Refunds allay occasional Cinema difficulties

On behalf of Cinema Group and its executive board, I would like to address some of the concerns raised in the Feb. 15 editorial “Fantastic Flicks.” We are grateful for the mostly positive words, but we want to explain the occasional technical difficulties mentioned.

Problems like the soundtrack cutting out and missed crossovers bother us more than anyone. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can control – it is mostly up to the whim of our decades-old projectors, which are on their way out. It is not financially feasible to have them replaced, so we have to rely on the projectionists fixing the unavoidable and largely random problems as quickly as possible.

Save for the occasional projectionist error, which – while not uncommon – is not the cause of most problems, little can be done to prevent the projectors from occasionally ceasing to work properly. This is worsened by the worn-out film prints we get from the movie distributors because we are their least important money-makers, which really strains the projectors and projectionists.

We are very aware that technical problems are extremely annoying, and as such, the theater manager on duty will generally issue refund passes if audience members ask. At this weekend’s showings of Borat, there were a multitude of technical problems due to the random failing of one of the projectors, and dozens of refund passes were issued at great loss.

The weekend before that, every showing of both films was flawless.

The point is that it doesn’t always happen – but no one talks about it when nothing goes wrong. The chance that there will be problems is much lower than not having any, and considering one can get a refund for the inexpensive ticket, there’s no reason to stay away from URCG movies because of the occasional technical issue.

-Chris HackerClass of 2008

Ex-smoker takes exception to observer

I found Catelyn Halusic’s article “Cigarettes Fire Up Bystander” in the Feb. 22 edition to be very misguided and somewhat offensive. I recently made the decision to quit smoking after two and a half years, and although it’s been an uphill battle, I’m determined to succeed. As an ex-smoker, I find that people who have never smoked do not understand a thing about the mindset of smokers. Smoking may start as something one does to be “cool,” but it continues due to nicotine addiction.

Referring to the large smoker population on campus as “ironic” is offensive. It implies that smokers are unintelligent, which is untrue. Rather, they made an impulsive decision during adolescence and continue to pay the price due to nicotine addiction.

Furthermore, I know as an ex-smoker that being told I wasn’t allowed to smoke only made me want to smoke more.

Smokers are humans too, and banning smoking on the River Campus would infringe on their rights. If you encounter someone smoking outside your room, simply ask them to move 30 feet from the building if they aren’t already doing so. It is always more fruitful to confront such things on a problem-to-problem basis instead of lashing out at UR smokers en masse.

-Nicholas M. CassaroClass of 2010

No substitute for newspaper readership

The opposition to the supply of free newspapers highlights a frightening mentality. It’s noted “how lazy and apathetic the students are about current events,” a sentiment Shannon Miller inadvertently bolsters by arguing against newspapers’ necessity.

The claim that students don’t have time for them is absurd; if students – privileged to pursue knowledge rather than work – can’t find time, who can? All respectable citizens read the paper, and anyone who can’t manage should reexamine his priorities. No science or engineering workload exempts one from being a human.

She says the “Daily Show” and FOX News are sufficient. As hilarious as both are, intelligent people don’t have news regurgitated; they form opinions on their own. She hails online news sites. In addition to destroying papers’ profits, these limited, free services parallel our “clusters” system. We are provided with a couple links and may click those that interest us; inevitably, fewer articles are read. UR’s (lack of) curriculum, marketed as intellectual “freedom” in a Bush-esque misuse of the word, actually waives the guarantee of a comprehensive liberal arts education.

Newspapers and a proper curriculum are designed to broaden horizons. Not all content will be of direct use or even interest, but one can’t know what interests him until he knows what’s out there. That’s the difference between education and training. To be free, one must understand his situation – even if he has to be force-fed the daily newspaper.

With that said, USA Today is the “Ricky Lake Show” of newspapers, and its Readership Program a ploy to piggyback off the profits of better publications.

Free copies of The New York Times and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle are critical – the campus would feel emptier without them.

USA Today is a different story.

-Luke Rosiak Class of 2008

Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.

Colin’s Review Rundown: Future and Metro Boomin, Lizzy McAlpine, Benson Boone, Civerous

Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.