Letters to the Editor

Election 2004

Dear Editor,

I read the “election grief” letter from Steve Kinzie and various listed supporters (“Letters to the Editor,” Nov. 12) with amusement until I realized that it was not a satire employing mangled grammar and syntax to comic purpose! That so obviously muddled thoughts and mangled prose were on display for our students’ analysis should be a matter of profound embarrassment for any faculty member. More fascinating, though, were the ideas on display!

Bush won the election, so the entire group is “feeling blue.” They refer variously to losing hope, deeper self-examination, criminal U.S. actions of some kind, spiritual preparation, generosity toward “sentient” beings (to hell with non-sentient beings, I guess!), taking stock of “who we are,” and a confusing reference to “reaching groundlessness” with our old chum Buddha, whom academics insist on trotting out to impress freshman philosophy students.

This hilarious excess of self-dramatizing piety is made more shameful by the fact that it was composed, not by one confused mind marinated in grief, but by a committee! Wow!

Get a grip, academia! You are suffering the dishonor of being trounced by a group (and a President) you consider stupid and generally beneath you. You entertain all possibilities but that you are chronically out-of-touch and simply wrong on many issues. You operate within what some of us consider a stifling conformity of notions, laments and peevish academic indignations that many good Americans are, frankly, tired of! Consider the possibility that all students aren’t reverentially obsessed with diversity, non-judgmental multiculturalism, anti-war demagoguery, wearying expressions of American oppression and yes, that popular and “oh so earnest” anti-Americanism that results in ULV’s notorious “three-person” demonstrations terminating in those soulful “group hugs!”

In a class recently, at the mention of our troops, I said “God bless them!” A few students came up afterwards and thanked me, claiming that their professors were so leftist, they were seldom able to speak their minds in class. I’m sure that they are a minority, as am I. One brought me a picture of his brother, one arm around Oliver North, who is fighting in Iraq. I keep it on my door with a picture of our President. They are reminders that we value all of our students: gay, conservative, heterosexual, liberal and all others!

This election is an opportunity for self-reflection, as Steve Kinzie suggests. What the great “anchor” of middle America is saying to pretentious academia is, “For those of you with advanced degrees who seem to be unable to grasp this… you don’t really reflect our values anymore, and you seem to be unable to reflect on why this is so.” They are saying that we are “everything they’re not, and we are everything they’re glad they’re not!”

We need to consider broadening our “diversity” concerns to include students who are conservative, proud of America and genuinely delighted with the outcome of the last election.

Robert Burns
Professor of Education

Dear Editor,

I would love to address this letter to someone personally, but the author of last week’s “Did youth rock it or flop it” editorial (Nov. 12) chose to remain anonymous.

This article not only lacked substance, but also factual information. The author was very careful in criticizing the lack of youth involvement, yet not involving either themselves or this University as a whole. For the first time in my stint here at the University, the Campus Times actually took initiative to run several articles in an attempt to increase voter turnout for this election. I was very happy to see these articles, and complimented them in a previous letter. I have talked about the lack of connection between several of the articles in the Campus Times and the actual student population of this campus before, but this article just took it to the next level.

I was very adamant about getting not only my friends out to vote, but my classmates and peers as well. I donned a few politically-inspired shirts during this fall semester, and instigated discussions on the issues and candidates in several of my classes. I even went to the extent of volunteering for a few events, working with the “Rock the Vote” campaign to try and get my peers to register to vote. If I had more time, I would have loved to have become more involved on a broader spectrum. I knew how important this election was, and wanted to make sure that others around me knew as well.

As part of a project for a class, I did research to see exactly how involved our youth were in this year’s election. The author was correct in stating that nearly 10 million young adults aged 18-24 voted, (s)he failed to make those numbers impactful. This is around a 60 percent turnout rate of those who are eligible to vote, which is far more important to me than the 10 percent of new voters or the 6 percent of the overall vote (although I found a statistic indicating that 21 million under-30 voters made up 17 percent the overall turn out via youthvote.org, which is substantially higher) statistics which were quoted in the article. This means that on the average, three out of five of my friends and peers voted. Armed with this information I took it to class to see how that national statistic compared to California, and specifically, one class I was enrolled in at ULV.

This class met every Tuesday. The day of the election, I was happy to see so many of my peers wearing the “I Voted” stickers as if it were a fashion statement. I knew this class was politically active, but wasn’t sure how active. One week later, an informal poll showed 100 percent of my peers had voted in that class. I was shocked, but in a very good way.

While I know the voter turnout across campus wasn’t 100 percent, I am very confident that it was much larger than the 60 percent national average for youth our age. A much more formal poll could have been done by the Campus Times to see exactly how politically active this campus was, but instead, we got an anonymous article about how much of a failure the “Vote or Die” campaign was. Sounds to me like the campaign was a success, especially on campus, and the article was the one that failed. Perhaps Mr. or Ms. Anonymous will think twice before ranting and pointing the politically apathetic finger at La Verne students.

Jacob Leveton
Senior

Dear Editor,

I was on your campus last weekend for homecoming. My brother is a student at your school. While on your campus I had the pleasure of reading Chrissy Zehrbach’s article on post-election realities (“Star power outage,” Nov. 5). It was so refreshing to read an informed articulate perspective of the electoral process. I was very impressed.

I do however, wonder if you think that the passage of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s pet propositions is a reflection of his star power or his personal charisma and moderate stand on so many issues? As someone who has worked within the Republican Party for more than 15 years, I can assure you that the state GOP is very diffuse with a strong hard-core right wing faction that does not seem too concerned with victory or defeat of party candidates as much as adherence to dogma. Case in point: why run one of the most conservative politicians in the GOP (Bill Jones) in a moderate state against a woman seen across party lines as prime for being defeated (Barbara Boxer).

Given your in depth perspective and remarkable eloquence I am very much looking forward to your opinion. Once again, thank you very much and happy holidays!

Mario Botkin

Dodgers vs. Giants

Dear Editor,

First of all, let me congratulate Chrissy Zehrbach on producing solid editions of the Campus Times during her first several weeks on the job as editor in chief. As a former EIC, I am aware of the hardships that occur when trying to present a section bursting with information within its 12 – and sometimes 16 – pages. My hat’s off to you.

That said, let me get a major issue off my chest. When I recently received my set of four Campus Times that is mailed to me every few weeks, I opened one of the issues directly to the Opinions section. You see, Opinions always was my favorite section during my time at the University of La Verne. It was a forum in which one could share anything he desired. As an editor, I always felt it meant to share something to which the entire community of students could relate or at least make the dozens of enrolled who actually read the copy break out in a gut-busting hysteria. I’m quite certain I never accomplished either, and I am equally certain Ms. Zehrbach didn’t in her attempt to enlighten the Leopard masses with her San Francisco Giant hypocrisy (“Giants fan deals in Dodgerland,” Oct. 8.).

As a Dodgers fan and a former Campus Times editor, I almost delivered a column professing my hatred for the Giants many Leopard moons ago. And while I welcome you, Ms. Zehrbach, as a Leopard, I think you have missed the boat as a Giants fan. What you fail to realize is your position on the newspaper staff, as it was mine, is to look out for the good of all students. Does your envy of one professional sporting team – the Los Angeles Dodgers – blind you from having to deal with the daily troubles as a La Verne student? We Leopards have had to overcome rising tuition, those wretched Core classes, GPAs, RAs, parking police, etc. Surely the Giants not fulfilling the hopes and dreams of one little girl from the Bay Area doesn’t take a front seat to the recently-concluded election or financial aid equations or ASF goings-on; and if it does, I, as a Dodger fan, never realized how big this rivalry is.

I guess I may be a little naïve since I have actually been alive when the Dodgers have won World Series titles. Were you around when the Giants won their last championship – in 1954 – when they called New York home? Kirk Gibson and 1988 come to mind for me. What comes to your mind, Ms. Zehrbach? Clearly, it is not Steve Finley, right? Because the last time I saw him, the 39-year-old centerfielder was rounding third with his arms held high in the air as the Dodgers clinched the National League West and the Giants secured a spot on the couch for the playoffs – oh wait, that was the next day, that Sunday, Oct. 3, a day on which you so overzealously boast of a 10-0 win for your Giants. It may have counted in the “W” column for those living in that black and orange world; however, had you been at the game like I was, you would have known that it was over before the fifth inning, as the Houston Astros finished off the Colorado Rockies to eliminate the Giants while the Dodgers had emptied out their bench to prevent any injuries heading into the playoffs.

I know, in true Giants form, you will point out the Dodgers did not get anywhere in the playoffs. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The Dodgers season was extended an extra week when compared to that of the Giants, and, if memory serves me correctly, the Giants were eight – EIGHT! – outs from winning the World Series in 2002 and couldn’t get it done. Nice work, NorCal, nice work. Maybe next time, Ms. Zehrbach, the San Francisco bullpen can douse your column with gasoline instead of a World Series trophy.

My advice if you or the Giants want to see a World Series trophy in person is to either: A) visit Dodger Stadium, Cooperstown or any city in which a World Series was celebrated (Anaheim and Boston come to mind) or B) move your team back to New York. If not, the black and orange only will remain synonymous with Halloween, not championships.

Greg MacDonald
Class of 2000

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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