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ISSUE 120 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/14/2007

Letter to the editor

By Letter to the Editor
Contributing Writer

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dear Editor,

At last a response by Emily (Woods) Danca ‘'99 to what I think is another dubious column about sex in the Manitou Messenger. I am an alumnus of St. Olaf ‘'47 and a former faculty member, 1962-1986. In my student years I wrote feature stories under the astute editorship of Daryl Feldmier who went on to become managing editor of the Minneapolis Tribune and later the Chicago Daily News.

The columns on alcohol-impregnanted tampons and masturbation are two of several others that I think out of place in a college newspaper, written purely for sensation. If I want sexual advice, which I don'’t, I will turn to professionals, certainly not callow college students whom I suspect write the column for titillation (pardon the pun), not to inform.

I recall some years ago student uproar about the unavailability of condoms on campus and thinking at the time that frustrated students should just write home, “Dear Mom, please send condoms.” I recommend less time in dalliance with sex and more time in the lab or library on issues of more immediate import.

I am a seasoned adult, a former Marine and partner in a happy 54-year marriage. I am certainly not naive about sex. I met my wife in the Ole Store in 1945, we became engaged in 1946 and, because her parents were going abroad, we married before finals in 1947. At no time were we sexually frustrated and certainly not in need of advice from classmates. Many of our fellow classmates, married veterans, were anxious to get on with their lives. The Navy occupied Mohn and Ytterboe halls so that the student body could mix with its returning veterans by the hundreds was considerably more mature than typical pre-war classes. To have devoted a weekly column to sex would have seemed to me dubious editorial judgment at best.

I am ironically amused by the article in the Dec. 8 Messenger about the lack of tampons in campus restrooms. I suspect they had all been sequestered by alcoholic thrill seekers in response to the earlier sex column.

Perhaps in the new science building we can endow a chair in sexual studies and a research laboratory to pursue them. Then our columnists and their avid readers can indulge their curiosity and expertise to the enrichment of us all. Or they can endow a “potty chair” to enhance our advancement into things sexual.

– Graham S. Frear ‘'47, Professor Emeritus

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