19th Ward Face-Off

I read the February 19th issue of the Campus Times this afternoon and was completely disgusted by this article. No matter with what intent the article was written, it is completely and utterly inappropriate. I can’t think of anyone who finds it humorous to joke about stabbings and shootings, and I can’t imagine why it was published in a newspaper that is supposed to represent the University of Rochester. Through its vast use of stereotyping and poor attempt at humor, this article reflects badly on the entire University community. I work with Kindergarten students in the 19th Ward almost every day and, I can assure you, violent homicides are not a joke to these children or their families. I feel that the single parents and the troubled families in the community of the 19th Ward that are affected by this violence certainly have enough to deal with without having to see ignorant articles like this one. I can only assume that you plan to issue an apology, though I can’t imagine that it will give much comfort to those that have lost a loved one to gun and knife crime.
Jackie Zarack
19th Ward resident

I am disgusted by the ’19th Ward Face-Off!” article that appeared in the Features section last week. If it wasn’t racist, it was certainly class-ist. Oh, except for the fact that it was racist. Playing off unemployed gang-banger stereotypes and stabbing victims? Really?! And how often does Tyrone refer to a white male? Trading a hobo a Twix-bar for a back-massage? Really, so now we’re making fun of the homeless too? Making light of the violence, crime and poverty in the 19th Ward does nothing to improve relations with the area, something this campus desperately needs. It is shameful that the Campus Times would publish an article that is so insensitive, racist, and anti-productive.
Ezra Moebcfhuasbcearte
Class of 2011

Retraction: 19th Ward Face-Off

We would like to sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by our last article. It was, by no means, our intention to offend anyone or arouse controversy. Our article was meant to be satirical. By writing negative insinuations of the 19th Ward in a comedic dialogue we were hoping to show how ridiculous those negative insinuations were.
Only after the article was published did we learn that many people did not interpret the article as we originally wrote it. We regret that our choice of dialogue did not reflect our message. Our poor choice of words was a result of our inexperience with satire, and writing in general. We assure you we were not trying to mock residents of the 19th Ward, rather we were trying to mock, through satire, those who hold negative misconceptions of the neighborhood. We apologize that our choice of writing style gravely distorted what we were trying to accomplish.

We ourselves are residents of the 19th Ward. We recognize that it is a great place for students, staff, and faculty to live. As with any neighborhood, the 19th Ward cannot be characterized by the deviant behaviors of a few individuals. It should instead be characterized by the enormous contributions of the residents to the University. Residents who are hard working, respectable and proud of their neighborhood. We greatly appreciate living in the 19th Ward and are excited by the University’s actions to encourage more students to live in the 19th Ward (Riverview, Brook’s Landing).
Daniel Ciszek
Class of 2009
Kishore Padmaraju
Class of 2009

Webpoll question on SDS protest

I am not a member of SDS nor do I agree with all of their causes but I was highly offended by the recent poll taken by the Campus Times. One of the responses provided by the poll regarding SDS’s protest read, ‘They’re socialists out to destroy our country. Evict Them!”
By including this option as a response to the poll, the Campus Times was misrepresenting SDS’s message and equating free speech and assembly as unpatriotic. One of the core principles of ‘our country” is the right to speak freely about important issues and to congregate to express these views. The members of SDS felt strongly about the war in Gaza and decided to exercise their right by calling for action in a peaceful and very American manner.

Furthermore, the call to withdraw military support from Israel has nothing to do with socialism. The protestors felt strongly about the innocent civilians killed in the conflict, so they wanted to speak out against the perceived injustice. I cannot imagine how such a cause can be linked to socialism, nor how such action can be viewed as a means to ‘destroy our country.”

Maybe the Campus Times was amused by the SDS protest and was just trying to be funny. The war in Gaza isn’t funny. Civilian deaths aren’t funny. I find it in extremely bad humor to make fun of people who stand up for what they believe is right.

I will reiterate that I do not completely agree with SDS’s cause. But I value a campus that embraces free expression and encourages discussion and healthy arguments. The poll misconstrued SDS’s entire mission and creates a campus atmosphere that mocks people for expressing their opinions. This is not the kind of campus I would like to be a part of, and we should expect more from our newspaper.
Anna Coughlan
Class of 2011

Lowering building temperatures

Upon tearing open the latest online edition of the Campus Times, I was shocked and dismayed by the news that Rochester’s only true university is callously disregarding decades of beautiful thermostatic tradition just to bank a few nickels. I realize that our beloved institution, like much of the world and Florida, is being forced to endure a tough economic climate. But must its students face a harsh climate as well?

Four score minus seventy-one years ago, when I was just a wide-eyed, warm-blooded high school senior tasked with selecting a collegiate home, it was the 70-to-72-degree ambient temperature that compelled me to attend Rochester rather than such frigid schools as NYU (room temp: 67 degrees), UChicago (wasn’t accepted) and Carnegie Mellon (46 degrees). It was a decision I would not regret, for UR’s toasty environs enabled me to focus negligibly on my workload, content with the knowledge that the administration was concerned first and foremost with my comfort.

There was, however, one occasion when my sweet state of nirvana was jostled; I remember it well. Basketball tucked under my armpit, I had been walking into the Palestra for a rousing game of pick-up basketball. But the moment I passed through the security gate, I found myself in the unmistakable clutches of 68-degree air. Immediately, I dropped the ball, hurdled the gate and took solace in Sue B. Why did I do this? Because I could; because there was a place I could go to escape the inhumanity of sub-70 degree hallways. My heart goes out to those current and incoming students who don’t transfer or withdraw. Four seconds in that arctic hell was all I could tolerate. They have four years of punishment ahead.

As an alumnus who is constantly being asked for money, I follow the developments of the school very closely and never before have I been rankled to this degree. The super-70-degree room temperature was one of the few things that truly defined the University of Rochester; now it has been coldly stripped away. That I can still sleep at night is due on
ly to the return of the parking boot to campus for as long as impoverished students’ cars are being immobilized at the most inconvenient of times, Rochester will always somewhat resemble the college I love(d?) so dearly.
Neil Janowitz
Class of 2004



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