Letters

Medill prof. too sensitive

Prof. Michele Weldon: I am “shocked and dumbfounded” by your reaction after logging on to thefacebook.com. The fact that you are even slightly offended or upset by the names of some groups on thefacebook should be a big sign that you need to lighten up.

First of all, the four group names in question are hilarious. Second, all of your students know that the Medill School of Journalism curriculum is one of the toughest and most competitive in the country, and all they are doing is building a little camaraderie amongst their elite club. Lastly, being “raped” by something is just colloquial.

And a note to distressed Medill deans: Don’t worry about damage control, students looking at these titles from other universities get the joke.

— Josh Rothstein,

McCormick junior

A letter to Dean Bitoum

I took concern when I read that group names on thefacebook.com had sparked controversy at Medill School of Journalism.

First, I am concerned about the message the school is sending about free speech. By advising students not to use thefacebook.com to air their complaints, but instead just use CTECs, Medill’s administration sends a dangerous message equivalent to a newspaper taking legal action against someone who places content on a weblog rather than writing a letter to the editor.

Although I realize that Medill made no mandate, the group title changes and the decline in membership in the Medill-related groups come across as being forced by the department. Criticism should not be controlled by the criticized.

The Facebook is significantly different from CTECs because it is a forum between students, not between students and professors. Forming an online group provides an opportunity for students to vent and share their experiences in a supportive environment where they can criticize professors without disparaging a class.

It dismays me that the faculty has not openly acknowledged the possibility that the students criticisms might be accurate. Even if the names of the online groups were objectionable, does that inherently make students’ complaints unfounded? Until now, Medill has only publicly criticized the student’s tactless nature rather than take a critical look at its classes.

Medill has firmly positioned itself as one of the country’s finest journalistic insitutions and I am concerned that the reputation of Medill will be tarnished.

I am concerned that the journalists of the future have learned a false lesson here: that the onlyappropriate forums for anti-establishment criticism are those the establishment deems acceptable. Concern for the future integrity of the media is concern for us all.

— Josiah Jenkins,

Weinberg sophomore

Huzzah for student voters

I share The Daily’s enthusiasm over recent student voter turnout results. I also share the dismay with those who suggest that students shouldn’t be allowed to vote in Evanston’s local elections, or that they simply not participate.