The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Letters to the Editor

Belo chair, same-sex couples and unanswered questions

Belo Chair search clarification

Dear Editor:

As Chair of the Search Committee for the Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism, I wanted to respond to your recent editorial and clarify a couple of the issues you raise. I am pleased to see that there is such interest in the progress of the search and that The Daily Campus realizes, as does the Meadows School of the Arts, the importance of finding the right person to lead the Division of Journalism at such an important and exciting time in its history.

Each of the candidates we interviewed while they were on campus had a busy schedule. As you know, the job of the Belo Chair is a multi-faceted one; the candidates’ interview schedules reflected that. They met with University and Meadows representatives to discuss not only academic issues, but also the areas of alumni relations, finance, fund-raising, marketing, student recruiting, and the like.

Student education is a core value for the Journalism Division and the university. We consider the time they spend with students, while unfortunately limited, vitally important. Each candidate was asked to teach and discuss their research while on campus. Journalism students attended those classes. Also, faculty and search committee members also attended and observed. Clearly, we consider a candidate’s research and teaching abilities are foremost among the criteria necessary for the position. Yet the Belo Chair will have other responsibilities that required candidates to visit with a range of interested parties. An important portion of their schedules was reserved specifically for interaction with the faculty in Journalism. In addition to meeting with the Search Committee (made up of Journalism faculty as well as other industry professionals), each candidate met several times throughout their visits with smaller groups of faculty.

As you must understand, the search process is complicated. Schedules are limited, and it is impossible to have candidates spend as much time with each constituency as would be ideal. However, we are confident that each visit was successful in giving the Search Committee and other participants in the process (including students) a good indication of whether or not a particular candidate is the right choice to lead the Division of Journalism into the future.

Again, I am pleased to see your interest in the process and its success. I am confident that the process in place will lead us to the selection of a candidate who will be a strong advocate for faculty, students, and alumni alike.

Rita Whillock

Same sex couples should hold ceremonies as well

Dear Editor:

Thank you very much for publishing the commentary by Stephen Hendricks (“Freedom to marry not bound by sex,” February 12, 2003). This information is necessary for the SMU community not only because there are gay and lesbian students, staff, and faculty on campus (including me), but because many people have friends or relatives who are gay. Those who disagree with granting the legal right of marriage to gays need to be enlightened to the real reasons it should be legalized. We don’t want to do it to be “radical” or “political.” We want to do it to show our families and friends a public commitment of love. My partner and I have been together for eighteen years and we would welcome the opportunity to have a civil, government-recognized marriage. Some people say we could still have a “commitment ceremony.” That is true, but we would not get any of the benefits, rights, and protections that are guaranteed to married, heterosexual couples.

Whether or not you know anyone who is gay, please think about this and support those couples who love each other and want to be able to legally marry.

Kathy Rome
SMU Graduate, 2002

Questions left unanswered

Dear Editor:

“Why?” Professor Hopkins, Dean of the History Department and member of a three person panel leading the debate against a potential war in Iraq, asked at the anti-war rally yesterday in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Why did a U.S. soldier that he knew have to lose his leg in Vietnam? Was it worth it?

Professor Hopkins’ rhetoric is intended to make us all question where we stand on a potential war with Iraq. Have we all seriously considered the consequences of war? How many young men and women will die as a result of our action in Iraq? How many Iraqi citizens will be forced to become refugees as a result of military action? Who will really control Iraq after we leave? Why do we really think that Osama Bin Laden, a strict Islamic fundamentalist, would work with a Saddam Hussein who is considered by almost all Arabs to be a secular dictator who has no allegiance to Islam? Does America want to be perceived by the international community as overly aggressive nation bent on doing things its own way? These are all relevant and important questions that were asked at the rally.

However, one can understand people by the questions they ask as well as the ones they do not. Yesterday, a number of questions went unasked and unanswered. Why does Saddam Hussein continue to break numerous United Nation Resolutions? Why has he continued to pursue weapons of mass destruction? Why did he gas his own people in 1988, killing over five thousand people in the Kurdish city of Halabja? Why does he refuse to fully cooperate with U.N. inspectors? Why did he invade Kuwait? Why did he fire scud missiles at Israel during the Gulf War? Why does Saddam pay families of Palestinians whose members kill innocent Israelis? Why does the Iraqi military continue to shoot at American planes patrolling skies over the designated no fly zones? Why should U.N. inspectors play a shell game with chemical and biological weapons? These questions must also be asked and answered.

Yesterday, a prayer was said for peace before the panel members spoke. God might have been listening, but Saddam was not. To echo Secretary of State Colin Powell, now is not the time for the U.N. to send more inspectors to search in the dark. It is time for Saddam to turn on the lights. While no country should be anxious to go to war, Saddam must comply with the United Nations and the international community.

The time for prayers and marches is finite. As a worldly priest once said, “Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything depended upon man.” Eventually, the United States, with or without the United Nations, is going to have to get to work.

Oscar Carr
Junior political science major

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