Porn dialogueAs religious leaders here at UR, we feel it necessary to speak out on the annual tradition of showing a spring X-rated movie on campus. It is time that this “tradition” becomes something more — a commitment to discuss sexuality, the human body, intimacy in terms of dignity and respect and as a celebration of a gift given to us.

A public showing of an X-rated movie that would encourage dialogue in an academic environment, especially one of the caliber of UR, would be more valuable than showing this type of movie solely for the purpose of “tradition” or entertainment.

It is evident that many in our community see this annual showing as simply a matter of freedom of expression. While we too value freedom of expression, we believe it is not the sole factor in determining whether something is good, possesses value for a community or builds a positive community life.

Human sexuality is good, and should be celebrated in a context where respect and human dignity is promoted for each person. This annual “tradition” fails to do so.

— Rev. Brian Cool Catholic Newman Community, DirectorRev. Dr. Greg Osterberg University Protestant Chaplain, DirectorRev. Gregory Parris University Protestant ChaplainIsmael abd al-kareem Muslim Chaplain

Free pressSometime in the near future Carolyn Kaminski, treasurer of the Students’ Association Appropriations Committee, might want to sit down with the U.S. Constitution and review the amendments. She is quoted in the Campus Times as saying that the “City” is “not in a position to criticize a private institution and they don’t have a right to tell us not to spend money on porn.” In fact, they are and they do.

It is the job of a free press to criticize all institutions, public and private, when there is a constituency in society who thinks that an institution is on the wrong track. Private clubs all over the country have broadened the ethnic diversity of their memberships in response to press coverage of the admission restrictions that once existed.

Furthermore, Chris Busby’s “City” article did not tell UR students what to spend their money on. Actually he was more or less making fun of the UR students and administration for pretending that campus porn was a free speech issue although no one is actually talking about it. And not just to the press, but also among themselves.

George Morrison, the assistant director of student activities said in Busby’s article there has been relatively little debate about the issue in the last 10 or 12 years. Student Senator Danielle Friedman admitted that the vast majority of students prefer not to discuss the issue at all.Chris Busby is doing what the press is supposed to do in a free country, which is to encourage discussion and debate about the issues.

The level of discussion at present is low. On the one hand, we have male students claiming that pornography shown on campus is not degrading to women and that female students are not afraid to express their opinions about it. On the other hand, we read of an anonymous letter to Joan Knihnicki that shows us that exactly the opposite is true.

Many student representatives defend the Spring Porn screening on the grounds that a lot of people turn out for it. A lot of people used to turn out for public hangings, too.

— Professor Bill ChaissonEarth and Environmental Science

Bridge to the worldAs a student at UR, who is herself paying the university a substantial sum of money to attend, I think removing the bridge would be one of the worst decisions that could be made by the administration.

I am all for attending a safe university, but I do not wish to be living in a bubble. I walked over that bridge four days a week for two and a half months last summer in order to get to and from my internship. Over the course of the summer, I met such an array of wonderful people who live and work in the 19th Ward and Sector 4 –people from whom I learned a great deal.

There is a point at which we all must realize that we cannot simply be students in the classroom. There is such a wealth of information and experience to be found among other people, even among those that so many want to push aside or ignore.

I strongly disagree with the notion that there is or should be a sharp division between college life and “the real world.” Ignoring the problems faced by many in our community — and Rochester is our community as long as we are attending this university — will not make them go away.

I see that bridge as an essential link to a wonderfully diverse community which is rich in ways our tuition money could never buy, and as a critical component of our education, not only as university students but also as active participants in the world in which we live. To remove that bridge would be to turn our backs on our community, and that is never the right answer.– Joyelle Muckerheide Class of 2004

History rememberedThe propositions made by Andrew Snyder are as uninformed and inaccurate as most conservative arguments these days. Perhaps Snyder was too young to know that there was a significant amount of opposition to the Clinton-era military actions in Kosovo, Somalia and Iraq. Ignoring the numerous books written to decry such actions, and the sizeable amount of anti-war articles in major and minor magazines, Synder doesn’t seem to know that there were demonstrations as well. There are significant differences here, which he ignores in his op-ed piece.

First, we are dealing with higher stakes, such as nuclear and biological warfare on a grand scale. The situations in Somalia and Kosovo were of not of the same consequence, and even the situation in Iraq at the time was not nearly as potentially destructive as today.

Second, the size of the Clinton-era anti-war movement seems smaller now because massive rallies were not easily organized then. The increased and efficient use of new technologies has increased the organizational abilities of the anti-war movement and allowed for giant protests.

Third, the left was a bit more supportive of Clinton, but not as much as conservatives whine about today. If you were to survey the literature about global politics in the Clinton years, you would see as much furor over situations like Somalia and East Timor, Bosnia and the tragedy of the Kurdish population in Iraq.

Perhaps students should stop jumping to knee-jerk conclusions about events that they do not remember.– Alfred Vitale Class of 2005

Canadian loveI recently travelled down to your fine university to visit a friend of mine whom I met at a camp in Ontario. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and found UR to be more than comfortable for a Canadian like myself.

I did not fit in entirely. I called forks, knives and spoons cutlery instead of silverware. I enjoyed a drink of pop not soda. I went to the washroom not the bathroom. Still I was accepted into your community with open arms.

I played football with some students. I tried to teach them the Canadian rules, three downs and so forth but saw little progress. I watched hockey on television and was left alone during this time.

I attended an improv event entitled ‘Improv Chutney ‘ and was left in fits of laughter most of the night. That is until Canada became the butt of the final joke the evening, one which received tremendous applause.

I wore a curling shirt. I admit I set myself up with that one.

I sat in on a class with a professor from, you guessed it, Canada. I sat among you without any attention being drawn my way. The point is that a Canadian at UR sticks out as much as a celebrity at an anti-war rally. Not that much.

In closing I feel it necessary to address the current Canadian-American relations. In the end we are allies linked by both a border and a set of guiding principles. As Jack Nicholson said in the ‘hit’ movie ‘Mars Attacks’ “why can’t we all just get along?”

The trip was a great experience. Thank you for your hospitality. — Mark Masters

Snyder misinformedFirst,
please do a modicum of research before you open your mouth. Hussein has never used biological weapons on his own people let alone anyone else. Chemical weapons are easily distinguishable from biological weapons — just ask any Iranian soldier. The least you could do is read over the Republican talking points carefully before wasting valuable trees in your less than stellar tirade in response to the protestors.

Second, who cares what the motivations are behind the protesting? The simple act of protesting is itself a political action. So get a clue. What the hell is wrong with having a political point of view which may diverge from that of the presiding president?

Third, there were people protesting the bombing of Kosavo, the bombings of Sudan and especially the bombings and sanctions in Iraq. It was the media’s choice not to give it credence and your fault not to listen, but believe us those people were every bit as vocal and passionate then as they are now.

“Hussein hates the United States and will do anything to help the terrorists in their attacks against us.” Contrary to your misinformed opinion Hussein loved the U.S. before 1991 and we loved him back. He kept those Muslim, aggressors from Iran in check. P.S. The Baath party is a secular-socialist party.

In addition nothing brought forward by the Bush administration has even remotely linked Hussein to any terrorist organizations, especially al-Qeada. Unfortunatly, in a recent poll 44% of Americans are still under the delusion that some or all of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi. It seems to me that you Mr. Snyder are under the same delusion.

In conclusion, we will defend liberals. It was not liberals who continued to pry into the private life of a sitting president just out of spite. Neither did liberals spend millions of dollars on an investigation to discover that the president was getting head. It seems to us that Mr. Snyder’s article is merely another way for the pot to call the kettle black.

Jon Dashkoff ’06 (moral support)Mansoor Khan ’03John Zeiser ’05

Bridge NeededI recently invested $91,100.00 in a Hammacher Schlemmer aquatic pod suite, and stocked it with a two-month supply of canned pork and beans. I spent a good portion of January and February living in my pod, safely distanced from danger as I floated up and down the Genesee River. But I got lonely.

An hour to grab some books from the library, a dash to Wegman’s for a case of Keystone Ice, a quick trip to Italy to see the boyfriend; the hours spent in the pod were growing less and less and putting me in danger, exposing me.

I gave up and moved back to the 19th Ward.

In her February 20th letter addressing safety on campus, Sue Masters made a number of demands based on her monetary contributions to the university, including IDing people and removing the footbridge between campus and Genesee Street. Perhaps she would also like the university to institute the buddy system and a nightly bed check.

I, too, pay a lot of money to attend UR as a grad student. But rather than make demands on the university, I offer the concept of personal vigilance.

Every week I read about abandoned laptops and unlocked doors, or people wandering off to GVP alone and in the dark. While the university should and does make efforts to maintain a safe environment, it shouldn’t be held responsible for students’ sheer stupidity. The footbridge doesn’t funnel evil into UR–it serves as a walking/biking route from home to campus for many staff members and students, including myself.

If Masters wants her two sons to have–“a future in our society” she should seriously consider the nature of that society, and the personal responsibility of its citizens. If she expects every “suspicious” car or person to be unnecessarily harassed, perhaps she’d be interested in leasing my pod, as I don’t feel the need to be cut off from the community in which I live.

Emily RantanenClass of 2002

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