Letters to the Editor

Trachtenberg World Tour

In the Hatchet’s recent article on University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s ambitious travel plans for his last year in office, “Pres. to travel for alumni” (Sept. 18, p. 3), Lizzie Wozobski, campus news editor, accurately described me as a frequent critic of the administration’s budget policies.

She quoted me, again accurately, as lamenting the President’s invisibility on campus. Based on those observations, a reader might be surprised to find that I wholeheartedly agreed with University Honors Program Director Grae Baxter’s reaction that such travel activities are precisely what a president should be doing.

Perhaps I startled myself by supporting an administration policy, because I ungenerously continued that the president’s embrace of serious fundraising efforts so late in his term was unlikely to yield large benefits to the University, but that the president’s limited involvement in campus life made the opportunity cost of such travel small.

Neither University Marshall Jill Kasle’s reassurance that the president continues to meet his ceremonial obligations (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 21 p.4) nor the president’s own revelation in the article that he undertakes a great many valuable, secret activities causes me to change my original benefit-cost computation. If the travel is conducted in a manner appropriate to a nonprofit educational institution, I personally embrace the 2006-2007 Trachtenberg World Farewell Tour.

-Donald O. Parsons, Professor of Economics

Remember Cuba’s history

After reading “Funger hosts ‘5’ rally” (Sept. 25, p. 6), I was upset to see that so many people remain ignorant of the situation in Cuba today.

My brothers, sister, cousins and I were the first of our family to be born here in the United States; my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents were all born in Cuba. They left that country soon after John F. Kennedy failed to provide support for the Bay of Pigs invasion. When they got here they had no money, no way of communicating and no job. For the first time in his life, my grandfather worked more than one job. It was not an ego boost for him to go from a well-respected and sought-out lawyer in Cuba to collecting tickets at the local horse track during the evenings after his English courses.

When I see a crowd of people chanting “Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!” I become very angry over their lack of understanding of this dictator. Additionally, seeing young people (college students in particular) wearing Che Guevera shirts and hanging up his poster as if he were some celebrity is extremely upsetting. These people may see him as an “idealist,” but he is something quite different in my family’s book: he assisted Fidel Castro in his power struggle by murdering anyone with views contrary to his own.

Before students begin to praise a communist dictator and his murdering ally, they should ask themselves this question: “Would I feel this way if my family had become these tyrants’ innocent victims?”

-Chris Diaz, sophomore

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