The Colgate Scene
January 2000
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The Colgate Scene invites responsible letters, addressed to the editor, regarding any subject that may be considered of interest to the Colgate community. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.

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Proud ruggers
. . . The women's rugby team would like to thank the Scene for its recent coverage. Three cheers (Hip Hip Hooray!) go out to John Hubbard for taking such great photos of the team.

     This year's women ruggers are proud holders of the second place title in New York State's Empire League. The league tournament was held October 30-31 at Aardvark Park in Rochester. Colgate beat Syracuse 27-24, but lost a hard-fought game to Ithaca 24-14. Four Colgate ruggers were asked to try out for the All-Star Game: Lesley Hall '00 (inside center), Haldre Rogers '00 (scrum half), Tiffany Alvarado '00 (hooker) and Molly Whittaker '02 (wing). Rogers tried out and made the All-Star squad and traveled to Amherst for the tournament.

     The traditional rugby spirit (RIL!) is alive and well for the Colgate Women's rugby team. We would like to thank our generous alumni, whose contributions are enabling us to finally get new uniforms!


Fight Song?
. . . I attended two Colgate football games this fall and was very disappointed that the band does not play the "Fight Song" after scores. Colgate is supposed to be sustained by tradition, and the tradition mentioned above has been eliminated. I thought through the words and could find none that might be "politically incorrect." I suppose missing this tradition is part of being an "old grad" versus the more modern trends.

Irondequoit, NY

Short response
. . . Keep it short, said the prof long ago.

     Far from they valley, my Scenes come in bunches; September and November yesterday. I happened to read Joe DeBragga's November letter first. Then three September pages of Raoul Bataller '69, recalling undergraduate days in the late '60s. Bataller, whose "brand of journalism is mine alone" -- but who borrows from Edward R. Murrow.

     Too bad Bataller, in his cradle, didn't hear Murrow radioing from London in 1940. Had he, Bataller's comments would be less windy and his recollection of his years at Colgate less jaundiced.

     A suggestion to Bataller to soothe his "snowbound . . . cruel scars" and to help him overcome his Vietnam phobia: visit the Chapel and slowly read the bronze memorial plaque on the rear wall. Those Colgate men "paid some dues" -- as Bataller put it.

Oslo, Norway

. . . A piece of me?

     Yeah, I'm good at self-pity and I do reek it sometimes. If Mr. DeBragga '43 (November Scene) has a problem with that, who cares? But let's go to the problem. It's the draft-dodging. And since this is a university, we'll leave the dynamics of the VFW barroom out of it.

     I dodged the draft of Vietnam, and believe me, I'm not among the huge numbers of my generation suffering nightmarishly, or regretting my decision. I wanted to live my life whole, intact, with no body parts pointlessly shot off. It's as simple as that. We were all green alike, so very young, and didn't know what we were getting into. But this generation of mine, at a tender young age, had the temerity to call our elders on their grievous error in pursuing Vietnam. Those guys, DeBragga's generation, contributed nothing to the thought about WWII, in the way we shaped thought over Vietnam. They cheered; we thought. They, when finally of age to do some thinking of their own, goaded us further year after year in Vietnam. Some contribution.

     Now if guys like DeBragga can't, after all this time, recognize that no amount of cheerleading, or enlistments, body counts, or trumped-up Tonkin resolutions could possibly have been helpful in Vietnam, and that draft-dodging was the best last choice to make in a bad situation, that's their problem, not ours.

     I was indulging some lingering traces of old emotion from the times we lived in, and DeBragga should keep his nose out of it.

Clewiston, FL

What an alumnus wants
. . . Your November Scene contained everything an alumnus could possibly want! The first page featured a group photo of six surviving presidents. I note that my boy just missed by one year. George Cutten, the rugged individualist who often appeared with only a suit coat in all Hamilton weather patterns, and, in an apocryphal story, was short-sheeted in his own home after throwing a Sunday tea for students.

     The second page shows the Hall of Presidents, known in my day as the dining hall at the Student Union. Food fights were commonplace. Diners checked their shoes after a bad batch of peas were served, and of course, as the year wore on, the one and only female on duty became more beautiful by the day.

     Page three shows a much-changed Chapel displaying attractive organ pipes as a backdrop to a full Colgate orchestra. In earlier years we were exposed to the Philadelphia Orchestra. Duke Ellington appeared on the series. Paul Robeson sang with the local chorus in a promotional movie for Colgate.

     The centerfold made my day! As a student in 1939-40, I lived on the third floor of West Hall. I had a feeling that the room was old, but now I am informed that West Hall is the oldest building on campus! My two-year stint at West Hall makes me recall open stairwells where the candy-man entered the rear door -- yelled up the well to alert students that sandwiches and candy were available at a price. Then there was Mike Supa, the blind student on the Chapel side of West Hall. He made his blindness a piece of cake. The Class of 1940 is hopeful that a memorial can be placed in his memory at their 60th reunion.

     I was housed in the eastern half of West Hall overlooking the campus. During the annual winter carnival, the occupants of the hall created an arctic ice maiden seated on a throne. Some of the more starved artists opted for huge breasts on the ice maiden, but sanity and gravity prevailed and I viewed a more realistic work of art from our third floor window.

     Now, back to 1999 and a BIG question. In the November issue you have listed classes from 1928 to 1999. The Class of 1928 has no measurable class information; the Class of 1999 has 60 inches of class information! What is your game plan for class info in the next millennium?

Fairport, NY

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