|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.
Women' Ice Hockey
. . . As the lead plaintiff in the case Cook, et al., v. Colgate University, 802 F.Supp. 737, I read with great interest your article "Challenged to Compete," especially in light of the university's settlement of the case on January 17. Now that the university has granted the women's ice hockey team full varsity status, the article takes on more truth . . . but I think that it would do Colgate alumni great service if a few common myths about the state of Colgate athletics were addressed.
First, during the 1992 trial, court papers provided by Colgate showed that the university allotted more than $600,000 to the football team. These papers also showed the women's ice hockey team at the time was granted $4,000 by the school.
Second, I would ask the university to publish in this paper how much money it has spent defending the women's ice hockey case? This figure should include not only Colgate's attorneys' fees, but those incurred by the women's team, which the settlement required Colgate to pay. Once this figure is given, compare it to the $16,000 budget requested by the women's ice hockey team in 1989, before it decided to file suit. As part of its denial of varsity status, the university claimed it didn't have the $16,000; so where did they come up with the bucks for the lawyers?
The university has been steadfast in publicizing its support of women athletes in periodicals such as the Scene. With the women's hockey settlement, the university is now putting its money where its mouth is. I am thankful that the university did so. So, when a future female Colgate player steps onto the ice for the Montreal Canadiens (don't think it can't happen!), or the U.S. Women's National Olympic Team, or for the Colgate varsity Red Raiders, the university will see it did the right thing in the end. That's what counts.
JENNIFER B. COOK '91
. . . It pleased me to read in the Chronicle of Higher Education that Colgate settled the matter of women's ice hockey. The settlement, recognizing the varsity status of the team, means that greater opportunity to pursue excellence and self-understanding will be available to women. Further, the settlement "gives" to women what men already have at Colgate, which, to my mind, seems only fair.
It would please me to read in the Chronicle or Scene that men are treated fairly in the same way with regard to academic opportunity. Colgate has a program in women's studies. Students can major in women's studies. To date, Colgate offers no men's studies program, denying men what women already have. If the Colgate catalogue is correct in its introduction to the women's studies program, then gender and gender-consciousness penetrate deeply all aspects of life. Shouldn't there be an opportunity for men to study men qua men in a self-conscious and positive way?
Or is gender-conscious study women's work, you know, like doing dishes?
RICHARD J. MCGOWAN '71
Challenged to Compete
. . . I was disappointed to see no mention of Eugene Robinson '85 in the January issue of the Colgate Scene, particularly in the article "Challenged to Compete." Eugene has spent the past 12 years playing in the N.F.L., culminating in a Super Bowl win for his team, the Green Bay Packers, this year. Eugene has been interviewed by numerous media representatives throughout his years in the league, and has always served as a thoughtful and articulate representative of his team. It's too bad that his alma mater did not see fit to include him in an article about academic and athletic excellence -- he represents exactly the sort of image that Colgate wants to project.
Editor's Note: The Scene profiled Eugene Robinson in the November 1994 issue. The athletics story went to press before the Super Bowl, where Robinson was pitted against Patriots quarterback coach Chris Palmer, who served as Colgate's offensive coordinator in the early '80s under then-head coach Fred Dunlap.
. . . I wish to add some historical (spiritual and theological) context to the well-written, informative and comprehensive article in the January Scene about Colgate athletics.
The founders of Colgate, Yale and Harvard intended that the purpose of athletics was to make students physically fit so they could bring the Christian gospel to foreign mission fields, slums of inner cities and poverty-dominated rural areas as well as all the world. Such a task required enormous physical and mental energy.
Many coaches today emphasize the lessons of sports such as team-work, which will make people better in the business world, but Colgate's founders had a more noble vision for the purpose of sports. And such physical fitness for the sake of effective Christian work by definition involved total abstention from all alcohol and drugs, a message we have not been hearing from Colgate coaches in recent decades, even though many Colgate coaches in the early years, and in later years, Andy Kerr and Karl Lawrence, were teetotalers and non-smokers.
Colleges and high schools today tell us that student activity in and of itself -- sports, drama, music, student government -- is good. What if the skills used in those activities are later used to work for the two vicious, insincere, and incompetent major political parties which have literally destroyed society and everyone and everything in it? No, activity in and of itself is not virtuous. Colgate's founders, and the founders of Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth and William and Mary intended that extracurricular activity prepare students to be good Christian witnesses.
EDWARD T. O'DONNELL '70
. . . I was saddened to hear of the death of Matt Fuller '84. We were roommates our senior year, and had been friends since living in East Hall our freshman year.
I received a call in the middle of the night from another senior roommate, Jon Ticker. The fact that, 12 years after graduation, Jon should have taken time to call me in Brazil is testimony to our tremendous affection for Matt. With him, we lost an inimitable wit, and one of the most singular personalities I have had the privilege of knowing. Our deep sympathies to his mother Mrs. Fuller and to all those who did what they could to help him in his hours of need.
BRUCE H. HEALEY '84
. . . I was surfing the Colgate web site today and decided to catch up on some of the local news by reading the back articles of the Maroon-News.
I was amazed to read that Colgate had decided to follow the footsteps of other institutions of higher learning by offering domestic partnership benefits to its employees. This is definitely a step forward for the university, but the concerns of a larger population still need to be met.
Colgate needs to focus on the GLBT students who attend the university to ensure that these individuals receive the same Colgate "experience" as the heterosexual students. Some may ask, "what's stopping the GLBT student from experiencing the Colgate tradition?"
Speaking from experience, Colgate comes across as a highly conservative institution. The GLBT issues are just not addressed. In the same issue of the Maroon-News, several students spoke out about the establishment of a GLBT support group on campus. Hopefully the Colgate administration will assist these students in their endeavors.
It saddens me to see that the same feelings persist for the GLBT students as they did 8-10 years ago when I attended Colgate. Homosexual students feel oppressed and isolated. Many at this age of maturity succumb to depression and even attempt suicide.
You have taken a step forward in addressing the needs of the GLBT community on campus by offering domestic partnership benefits to the employees of the university. The time has come for the needs of the students to be met and to make Colgate a safe haven for all those who attend.
JOHN "JAY" HOWELL '89
Editor's note: Organizations such as the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Alliance (LGBA), the Office of the Dean of the College, the Sexual Crisis Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Health Services provide resources and a support system for Colgate students.
. . . Usually when I receive my Colgate Scene I am eager to open it and read the news about the members of my class and the recent events concerning Colgate. Upon opening the January issue, however, I was disgusted at the lack of discretion and poor taste the Scene showed in running a piece about unplanned pregnancies at Colgate. While I acknowledge the students who were highlighted in the story for their determination in facing such a difficult decision I do not feel that they represent the latest news from Colgate and I am disappointed if they do. In an issue that especially highlighted the athletic success that Colgate sports teams have met with this season, it is unfortunate that you felt that the mistakes from these students' bedrooms were of equal noteworthiness. It does not serve Colgate well to be representing itself in such classless fashion to alumni, fellow students, and parents. Furthermore, what impression does this give potential students and their parents who might happen to glance at the issue while waiting in the Admission Office? In the future please use better judgement in the stories you choose -- I would much rather hear about how much snow has fallen in Hamilton for the season!
CRISTIN HOWLEY '95
. . . A brief rejoinder to Gerald J. (Pete) Phelps '49 whose lamentation appeared in a recent issue of the Scene: stop whining.
The Scene is a winner's column. Who the hell cares about the musings of a horny-handed boiler tender, or about the lateral transfer of some pale Bartleby buried deep in the bowels of an insurance company, assiduously sifting the effluvium of commerce. Later for lives of quiet desperation. We want to read about winners.
Okay, some of them are a little bloated, a bit hard around the eyes and mouth, but they aren't driving used Hyundais and you don't get to live in the thick-steak district by high-hatting the dollar sign. Money is the totem of our tribe, Pete, and when the finger points at the bottom line, only the idiot looks at the finger.
As for the "ordinary" people, those who took to heart such sophomoric bafflegab as "Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity," or "To be clever enough to get a great deal of money, one must be stupid enough to want it," well -- with all due respect to Lao-Tzu and Chesterton -- that is syllogistic crap, a bladeless knife with the handle missing.
Get with the program, Pete. America is about self-enrichment. Nobody wants to drive a Hyundai. We all want to be muscling down the fast lane in a Bimmer with a bumper sticker proclaiming "Hooray for me and screw you!"
DAVE REDDALL '63