Campus Dialogue is Tiring, other letters
To The Editors:
Am I the only one who is sick and tired of all the dialogue on this campus? I speak and you listen, then you speak and I listen. What a bunch of crap! When I talk, it is not because I am trying to convey information; it is because I love the sound of my own voice. No joke, if my voice were a woman I would marry it. In fact, I am saying the words that I am currently typing out loud for the sheer thrill of it. This may not be a popular opinion with all you liberals, but I know one campus group that has my back. Please give a big round of applause for the OC Republicans! Clap. Clap. Clap. (As an aside for those of you who are interested in just how much I love my own voice, when I read those claps out loud I literally said the word clap instead of clapping my hands.)
How do I know that the OC Republicans feel the same way I do? They were nice enough to run an advertising campaign that proved it. The flyers they put up for Michelle Malkin’s visit to campus were all great, but my favorite, the one that really showed me that here was a group of people who were tired of stupid, hippie “dialogue,” was the flyer with Ward Churchill’s ugly mug on it. For those of you who do not know who Ward Churchill is, take comfort, neither do I. What I do know however, is that Ward Churchill is a jerk. I can be sure of this for three reasons. First of all, he has long hair. It is a proven fact that only jerks have long hair. Historical long haired jerks include Samson (poor Philistines), George Washington (poor King George) and Nell Porter (poor Ally McBeal).
The second reason I know Ward Churchill is a jerk has to do with the word bubble next to his mouth that reads, “If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.” Only jerks say things that so perfectly encompass the average liberal’s beliefs. Ward Churchill, like every single other liberal ever, likes to rationalize the brutal murder of thousands of people. I even heard that the Democratic Party is thinking of using that quote as their new party motto.
As if all this evidence were not enough, the third and final reason I know Ward Churchill is a jerk is the most damning of all. After the quote demonstrating his completely typical liberal respect for terrorism, is the exclamation, “YEARRGGGGHHHHHH!” No joke, this man is shown to be literally shouting four capital G’s and six capital H’s. He is clearly less a man and more a monster. And, as all decent Americans know, monsters are notorious jerks. (Notable exceptions include King Kong in King Kong vs. Godzilla, Harry in Harry and the Hendersons and Howie Mandel in Little Monsters.)
So why in the world would the OC Republicans go through all the trouble of creating a conservative/liberal binary that portrays liberals as idiot freedom haters? The answer is simple. They love the sweet sound of their own voice just as much as I do. These men and women of conviction give a hearty middle finger to the notion of “listening to others” by painting their opposition as extremist fools. Indeed, they can retire to the warm embrace of the echo chamber without ever having to be bothered by “rational debate” and “constructive dialogue.” God, I envy them.
In closing, I would like to extend an open invitation to my fellow classmates. Though the OC Republicans are leading the charge here on campus, there is still time to join the wave of vocal narcissism that is sweeping our nation. Speak up, tune out, and enjoy!
P.S. A special treat is available for whoever changes “OC Republicans” to “OC Democrats” and resubmits this letter the next time flyers go up demonizing conservatives.
To the Editors:
Thanks to the Review and reporter Emma Dumain for highlighting the happy return of the London Program in the Feb. 10 edition. I would like only to prevent one possible misunderstanding that readers may take away from this very informative article.
The fall London Programs described in the article will indeed be a bit different from our previous program. They will accept five fewer students, will send only one faculty member, and will work in close curricular, administrative and social cooperation with Grinnell-in-London.
However, our spring programs will be much more like our previous programs. They will involve the same number of students as before (25), and will continue to send two faculty who will offer one joint, interdisciplinary course as well as a course in each of their disciplines. There will not be any Grinnell faculty or courses, though we do hope that a few Grinnell students will apply to join our program. We are planning now for spring 2007.
Thanks to one and all for the enthusiastic support that got us to this point and will take us forward to new heights.
To the Editors:
I would like to thank the Review for its excellent article on the Oberlin Design Initiative and our First Annual Truck Raffle. There are just a few bits of information I would like to add to the article: tickets are purchasable on the web through a secure PayPal connection at www.fullcirclefuels.com/raffle or at the shop on 141 S. Main St. in Oberlin. We also encourage individuals to go in on a ticket together with a friend or two to cooperatively own the truck, should they win it.
–Avery Book (’04)
To My Precious Fellow Students:
As one seeking the position of Student Senator in this spring election, I could not but first reflect on what it means to serve in government. Last week, Marshall Duer-Balkind submitted a commentary piece that directly addressed the shortcomings he saw in the functioning of the Student Senate. In many ways, it is these same problems that are affecting America as a whole, though the details and demographics are somewhat different.
What can be done to alter this course? What is the answer to the deepest questions buried in the hearts of apathetic students, unbeknownst even to themselves?
The answer that Oberlin, and the world, aches for is in fact none other than myself. For, looking about me, I see that students grow weary because they do not know the hearts of their representatives. They languish while eating their relatively inedible CDS foods because Student Senate has failed to inspire them.
This anguish stabs into my heart just as surely as an actual knife stabbed into my heart would stab into my heart; that is to say, it stabs into my heart. What then, is the reaction to being stabbed at, even if by something so abstract as apathy involving student elections? To act in self defense, which is my sole intent.
Hence, my campaign for the senate is nothing less than my attempt to guard my own hopes and dreams. That I should take up the burden of carrying the hopes and dreams of my fellow students is something with which I have made peace. For, are we not all together in this matter?
Can I truly keep my heart separate from that of my sisters and my brothers, studying as one at this college? No. I do not run for power or respect (only). The Senate has lost these already. I run out of love and a desire to see you, my beloved scholars, filled with a love of your Senate. I can only promise you my endless devotion.
–John Christopher Greenleaf Weil
To the Editors:
In the Strategic Plan Working Group on Building Campus Community, a number of ideas are under discussion that are designed to help us create better lines of communication across campus. Although individuals, groups and the entire campus can exchange and share information through a variety of electronic systems (e-mail, BlackBoard, list-servs and numerous links from oberlin.edu), many people continue to express the need for more effective ways to publicize and share information about events and opportunities. There is no doubt that broad, clear and efficient communication can serve in significant ways to build community; in addition, however, as individuals, groups and as an institution, it behooves us to address not only the quantity on information we exchange and efficiency with which we communicate, but also the quality and effectiveness of our communication.
Opportunities to engage in a lively exchange of ideas abound in dining halls, residence halls, the Student Union, classrooms, laboratories, study groups, ensembles, athletics and student organizations to name just a few. Beyond these venues, committees, forums and organizational meetings provide tasks and particular foci which help guide our discussions and make progress toward solutions.
Student Senate has organized a number of forums for students to meet with administrators and faculty at frequent intervals throughout the past calendar year with discussions about the role of Athletics, Advising, Strategic Planning, Admissions and Residential Education. More of these forums are planned for the spring semester.
A weekly meeting, “The Deans Are In,” is held on Thursdays from 4-5 p.m. in Wilder 105 with some of the Deans from the Dean of Students Office. The first “Deans Are In” of the second semester was Thursday, Feb. 16. These meetings will provide opportunities for students and administrators to talk to each other throughout the semester. (People arrive and leave at varying times during these informal gatherings and all students are welcome.)
Another such opportunity is the Open Forum with the Board of Trustees, which takes place on the Thursday evening before Trustees begin their business meetings on Friday. These gatherings happen three times per year, in Sept., Dec. and March. They are moderated by class trustees, who are alumni elected during their senior year by last year’s senior class, this year’s senior class and next year’s senior class. The tradition of the Open Forum with trustees began in 1975 and continues to provide opportunities for lively discussion of issues of interest to students on campus. Open to all students, these meetings offer students the occasion to meet the trustees and to voice their concerns and their hopes for directions they hope the college will take. The next Open Forum will be March 2 at 9 p.m. in Wilder 112.
It is our hope that we will continue to discover ways in which we can find and create opportunities to gather to get to know each other, to talk about whatever happens to be interesting or challenging for us, to share ideas about how those interests can be developed and supported, and to talk together about how those challenges might be met.