The Rice Thresher


September 21, 2007 > Opinion > Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Bush leaves legacy fit for conservatives

To the editor:

Despite Caroline May’s dour prediction, President Bush will most definitely leave behind a strong conservative legacy (“Bush leaves no great conservative legacy,” Sept. 14). But it will be the one most characteristic of American conservatives: heedless greed, hypocrisy and moral and political corruption; money and sexual scandals, no-bid contracts to political cronies and $12 billion dollars unaccounted for in Iraq.

R.T. Castleberry Rice Staff, Purchasing Agent

Common reading rebuff unproductive

To the editor:

I was disheartened to read Karen Gerken’s rather petulant remarks on the first choice for the Rice common reading (“Give students choice in common reading plan,” Sept. 14). She offers no substantive critique of the content or style of Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe beyond the most prosaic and tiresome student refrain: It was boring. Nor does Gerken provide any hint about what would classify, in her mind, as an “interesting topic,” other than to imply that nonfiction books simply cannot connect with today’s college students.

A common reading is not meant to serve as the final word on a subject. Rather, it is intended as a jumping-off point for precisely what Gerken advocates: “various avenues” for students to “research and exchange ideas about [their] new knowledge.” Had Gerken sought out additional information on global warming through podcasts or YouTube clips, she might have been able to enumerate more clearly why, in her estimation, Kolbert’s book was so inadequate.

The Rice students I have long known and respected are set apart from their peers by an unusual degree of intellectual maturity, curiosity and a willingness to move past what they are “accustomed” to doing. How disappointing, then, to see Gerken proudly proclaim that the class of 2011 has bonded through disdain for a laudable, if imperfect, effort to enhance Rice’s academic experience.

Ann Ziker

Wiess ‘98

McCarthyism rears head at UC-Irvine

To the editor:

The University of California at Irvine has withdrawn a job offer from a “liberal professor.” Anyone who has been at a university for a while as faculty or an administrator knows that the lame explanations by Chancellor Drake are nonsense. What Drake is really worried about is the potential loss of funding. Yes folks, McCarthyism is back! At least at Irvine.

Dieter Heymann

Earth Science Emeritus Professor

(Editor’s Note: Heymann was eventually offered the aforementioned job.)

Student action earns parental gratitude

To the editor:

We are the parents of a junior student at Will Rice College. Our daughter Katelyn Willis recently suffered severe pains in her abdomen and called the “clinic” on campus. She was then persuaded to pursue help at St. Luke’s emergency room. She was without transportation but two Rice students, Marc Kashiwagi and Jason Ryan, came to her rescue. They literally carried my daughter to St. Luke’s. She couldn’t walk, the pain was so bad. They, Jason and Marc, stayed with her through the whole ordeal, standing shifts, so she wouldn’t be alone, even though it lasted until 3 a.m. We just think your student body deserves the highest accolades for their caring camaraderie.

Gerald K. and Juanette Willis


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