April 23, 2003: Letters
Letter Box Online
PAW welcomes letters. We may edit them for length,
accuracy, clarity, and civility.
I was delighted to see Professor Michael Dorans comment that in the Middle East, the deepest sources of anti-Americanism are beyond policy (Notebook, February 26). In my own experience in more than 50 countries during more than 50 years, this is a very important truth that applies almost everywhere and anytime.
When I first encountered it in 1952, I was in France, where there were signs in most cities and towns saying Ami go home, objecting to our Korean War buildup in western Europe.
It is not just the French: People of my age remember the Caracas riots when Nixon visited, the hostility of Graham Greene, and of course the taking of American hostages in Iran, to name just a few of the more notorious non-French examples in recent decades.
Part of the problem is that people in the 191 U.N. countries hear a great deal about us and think they understand us, whereas few of us hear much about any of them or try to understand more than one or two other cultures. And as they hear about us (often in unflattering terms), they form judgments that run the gamut, and that no amount of calculation or public relations can affect.
Ted Taubeneck 48
In response to PAWs reporting on the campus alcohol posters, Id like to clarify both the intention of the posters and
the messages conveyed (Notebook, February 26). As the former U.S.G. president, I was an active member of
the Campus Alcohol Coalition, a consortium of administrators and student leaders dedicated to reducing high-risk drinking on campus.
The social marketing posters highlighted in PAW are only one part of the coalitions comprehensive effort to address student alcohol use. The poster campaign began as a means to raise students awareness of the gravity of alcohol abuse among undergraduates not to put forth an anti-alcohol message.
Initially, the coalition worried that posters with shock value would not break through to students mired in the drinking culture. However, student focus groups guided us to create a Princeton-
specific, strong imagery campaign. While the effectiveness of the posters is being evaluated, many would already agree that the posters have sparked discussion about the issue.
Nina Langsam 03
As one of the many members of an administration, including President Tilghman, who are investing significant energy in trying to reduce high-risk drinking on campus, I find the item headlined Its not your fathers Princeton, concerning efforts to increase student awareness about the dangers of binge drinking, disappointing.
There is a complex and nuanced story to tell about the causes and consequences of high-risk drinking on college campuses.
I hope PAW will consider devoting more space and effort to informing its readers about the efforts to raise student awareness being made by a broad coalition of concerned Princeton students, faculty, and administrators.
Daniel C. Silverman
PAW doesnt seem to recognize that for todays undergraduate it may well be your mothers Princeton, too.
Jane Kenney Austin 76 p05
Your interview with Professor Paul Krugman was interesting, especially the answer to your question about the responses to his twice-weekly column for the New York Timess Op-Ed page (A Moment With . . . , February 26). On two occasions last fall, I wrote to Professor Krugman to point out that his conclusions were not supported by the facts, which I gladly supplied. He responded with a brusque form letter, the tone of which was dismissive at best. Instead of receiving an acknowledgment of my research, I received a statement to the effect that if he had to answer every letter, hed never get any work done. When interviewed on the subject, he suggested that the Times was responsible for the snippy form letter.
While I still read his column, I no longer take the time to point out the manipulation or misuse of facts that still, on occasion, becomes the foundation of some of his insupportable arguments.
J. Edward Waesche 53
Please tell your writer that she allowed Paul Krugman to wow her with his phony words and embarrassed PAW and all the alumni who spent time serving our government and remember when Princeton stood for patrtiotism, and didnt allow a headline-seeking professor to defame the institution and President Bush several times a week!
E. R. Butch Kinnebrew III 59
Paul Krugmans readers are passionate about his columns for a very simple reason: He tells the truth.
Charles L. Ihlenfeld 59
The following letter was written March 25, the sixth day of war in Iraq; it was addressed as an open letter to the trustees:
Every year, the universitys Commencement program, in the section announcing awards given to seniors, features the following: Commissions and military science prizes are awarded by the United States Army and Air Force. So far, so good. It continues: Admission requirements for Armed Services ROTC programs are not consistent with the nondiscrimination policies of the University that govern admission to University academic and other programs. The font used is small enough that not too many celebrants will actually read it. But it is large enough to communicate that, on a matter of moral principle, the university is taking a swipe at the U.S. military, even on this festive occasion.
My wife and I parents of a Princeton grad now serving in Iraq with the Marines are perhaps too sensitive for taking offense at the clause. When our son graduated in 2001 and that same day was commissioned into the Corps in an all-but-deserted Nassau Hall, he shrugged it off. I wont.
I understand the grievance many have against the policy alluded to in that clause. At the same time, I doubt that gay students would wish to take out any frustration on classmates who chose to serve their country in uniform and who had nothing to do with writing that policy. Why not instead aim objections to the policy at its architects and guardians?
In his former role as chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State Colin Powell fought President Clintons proposal to eliminate the discriminatory policy. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 54 now preserves the objectionable policy. If these gentlemen chose to grace our campus with their presence, would we print that offensive clause on the menu of the dinner celebrating their presence? Would not Princetons trustees, its administration, and its faculty fall over one another to sit near these architects and guardians of the offending policy?
I would like to see the commissioning of graduating Princetonians as an integral part of Commencement, allowing their classmates to honor them for their approach to Princeton in the nations service. Or perhaps the trustees could attend the commissioning ceremony in the afternoon to shake the hands of these young officers, and of their parents, on behalf of us all. And if even that small gesture were too much to ask, could that gratuitous passage from the Commencement program be removed?
Uwe E. Reinhardt p97 p01
Your February 26 On the Campus column by Kristin Roper 03 glamorized the outlawed practice of dueling. Settling disputes by means of guns, real or toy, seems more an exercise in attracting attention than satisfying honor. Perhaps the university could step in here and suggest a shooting match with real guns at inanimate targets to decide which man, or woman, is the better. Skeet, trap, or sporting clays with shotguns would require some real skill, teach the elements of gun safety, and provide a sense of competition and healthy excitement, rather than a cheap thrill and the approbation of highly educated people who dont know enough not to point guns, loaded or unloaded, at each other.
Nick Niles 56