Letters to the Editor

On-campus progressive programs are useful

I am utterly horrified by the article published by Brian Kutzley, “A real debate, it is not” [Sept. 11]. Kutzley is solely focused on attacking everything progressive on our campus.

He claims education at the University should come from “multiple vantage points and arguments,” yet he seems to ignore the fact that departments such as Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, and American Culture Studies were established exactly for that reason. Such fields give representation to marginalized groups who otherwise would be silenced.

One of Kutzley’s arguments proves how unaware he is of his privilege. We can reference his point that our equality is protected by the constitution. When in reality, our Constitution states: “All men are created equal” – a classic example of androcentrism, equating humanity to men.

Yet, how many of us learned of Dolly Madison’s letters to James Madison continually advocating for the inclusion of women in the Constitution? To even suggest facts (such as the one above), as “value based” education is invalidating the experiences of many people.

Here are more reminders for Kutzley: Black people were lynched because of the color of their skin. Transgender people are killed for living in their true gender. Queer individuals have been put through medicalized hell (vasectomies, psychotherapeutic “cures,” castration), all because they wanted to fulfill one part of their lives. Kutzley should appreciate how multiculturalism is represented not only in academia, but in the real world.

Next time he, or anyone with such limiting views, goes to visit one of our many unique American cities, like Chicago, New York City, Boston, or San Francisco – take a look at who has enriched these places before you stage another attack on the diversity we need so much to embrace and honor. – Amanda Monyak Senior, Women’s Studies

Sometimes, the majority isn’t very welcoming

Brian Kutzley said, “changes should be delivered by a fully educated public in which the majority acknowledges the validity of the argument for change” [“A real debate, it is not,” Sept. 11].

I’m all for education; but, Brian, historically, the oppressed have not usually got their rights by asking the majority for them. The Civil Rights Movement? The American Revolution? – Rich Hebein, Associate Professor, Department of Romance and Classical Studies

Big thank-you to Black Swamp volunteers

The 15th Black Swamp Arts Festival is now history and despite some sogginess it was a success, largely because of city and university community members volunteering their time and talents for this special event.

Some of you suggested improvements, which will be fully considered for the future.

A special “thank you” to all volunteers who made the festival a high quality event of music, visual arts, food and fun; it couldn’t happen without you! Over 670 individuals, and members of many organizations pitched in this year from Bowling Green, the University and surrounding communities.

Together with the support and cooperation of our community leaders, you all reflect the depth and quality of community involvement we enjoy here. Artists and performers alike consistently agree the Festival is “a favorite” and “a cut above” other venues.

Many thanks to the individuals who came to help on their own! Members of the following are truly thanked for helping the Festival get better each year: BG Rotary Club, the BGSU Women’s Softball Team, BGHS Boys’ Soccer Team members and Parents, Business Network International, Melissa Krieger and Leadership BG Alumni Association members, BGSU Women’s Tennis Team, the United Karate System, BG Jaycees, Bill Hann’s Sunrise Warriors, BG Municipal Court, Lindi Mensing and Friends, BGHS Arts Class Members and Teachers, the Thibault Contingency, BGHS Key Club, BGSU Women’s Golf Team, the BGSU Hockey team, BG Schools Administration and Teachers, BGSU Student Development Association, BGHS Band, BGSU Football Team, Julie Iler and Friends and Delta Chi Fraternity.

If I missed any group, please accept my apologies. I also want to recognize the efforts of my assistants Vicki Knott, Michelle Adkins, Rawan Ramey and the following festival leaders for their hands-on involvement making the Festival so much fun: Kelly Wicks, Floyd Craft, Amy Craft Ahrens, Dave Shaffer, Lloyd Triggs, Chris Gajewicz, Linda Brown, Todd Ahrens, Kathie Van Ness, Amy Fischer, Leslie Oswald, Alex Hann, Kelli Kling, Earlene Kilpatrick, Sam Melendez, Michelle Grigore, Wynn Perry, Amy Ward, Megan Staton and Martha Everitt. – Rick Schmidt Black Swamp Arts Festival Volunteer Committee Chair

Column got spirit of Jerusalem exactly right

I’ve been working at the University for four years now and devoutly read The BG News on a daily basis. I must say that David Busch’s column entitled “Lessons Learned from a Pilgrimage” [Sept. 10], was the best column/article I have ever read in The BG News. His article was a poignant and articulate expose on the essence of true faith and the sadness of modern fundamentalism.

I too, have visited Jerusalem and have been uplifted. I’ve walked the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows; broke bread with Jews in the Rova and was brought to tears while listening to the Muslim Morning Call to Prayer. David discovered the true beauty and spirit of Jerusalem.

It is a city that wipes away the blur of close-mindedness and prejudice and by doing so, opens the way to understanding. Which unto itself is such an odd precept in such a historically violent region of the world, but the encouraging aspect of this duality is the main reason why hope for humanity always remains vibrant.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “travel is the best cure for ignorance.” – Michael Lohr Senior Research Manager, Office of Alumni ‘ Development