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Letters

The Powers of the Towers

The coed Towers were important not only for the Class of 1965 (“A Towering Reunion,” September-October). I and male friends from the Class of 1966 occupied suites in the Towers in the fall of 1964, its second year of existence. Our experience there transformed what had been a distant and formal relationship with women on the “Hill” into one which was, because of its spontaneity and informality, vastly superior.

It can therefore be no accident that many of us married women we first met in the Towers, in my case Sally Nusbaum Sorrell ’67.

Richard Sorrell ’66, ’68W (MA)

Red Bank, New Jersey

A Through-Hiker’s Primer

Readers who enjoyed your article about the hikes and climbs of Tyler Socash ’09, ’15W (MS) (“The Adventures of Tyler Socash,” September-October) might be interested in the writings of the late John Illig ’86, also a Rochester graduate and the former coach of the Middlebury squash team. He hiked our three great trails, Appalachian, Continental, and Pacific Crest, and wrote books—Trail Ways, Path Wise: An Appalachian Trail Through-Hike; Man In the Middle: Journey on the 3,100-Mile Continental Divide Trail; Pacific Dream: A 2,657-Mile Through-Hike up the Pacific Crest Trail—each of which is readily available to interested readers.

David Tinling ’63M (Res)

Rochester, Vermont

The author is a former faculty member at the medical school.

Let’s Hear Your Cheer

I was delighted to read about Melissa Mead’s interest in class yells but amused and slightly perturbed to see the mistranscription of ours from the Class of 1964 on the library’s website. The second line should be “bow to the floor,” not “batter the floor”! My two classmates correctly said “bow to the floor” in the recording, so I bow to them in gratitude . . . but the word was misheard.

I did not know that the tradition dates back to 1885. No doubt my students at Duke today would find that tradition, well, dated. But I loved it then and still do. The process of creating it was fun, and the class cheer instantly unites alumni when they meet and greet after years of separation.

“Ready to fight, ready to shout.”

Judith Lehman Ruderman ’64, ’66W (MA)

Durham, North Carolina

Currently a visiting professor of English at Duke University, the author is a former vice provost for academic and administrative services at Duke. The class yell website, rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/yells, has been updated.

Hurray for History

Thank you so much for recognizing history professor Richard Kaeuper (“Under the Armor,” September-October) on his new book, Medieval Chivalry. The University is so fortunate to have such a top-notch history department and continues to support it, making it “ever better.”

Nancy Bender

Macedonia, Ohio

The author is the parent of a member of the Class of 2017.

An Insult to Romanian Alumni

I read with consternation the article “Trafficked in Bucharest” (September-October). The message that the article conveys to a casual reader is that Bucharest is a city where it is common that girls “13 years of age” are “lured into brothels” and “maintain childlike appearance that might help win the sympathy of Western aid workers”—in other words, a city of underage prostitutes and beggars. I just did not know how to classify this article; definitely the most negative and insulting article I have ever read in Rochester Review.

In the early ’90s I was actually a resident in Bucharest, and I remember clearly the exaggerations that were being published in a certain part of the press, portraying Romania of the early ’90s as full of Gypsies, abandoned children, and, here you are, underage prostitutes and beggars. Now, I am not disputing that the author wrote a book on such stories from Romania after her Peace Corps experience in the early ’90s (that is anybody’s right to write whatever as long as there is a publisher and an audience willing to pay to read), but I was wondering why, after more than 20 years, those senseless articles were being republished in a University magazine that has as a primary goal to maintain a positive link with alumni, and to inform alumni about the vibrant city and University life.

Trying to clarify this aspect, I did contact with a complaint the editorial staff of Rochester Review. To my surprise, the reply has been that it “stands by the article” because “it promotes intellectual vibrancy, scholarly achievement, and creative energy.” Wow . . . ?!?!? In a University that created and creates world-renowned professionals and leaders, there was a lack of “intellectual vibrancy, scholarly achievement, and creative energy” people and articles, so that the editor had to publish excerpts from articles portraying tabloid-quality events from 20 years ago, affecting the image of Romanian students and alumni, promoting hatred and even racism, in my opinion.

Radu Secareanu ’00 (PhD)

Phoenix

Editor Scott Hauser replies: The story to which Professor Secareanu refers was a work of fiction, excerpted from the debut collection of short stories by Lenore Myka ’94. The excerpt accompanied a short profile of Ms. Myka that recounted her career as a writer and Peace Corps volunteer.

What about Australia?

In the September-October issue, the article “A Vaccine Was Born” (September-October) presents some maps showing Hib vaccine global coverage. As I read the map, Australia is shown with a vaccination rate of only 1 to 20 percent. But this is not correct. Since 1993, Hib vaccines have been provided without cost through the national Medicare scheme and the World Health Organization data shows Australian vaccination rates higher than 90 percent.

Sadly, the rates have declined slightly since 2002, probably because of apathy and confusion. But the rate is still above 90 percent.

Harry Melkonian ’71

Sydney, Australia

Regarding ‘Political Bias’

I have been watching the tone of your magazine for the last few years, and I believe Harvey Jacobson ’82S (MBA) (Letters, September-October) has unfortunately captured the truth about the current tone.

Our great American universities used to be places where all truths could be spoken, but not anymore, and I am now concerned that Rochester has finally crossed the line and favors political correctness over truth.

If you wanted to show something that is really a significant problem in the U.S., why not do a story on Chicago and the murder rate of blacks on blacks? Maybe your efforts in this regard could stir our president and attorney general to take some action. But wait, they only act when one person may have been wronged.

Jack Harshbarger ’76S (MBA)

Etowah, North Carolina

Mr. Jacobson’s argument is suffering from his own bias to which he is willfully blind.

Because citizens in America have vastly different experiences throughout their lives, there are different perspectives of “the” truth. “Real” justice is vastly different for entire populations of citizens of this country. Historically “accurate” is no longer restricted to what one population decides it is for us all.

When we honor this diversity of perspective, can dialogue be accurate? In my view, Mr. Jacobson is expecting an adversarial debate, not a collaborative dialogue. And he is criticizing Review for not taking his side. But I am proud of Review for even touching the topic. Our culture needs to become more diverse without devolving.

Keep trying to open minds and facilitate dialogue.

W. Joe Hicks ’89M (Res)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Celebrating Lauren’s Garden

In a story on the new Golisano Children’s Hospital (“A Space to Heal,” September-October), we misspelled the name of a namesake for one of the gardens in the new building.

The correct name is Lauren’s Garden, named in memory of Lauren Olander, the five-year-old daughter of Eleanor and Andrew Olander ’06S (MBA) who died in 2011 from a rare form of leukemia.

The Olanders have established a fund to support cancer research and care.

—Scott Hauser


Review welcomes letters and will print them as space permits. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. Unsigned letters cannot be used. Send letters to Rochester Review, 22 Wallis Hall, P.O. Box 270044, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0044; rochrev@rochester.edu.