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ISSUE 117 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/14/2003

Dear Mess Editors

By Melanie Meinzer
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 14, 2003

Dear Mess Editors, Regarding Julie Gunderson’s Nov. 7 editorial “Beyond circumstances:”

As a junior from a fairly conservative family, I can identify with Julie’s background. The difference is that whereas Julie claims she was "brainwashed" into liberalism from Week One at St. Olaf, I fell off the conservative bandwagon rather gradually.

I was quite supportive of President Bush after Sept. 11 and during the Afghanistan campaign, but the administration lost my backing when it announced its radical preemptive warfare strategy, which I feel makes the world a dangerous place. What kind of world would we live in if North Korea, China, Israel, India and Pakistan chose to adopt our doctrine of preemption?

It is a shame when an otherwise well-reasoned and interesting editorial undermines itself by including passages of hysteria and bald-faced slander. Julie’s off-the-wall allegation that liberals want to "raise taxes, kill your children and destroy your country" falls into such a category. I consider myself a liberal, and I personally like the idea of low taxes for the poor and middle classes. I also have never had murderous impulses toward the under-18 set. Furthermore, I love our country. Despite all its faults, I think America is by far the best thing going in this crazy world we live in.

I do, however, think that America can do better. I want a foreign policy that doesn't alienate our allies and radicalize our enemies, an energy policy that allows our nation to move beyond its reliance on Middle Eastern oil, and economic policies that value human interests over corporate profits.

Julie’s conservatism seems to be a reaction to a few negative encounters with radical liberals. She should know that there are many intellectual, articulate and respectful liberals out there who can think for themselves and enjoy having thoughtful exchanges with people who have opposing viewpoints. I'm sorry she hasn't run across more of them.

– Carl Schroeder ‘05

Dear Mess Editors,

It is with a certain amount of amusement that I have been reading the Manitou Messenger this fall. It seems only yesterday that St. Olaf was a bastion of old-fashioned types who frequently took the Lord’s word literally. It is so wonderful that the St. Olaf of today has gotten beyond all that old stuff and is on the cutting edge of safe, responsible morality.

The forces of safety have convinced the Regents and your president to install condom dispensers in the dorms as well as the Pause. At last: a step in the right direction! No longer must a student who is in heat late at night in the dorm deny their morally responsible instincts or be worried about the safety of their actions. No longer does a grope in the Pause need end unsafely in the back seat of a car. You are really on a roll up there on the Hill, and you shouldn’t stop.

I was a music major many years ago, and I can tell you, you really must have a condom dispenser in every practice room. Music majors are possibly the group at greatest risk at St. Olaf. Especially on those dark winter days when hours of practice might lead to a Chopin Impromptu. Don’t stop with the music building. Imagine how much Chapel attendance would increase if there was a special little rubber pocket in every hymnal. How about marketing the “official” Ole Lion’s Paw condom with a raised lion with axe on the tip for added protection. They could come in special gold and black foil with the official St. Olaf seal of approval and give new meaning to a safe and exciting Ole Roll.

An innovative way to promote safety and sensitivity would be to set aside at least one or more “safe rooms” in each dorm specifically for morally responsible sex. Just watch the rates of STDs and STIs plummet as a result of your new policy. Imagine what a winner this will be for the Admissions people when they set up their recruitment kiosks in high schools across America. They can have baskets filled with free “Ole” condoms as giveaways.

Congratulations, St. Olaf! You really have become a light to the world, urging and encouraging safety, morality and responsibility. There was once a time when even having a girl in your room could get you expelled. How repressed we were.

– Ronald Sell ‘66

Dear Mess Editors,

If the Mess would rather we support the Pause instead of Domino's, maybe they shouldn't put a Domino's advertisement, including coupons, between an article describing the Pause's efforts to expand and an editorial telling us to support the Pause instead of Domino's.

– Steve Thomas ‘04

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