Letters to the Editor

Politics lacking in Daily

Robert Samuels should feel more than a little silly about the ideas he presented in his signed column “Improvement a Constant Goal.” It’s all very well to review the way The Daily reports the news, but using the ideas of the Readership Institute to justify the narrow view of the world presented in The Daily strikes me as ridiculous.

According to Samuels, The Daily should fuflill its obligations to us, the readers, by looking out for our personal and civic interests, making us smarter, giving us something to talk about and being useful. These reasons are why, Samuels argues, a story about spiders trumps a story about John Roberts.

OK. We talked about the spiders, but we’re also talking about the Supreme Court, which opened its docket on Monday. And we’ll be talking about the Supreme Court for many years. National politics affect my civic interests and the Supreme Court will affect my personal interests at some point, too.

It might be nice to know what the world-renowned experts at Northwestern University think about the court’s most recent appointee. Maybe The Daily should call them and find out for its readers. (Oh wait, I forgot to make you smarter. Here’s one: Did you know that Justice John Paul Stevens attended NU?).

Let us read something more complex than a book report about the latest student group event. We can take it, I promise.

A McCormick student may not get a chance to talk one-on-one with professors in the political science department about current events, but these men and women are leaders in their fields and certainly have valuable opinions. Personally, I’m interested in the new grant NU received for an embryonic stem-cell research center, but I probably won’t get around to calling a biology professor to talk about it. Hopefully I’ll learn about it in today’s Daily.

Our faculty are quoted every day in the news media, giving their expert opinions on everything from rebuilding New Orleans to military recruiting. Why doesn’t The Daily make use of these experts to raise the level of discussion on campus, rather than focus on water-cooler chatter such as a few extra spiders?

As for the “overpoliticized talking heads,” students have varied opinions on the Associated Student Government. But readers shouldn’t have to attend ASG meetings to know what’s up. Maybe I should stop Patrick Keenan-Devlin on the street and ask him. I’m sure he’d be happy to talk to me, but I might not see him for a few months.

Guess I’ll just wait until I see Samuels. Hopefully he won’t be late for class.

– Betsy Kirk,

Medill senior

Former Daily managing editor

Crusade needs some P&A

Lauren Matthews claims in her Wednesday letter to The Daily that “the name doesn’t matter” for Campus Crusade for Christ and even asks for a better name that embodies the purpose of the organization. She also says that “Crusade implies passion and adventure.”

I would love to suggest naming your organization “The Passion & Adventure Club.” The title would be more welcoming, would not have to suffer criticism for political incorrectness, and would have a great nickname, “P&A.”

– Joshua Sherman,

Weinberg junior

Companies halt progress

In her Oct. 4 column, “Corporate motives spur progress,” Amanda Junker writes, “Corporate presence at LGBT pride events, while controversial, has also led to bigger productions, more media attention and more people like me – a straight girl otherwise uninvolved with LGBT causes – debating issues like this.” I think the last item is the key. The effect of corporate presence isn’t to spur social progress, but to help the corporations get attention, build a brand and make money from it. While Junker claims that the giant Chipotle burrito got her to discuss LGBT issues, its presence at the Pride parade really just got her to praise Chipotle and companies like it, and to ignore how they may be hindering social movements.

We cannot rely on the free market to cure our social ills. Corporations spurring consumerism and social conformity run antithetical to movements for wider acceptance of different peoples and cultures. Companies looking out solely for profit will never address (and will likely perpetuate) rampant economic inequality and exploitation of workers worldwide.

Like always, the key to modern-day social movements is hard work, organizing, and highlighting and addressing the attitudes and systemic structures – including corporations – that exacerbate the oppression present in society.

-kyle schafer

McCormick junior