I realize the article regarding the Fujitsu phone system in last Friday’s paper [Nov. 3] is not a big story, but I wanted you to know that I was quoted inaccurately throughout the entire article. I also realize writing for the Campus Times is a learning experience. It is true that I have had my share of problems with Fujitsu and that I am very unhappy with their service. However, I assure you that I do pay my phone bills and my point in agreeing to the interview with Monica [Schwarze] was not to whine about minor problems but to voice my concerns and frustrations with the phone company. In addition, you could ask just about anyone who lives in the residence halls how they feel about Fujitsu and I am willing to bet that the majority of them are also unhappy with the phone service. The interview I had with Monica was approximately 20 minutes long, so I could not possibly fit exactly what I said in a letter to the editor. I suggest in the future that your reporters record their interviews instead of trying to write down the entire interview. It’s hard to write as fast as someone else speaks and then quote that person accurately… in this case it was me who was misquoted.
If Fujitsu manager Kathy Meyers wants to really learn “about how students feel about [their] service” as she is quoted as saying in your article, I would be more than happy to speak with her. I feel like I have spent more than my fair share of time trying to get a hold of anyone from her phone company so, I will leave it up to her to call me this time.
I would like to respond to the letters in the Nov. 3 issue of the Campus Times.
First, I commend Francesco Macchia for taking the time and effort to comment. We may not agree on the issue, but at least he is actively involved.
Both Mr. Macchia and Dr. Dunne disagreed with my suggestion that homosexuals enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals. Straights privileged? I was not aware heterosexuals fired because of their sexuality could claim discrimination and bring a lawsuit—did I miss something? I do not believe hetero-bashing can be prosecuted as a hate crime.
For the record, here is what the statute being discussed (Amendment 2) says:
“Neither the State of Colorado… nor any of its agencies… shall enact… any statute… whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation… shall … be the basis of or entitle any person or class of persons to… claim any minority status quota preferences, protected status or… discrimination.”
The Colorado Supreme Court, on appeal from a lower court, upheld that Amendment 2 is unconstitutional. One reason given was the statute is aimed at particular citizens. I agree the amendment was not well written. It should have referred to sexual preference, not homosexuality. Clearly, the writers of the legislation were concerned that homosexuals were pushing for protected status. Some argue that gays deserve special protection.
Others disagree. Here is a quote from the majority opinion in the Colorado Supreme Court ruling:
“Historically, the Equal Protection Clause was called upon to protect insular minorities. …However, the record is uncertain as to whether… victims of discrimination based on sexual orientation… are subjected to a similar experience… as victims of racial or ethnic discrimination.”
The dissenting opinion was even stronger.
“Nevertheless, [homosexuals] have never been adjudicated to be a protected class and the right to participate equally in the political process has never been determined, apart from [the lower court ruling], to be a fundamental right…. The fact that [this] fundamental right… has never been recognized by the Supreme Court is evident…. In establishing… a new… right disguised as a previously unrecognized ‘fundamental right,’ the majority disregarded the warnings of Chief Justice Burger….”
The dissenting Supreme Court opinion goes on to point out that Amendment 2 was not a law passed by some legislative body, it was an initiative passed by Colorado voters.
Mr. Macchia says “it is obvious where Dr. Simon stands on the issue of homosexuals in our society.” Sorry, but you got it wrong. My point of view is that sexuality should not be a reason for special-interest protection. We have too many laws tailored to special interest groups. If we create a new protected class for gays and bisexuals, where do we draw the line? Why not pass laws making it illegal to refuse to rent to people who have bad breath? Mr. Macchia suggests I might feel differently if I live a week as a homosexual. Quite possibly true; and Mr. Macchia might feel differently if he walked a week in my shoes.
No, gay-bashing is not to be condoned. Neither is hetero-bashing.
Dr. Rick Simon
Assistant Professor of Mathematics