Letters To The Editor

NU experience underratedI suggest that Troy Appel not project what I suspect is his own self-pity onto the entire Northwestern student body. The fact that NU was my second choice certainly did not make me feel like I had “failed” before I started college – that would’ve been a tad arrogant.I have had a great NU experience, despite its frustrations (complaints about collegiate shortcomings, by the way, are a staple in nearly every undergraduate experience). I would not have rather been at a school (cough, Harvard) that has an unsettling reputation for employing professors who abhor teaching undergraduates. And I would not have rather been at my home state school, despite the many nights of debauchery in which I have enthusiastically taken part while visiting, because I would not have been awarded the opportunities (financial and otherwise) to pursue my academic research as an undergraduate that I have been offered at NU and to establish close personal relationships with some of the country’s most accomplished and engaging faculty.I agree that the administration’s “adversarial attitude” toward students on many issues needs to change, but attacking the president’s response to an inaccurate and exaggerated column by a bad writer (need I mention Sudoku?) is not the way to prompt anyone to change their opinions. I had the opportunity to take a 15-person seminar with President Bienen in the fall, and while this fact does not exempt Bienen from criticism, it was a step in the right direction – one that few university presidents care to take.Perhaps it never occurred to Mr. Appel that that Bienen’s fundraising efforts are important to NU claiming the prestige that it deserves? Unfortunate as it may be, large endowments often mean more recognition. Instead of criticizing NU, Appel should criticize those who see money and acceptance percentages as the only markers of quality.Moreover, had Appel bothered to contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office, he could have easily learned about the university’s long-term plans to move in the direction he suggests – and get an accurate explanation of NU’s acceptance percentage. Appel should have gotten over his egotistical disappointment with a flawed institution three and a half years ago, dealt with the frustration and taken advantage of the resources and opportunities that were available to him. That, and gone to a few bars in Chicago that put my experience partying at Florida State to shame. I’m not excusing apathy or dismissiveness on the part of NU’s administration. I, too, hope students stop being ignored on serious issues. But nothing in Appel’s article convinced me of that. And besides, I love our football team.- Kate Nestler, Weinberg junior

NU administration lackingCongratulations to Troy Appel for hitting the nail right on the head. This being my fifth year at Northwestern, I have had a chance to witness all the things Appel talked about in his column in Tuesday’s Forum. In all my dealings with the NU administration, they never actually try to relate to the students. They have a set script of answers they feed to the students. For example, in an ethical seminar I attended in February, I tried to get some real answers from the speaker (who will remain nameless but is a member of the NU administration), only to have her respond with the same comment three times: “Mr. Carney, I’m sorry you feel this way about Northwestern’s administration. You should voice these concerns further to my colleagues.” Well, I would do that, but none of your colleagues cares about anything but covering NU’s backside.NU also encourages people to walk in groups late at night and to avoid dark areas. Thank you for stating the obvious, but unless the administration takes action, people are still going to be robbed and violated for years to come. The administration needs to open its eyes and realize that the identity that Appel referred to in his column will only be realized if the administration actually starts listening to the students instead of feeding them a bunch of propaganda that only causes a bigger rift between student and administrator. – Mike Carney, McCormick senior