The men’s rugby club has come a long way in the past year. Currently, the club has nearly 40 members and participates in the New York State Rugby Conference.

However, it has been an uphill battle with the university from day one.

There have been two important requests made by the club and both have been denied.

The first is for alternative field access. Currently, the team practices on Goergen Grass ? an undersized strip of dirt with the occasional patch of grass, this field also hosts the annual bonfire of Meliora Weekend.

Each year, a hole of ash is left in the field, along with nails strewn across its length. This year, we were told maintenance would clear the field of the nails a few days after the event.

Four long weeks later, nothing has been done. With an unusable field, we asked the university for access to another one, but the university has not complied, claiming every other field is for “varsity use only.” Public facilities such as the Field House are commonly reserved for varsity sports, leaving fields such as the North field and the Towers baseball field open and our club without a practice spot.

The second request is that we be given access to upper-level fitness equipment, available only in the varsity weight room. Again citing “it’s only for varsity sports,” our players are unable to access necessary equipment owned by the University. UR is a Division III school, putting much less emphasis on varsity athletics than Division I schools.

However, that apparently does not put club and varsity sports on an equal plane. Also, we pay as much as varsity athletes to attend this university, thus we should be given equal treatment and access to everything the university owns.

Unwilling to compromise, the university is holding a double standard for club and varsity sports that is not only detrimental to the success of our club, but also dangerous to the health of our members.

?Jonah PozenPresident of UR Club Sports Council

Yellowjacket origins

I am an alumnus (MBA ’70) along with my wife Margaret (BA ’70). This is regarding your Campus Times article which I saw online today.

I researched the question in 1968 and learned ? and confirmed ? that “Yellowjackets” came from the reference to the color of the Kodak film box, a prominent yellow.

The university benefited from many donations from George Eastman so this was intended to show tongue-in-cheek appreciation. The insect was an afterthought.

Hope this solves the mystery as it did for my son Jeff (’04).

?Arthur BernsteinAlumnus, Class of 1970

Veg must have known

I think it is utterly hilarious that UR Veg is surprised that they have made people angry. This UR Veg movement, if it can be called that, represents true hypocrisy.

They are protesting my way of life, and calling me insensitive. Do I protest your way of life?

They call me ignorant, yet cite only biased interpretations of what can only be called para-scientific studies at best.

Mr. Alvares-Toye, please re-read your BIO 110 textbook regarding digestion of cellulose vs. digestion of fat and protein.

Listen UR Veg, I know animals are cruelly treated, I know vegetarians live longer than people who eat meat, and I’ve read “The Jungle.” You aren’t breaking some silence, or exposing me to new information.

I respect your choice to be a vegetarian. I understand your desire to convert people to your way of thinking.

I take offense when you call me ignorant, “callous and arrogant,” and “insecure.”

Furthermore, if you protest my way of life with flyers and letters to the editor, you had better believe that I will respond in similar fashion.

?Evan MerzClass of 2004

Veg about compassion

As a UR VEG member, I’m disappointed that Chadwick Schnee chose to attack our motives before learning what our group is about. In his column “UR Veg needs to simmer down,” he claims that we show video footage fromfactory farms because we feel “hostility toward those different from [us].”

Our intentions are quite the opposite. We strive not simply to “gross people out,” as Schnee believes, but to alert them to the profound and needless suffering hidden from public view on factory farms ? suffering financed and perpetuated with every purchase of meat, fur, leather, milk or eggs.

Our footage is actually quite tame when compared with the routine horrors of animal agriculture.

To take just one example: although we show egg-laying hens in cramped “battery” cages, we don’t show the fate of millions of day-old chicks born at US egg hatcheries each year.

The males have no commercial value, so these fluffy (and fully conscious) little fellows are heaped into high-speed “macerating” machines ? where they’re ground into a bloody pulp.

This intensely gruesome spectacle occurs every day, yet most egg consumers know nothing about it.

We believe most people would not knowingly support such cruelty if they had the facts. Yes, we understand that slaughterhouse footage is uncomfortable to watch, even if it’s relatively sanitized.

We don’t like it either. But ignoring such atrocities will not make them go away.

As former meat eaters ourselves, we’re glad that others alerted us to the suffering of farm animals, since that knowledge enabled us to do the right thing.

Likewise, we ask others to bear witness to the suffering. Not because we think they’re different from us, but because we believe they’re compassionate ? and that, like us, they too might want to do the right thing.

?Hoss FiroozniaAlumnus, Class of 1996

Al-Qatami comments

I agree with Nasser Al-Qatami’s review of Christina Aguilera’s latest album, “Stripped.” It is a great album, featuring a wide range of good music which blends together well. So what if “Dirrty” was sexually suggestive? If you don’t like it, you don’t have to watch it. Interestingly, “Dirrty” brought together two polar opposites in the political world ? feminists and the Christian Coalition. The feminist criticism of it is that it’s degrading to women. That’s interesting, because I thought that the actions of one woman reflect only on herself. Believe it or not, Aguilera might find this type of thing empowering. The Christian Coalition argument seems to be that it’s immoral and corrupts family values. Again, no one’s forcing you to watch it.

Though I agree with Nasser Al-Qatami’s review of “Stripped,” I find his one-line slant on Britney Spears ? in which implied her music has no soul ? to be unnecessary. Is it necessary to put one good artist down in order to praise another? I’ll grant you that Spears’ most popular hits are fun ‘n gun, though many of her lesser known songs are very soulful ? I particularly like “Girl in the Mirror.” But what’s wrong with fun songs? Two of the best funk songs in the ’80s were “Jungle Love” and “The Bird” and they were all about fun. Also, I think that fun and soul are intrinsically linked ? Think of Wilson Pickett, many of whose songs ? such as “The Midnight Hour,” “Knock on Wood,” “Mustang Sally,” and “Land of 1000 Dances” ? were soulful and fun.

?David HeinrichClass of 2003



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