I am writing in response to the article "Catching the Study-Abroad Bug" by Shelley Facente '02 in the 2004/3 issue. I also had the opportunity while at IC to take the Society and Culture course offered by Dr. Hector Vélez. It was a wonderful course and an overall great learning experience.
Traveling to a "third-world" country is a life-changing event. However, it is easy to forget how other people live and the difficulties they face daily. Most people who travel to the Dominican Republic enjoy the amazing beaches, resorts, and restaurants. I think it is wonderful that Shelley Facente remembered her three-week experience and went back to contribute to the community of La Zurza. This community lacks so many resources that we take for granted here in the United States.
I hope to read more articles in the ICQ about people using their learning experience to make a difference in a country that really needs assistance. I admire Shelley's work. I am glad she is being recognized and presenting her research at major conferences.
I hope others will join in her efforts. If every college student could experience time in a developing country, it would do a lot toward changing our society and our world for the better.
Korrine Canas '99
I was flooded with emotion reading Shelley Facente's story about her work in the Dominican Republic. My trip to that country with Dr. Vélez's class was the richest and most meaningful experience of my life. I've shared pictures and told stories about that trip to many people over the years, especially our visit to the barrios. I remember the living conditions being so disheartening, but they were the most loving people I'd ever met, and it was so inspiring.
What Shelley did to help them was just phenomenal. I can't put into words how I feel about it. I regret not doing something sooner myself to try to help.
Shelley inspired me and made me remember after a long time just how much that experience and Dr. Vélez's leadership and instruction touched my life. More than anything I would love to go back to Santo Domingo one day, to take my husband and children and share that experience with them. Thank you for Shelley's story.
Michelle Casterline Loveless '95
Recycled Paper for ICQ
I appreciated your "Lessons to Learn" editor's essay and "Our Visionary College" story in the 2004/2 issue. Based on your informative articles, you're probably already aware of this, but another way IC, the ICQ, and the Ithacan might further incorporate sustainability into the College's operations is by using chlorine-free, 100 per cent recycled, post consumer-waste paper. Or paper certified from the Forest Stewardship Council (www.fscus.org), plus nontoxic, soy-based inks.
Ithaca's support for sustainability will have even more impact as we find more and better ways to walk the talk.
Bruce Reed '94
Editor's reply: The ICQ was previously printed on postconsumer-recycled paper, but when we opted to use a less costly paper several issues ago, recycled paper was unavailable. The paper we now use is produced acid- and chlorine-free; we will make a concerted effort to find an affordable recycled stock.
Second Varsity Crew: Champs, Too
Jeffrey Morris's captivating article about the national championship IC women's crew left out the names of the second-varsity rowers. Their accomplishment was epic. In addition to being the first-ever second varsity to compete in a Division III grand final, these same women were undefeated in all of their races in 2003 and 2004. They deserve to have at least their names printed in Ithaca College's magazine. In your next issue please print a picture of them with their names and an apology for your omission.
We enjoy the ICQ and trust you will do right by these outstanding athletes.
Kathleen Bigford, P'06
Bradford, New Hampshire
Editor's reply: Thank you for pointing out our omission. See at right..
Another Chaplain's View?
I would like to respond to Rev. Allison Stokes's "Final Word" essay, "One Chaplain's View" (ICQ 2004/3).
First, I would like to honor Rev. Stokes for her willingness to write the article. I respect her right to hold the opinion she espouses. Second, the title of the article is "One Chaplain's View." That begs the question, Will there be other chaplains' views on the subject? I know that I would appreciate hearing other voices of faith on this issue. Whether or not I agree with them, it would be informative to know their positions. As a fellow clergyperson, I would like to comment on one aspect of Rev. Stokes's article, that being the scripture passage she quoted, Isaiah 43:19, "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" The "new thing" spoken of there is actually the mercy of God, drawing apostate Israel back from the abhorrent practices of the nations around them that had brought the judgment of God upon them.
Perhaps, in quoting this scripture, Rev. Stokes is being prophetic. The "new thing" may be that as with ancient Israel, the Lord is going to deliver us all from "doing whatever is right in our own eyes" and restore us to his sovereign rule. That is, as I am sure Rev. Stokes would agree, his prerogative.
Rev. Carl B. Jenks '70
Rochester, New York
Applaud Chaplain's Essay
Thank you for printing every letter, positive and negative, in response to "Breaking Tradition." I was so proud of my alma mater's having the resolve and progressiveness needed to print both the article and responses. So you can imagine my joy at seeing Rev. Allison Stokes's essay.
I left the Catholic Church at 22 in favor of the progressive, liberal, and inclusive United Church of Christ because this congregation fit every one of my beliefs: that every human -- man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, brown -- has a right to not only believe what they want, but to be accepted and loved by all of us. It is your right that if you don't agree with your church you should find one you do agree with!
Rev. Stokes states, "The fear, I think, is that their faith might be tested or even weakened." This statement challenges any one who hides behind Bible verses to test their religion by rereading the "Breaking Tradition" story and see the story for what it is, a simple story of partners making their way through life in hope they can be as happy as anyone else.
Rev. Stokes hit so many great points, articulated so much better than anyone who wrote to the editor and a lot better than I have, that it was hard not to write a response. I'm proud of her and anyone who truly understands "tolerance." And, by the way, the financial hardships brought down by George Bush on my small family unit trying to afford mortgage and bills every month (tax cuts for the wealthy, the war in Iraq, No Child Left Behind -- and now four more years of this burden) are a bigger threat to my family's stability than Doug and Corey. In fact, knowing the hate and prejudices they surely overcame to get to where they are gives me hope that my family can survive a little money shortage.
Thanks for a great magazine. You truly represent what "liberal" means -- open-mindedness.
Lisa Smolen Jenkins '96
North Adams, Massachusetts
The ICQ makes me proud to be a graduate of IC. My viewpoints were forged there, and I am happy to see that the support of diversity is still such a part of the College's mission. I am referring specifically to the inclusion of a gay couple in the couples cover and Rev. Allison Stokes's essay in the last issue.
In a time of religious, cultural, and political conservatism, I salute Ithaca College and the ICQ for continuing to speak out!
Jennifer A. "Jenna" Duncan '96
Charlotte, North Carolina
Please send your letters by post to ICQ, Ithaca College, 231 Alumni Hall, Ithaca NY 14850-7044 USA; by fax to 607-274-1490; or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send a letter or query via our website. Be sure to include your full name, address, class year (if applicable), daytime telephone number, and e-mail address.