The Colgate Scene
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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.||
. . . I was pleased to read the Planning Committee Report (March 2001) and related articles, especially as they applied to Section IV, Environment. I have also read with interest recent issues with respect to Colgate's attempt to improve the appearance of the village.
In the report it states, among other things, that "Our success in attracting the very best students, faculty and staff is greatly influenced by the first impression that they have when visiting the area." I could not agree more.
Unfortunately, the first impression of prospective students, their parents and others who stay at the Colgate Inn could be nothing but the very worst impression.
I recall that when I was assistant managing editor of The Maroon, I wrote a scathing article about the Inn, which unfortunately has not improved, at least not at the time I last visited the campus two years ago. At that time I also happened to read a review of the dining facilities in the Syracuse newspaper that was most damning, and rightly deserved.
Persons I have spoken with who have visited the college for the first time and had the unfortunate experience of staying overnight at the Inn were equally appalled. The fact that the university owns the Inn makes it even more unforgivable that an all-out effort has not been made to completely renovate the Inn, or perhaps raze it and start anew.
In addition to improving the buildings in the village, the great expanse of macadam where the five streets converge could be vastly improved should this eyesore be submitted to a first-class city planner.
Again, I am delighted that the university has at long last recognized the need to enhance the look of the village so that it may be as beautiful as the magnificent college campus.
H. ALAN YOUNG '58
As Professor Bolland's letter in the March Scene so eloquently explains, any investigation of campus culture must include an examination of the history and current role of the fraternity system. But the editor's note responding to Professor Bolland's letter does not even address his point -- in fact, the word fraternity is not even mentioned. Rather, it states that the Board of Trustees is "aware that the aberrant actions of a few students can have a negative impact on campus life." This "few bad apples" argument signals to me that the fraternity system itself still retains a good deal of its sacred-cow status.
In Professor Bolland's words, "It is plausible, at least, that any organizations that emphasize a hyper-macho culture may be linked to the perpetuation of some of the negative aspects of our campus culture. If not, then there's nothing to hide." I sincerely hope that the task force will include an examination of the Greek system. If it does not, it will have reached its conclusions on this integral part of campus culture before it even begins to meet. It will also have betrayed the spirit of open inquiry that I expect of a liberal arts institution of Colgate's caliber.
SUSAN SHEEHAN WIELER '79
We had been studying various schools of psychotherapy and were shown a movie near the end of the unit that depicted several different therapists working with the same client (an attractive woman in her 30s). The final therapist to work with her was Carl Rogers, and he was using his humanistic approach of "unconditional positive regard." When the intervention was completed, the camera showed a dissolve followed by a closeup of Rogers. The scene revealed Rogers with his shirt unbuttoned and sweat glistening on his face. Everyone in the class drew the same unlikely conclusion, and we all erupted simultaneously in laughter. It went on endlessly, and I do not know if I have ever felt as close to any group of people as I did in that magical moment. As we used to say in the '60s, it was a happening. Strangely, I do not think that I ever talked to anyone about it. If anyone was a part of that Psych 101 class in 1968, please drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org), as I would still like to process the event with someone.
JOHN DOVER '71
Ross Ferlito's example as both an inspiring teacher and devoted family man has had an indelible impact on me. Each time I take a group of students to France, I bring my family along, as Ross always did, and I remember with great fondness dinners and classes at his apartment where I felt less alone in a new country. Ross and his extraordinary wife Malva made me realize that it was possible and even preferable to bring the same kind of commitment and care to their teaching and their students that they brought to raising their children.
In conclusion, I have had other amazing Colgate teachers whom I have written about in the past, but none has affected me so completely as a human being as Ross Ferlito.
JOHN ROMEISER '70
I realize that Ms. De Vries's point was not about poetry; still, it seems important, when invoking these names and the ideas they represent, and particularly when doing so in an academic community, to strive for accurate representation.
DOUGLAS COWIE '99
ABRAHAM POKRASSA '50
Editor's note: Rev. Al Sharpton began preaching at age four and was ordained as a Pentecostal minister. The New York Times, Associated Press and several other leading news organizations refer to Sharpton as a reverend. The Scene is not alone.
Who sponsors speakers?
He was known to the police who have a lengthy record on him. I believe mugging was a specialty. And what was the source of the caption writer's view that he was "wrongfully accused of murder?" Whatever did the caption writer think that Carter and John Ardis were doing in that bar in downtown Paterson at 2 a.m. on the day of the murder -- conducting a prayer meeting? Carter was convicted in each of his trials. Does the caption writer hold that the courts were corrupt?
While I'm on it, what big thinker on campus decided that Dan Rather would bring a scholarly dignity to campus as commencement speaker? Rather has already apologized to his immediate superiors for being a mouthpiece for the Democratic National Committee while posing as a newsman. He's so biased the path to the podium will have to be on a slant.
MAC MCCUTCHEON '40
Editor's note: Carter was brought to campus by the Colgate Activity Board of the Student Activities Office. Commencement speakers are nominated by students and selected by a committee of trustees and faculty. Both Carter and Rather gave well-received speeches.
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