issues like grading, the role
of athletics on campus, and admissions policies ultimately affect us as
students, and we need to encourage this school to foster increased communication
prior to harmful decisions.
Whether or not plus/minus grading has a prolonged effect should be a
secondary concern. Foremost is whether or not the Faculty is willing to
consider important student polls and create discussion. These simple themes
should assume a top priority in the minds of faculty members. Likewise,
students must respond to those prompts and questionnaires provided by
the administration and elaborate on our needs.
Ms. Creedon should not wait for a "thirst" to strike and sweep her away in "causes that are actually worthwhile," when greater concerns already exist. If plus/minus grading indeed becomes the impetus for creating a better Bowdoin College, than so be it. That would be neither a "sad commentary" on our principles, nor "hilarious."
Greg Goldsmith '05
To the Editors:
I was disappointed and offended at the negative response generated by
the Great American Meat-Out last Wednesday. It was not the chalked paths,
emails, and signs, but rather what I heard in dining hall lines that disturbed
me. The fact that an event merely designed to educate Bowdoin students
received such an aggressively negative response shows a severe close-mindedness.
I'm not sure why, but more than any other ethical question, I've noticed
that vegetarianism creates in its opponents a confrontational defensiveness.
To think, they might be in the same room as someone who doesn't eat meat,
someone different from them! The number of times I, as a vegetarian, have
been put through an ethical inquisition at the dinner table is ridiculous.
"Why do you think you're so much better than meat eaters?" "What
if I told you that I had put meat in the soup you're eating right now?
What would you do?"
I am not opposed to questions, nor am I opposed to dissent, but I am
opposed to unwarranted belligerence.
The Great American Meat-Out was not, contrary to what I heard in the
dining halls on Wednesday, ordering people not to eat meat, but rather
suggesting. It asked people to cut meat from their diets for one day in
order to reflect on why they eat it, and at what cost. Eating meat is
a choice, and a meat-eater is no better or worse than a vegetarian.
But meat-eaters who have considered the issue fully, rather than blindly
swinging back at vegetarians, are worthy of much more respect. In my opinion,
no one who eats meat can consider himself or herself a humanitarian or
social activist-but that is only my opinion. In no way will I ever force
that opinion on you, ever. Granted I won't let you turn your back on the
truths of eating meat, but I won't judge you for your decision.
So I say to the Meat-Eaters Protective Alliance, take it easy! Please don't be so afraid of us crazy "National Don't Eat Meat Day To Save the Earth and Stuff" hippies.
Emily Grason '04
To the Editors:
Gill Barndollar writes [Orient, April 5, 2002] that "College faculty
[are] out of touch with U.S."
There is no sense in which college faculties ought to be representative
of the opinion of the people. They are not members of Congress or any
other representative body. The role of intellectuals, rather, is to be
questioning and critical.
Most (but not all) people in the humanities and social sciences have concluded that over the past few centuries, conservatives have generally-not always or in all details-been wrong, while liberals-not always or on all details-have been right. From opposition to democracy in the 18th century to opposition to racial equality in the 20th, conservatives have been on the wrong side of history. In the well-chosen words of James Carville, "we're right and they're wrong."
Professor Dan Levine
With senior week and graduation fast approaching, it isn't long before
we will join the ranks of Bowdoin alumni/ae. In anticipation of that transition,
our class must choose four members who will represent us and remain in
close contact with the College after we leave. I would like to take some
time to tell you about the class officer positions and the upcoming elections
for those positions.
The President works closely with the Secretary of the College to coordinate
class activities post graduation, in addition to serving as the liason
to the Alumni Office for the Class of 2002. The Vice President assists
the President in planning reunions and class activities and in maintaining
close communication between the Class of 2002 and Bowdoin College. The
two Class Reporters are responsible for updating the class and the College
on the activities and whereabouts of the members of the Class of 2002.
The Class Reporters work with the President and Vice President and contact
the class through mailings, phone calls, and PolarNet. Each position requires
a term of five years, with new elections being held at every fifth year
Each Bowdoin alumni class has a class President, Vice President, and
two Class Reporters. Candidates for the four positions have already been
chosen from the members of the Young Alumni Leadership Program (YALP).
Elections will be held next Thursday night, May 2, outside the pub, and the following Friday, May10, during the day in Smith Union. Class officers are an integral part of the alumni network. Please come out and vote next Thursday and Friday for those candidates whom you feel would best represent the Class of 2002 over the next five years. Thank you.
Anne Warren '02