Debate on Patrocollo went astray


To the Editor: I was among the students that wrote critical responses to Maria Patrocollo’s Nov. 11 op-ed and was glad for the dialogue. However, I was upset by a response made under the name of the Hegemon, the student zine, that threatened the dialogue. The Hegemon has not been regularly released this year and an individual unknown to previous organizers printed the issue. The one-page issue contained a pretend letter from President Brian Rosenberg, an image of people holding hands around a globe, and the statement "Maria Patrocollo can't sit at our table, either."<br /><br /> While the anonymous author recognized the systemic nature of racism, the personal attack on Maria Patrocollo demonstrated a hypocritical and immature response that lacked understanding of our collective responsibility for fighting racism. Collective responsibility does not absolve individuals of accountability. However, our mutual accountability must be maintained not by insults and individual attacks but by dialogue. For my full response see:<br /><br /> Miriam Larson '08<br /><br /> l l l l l<br /><br /> A responsibility to be socially aware<br /><br /> To the Editor:<br /><br /> Sandy Robson and Maggie Thompson's article on socially responsible investing challenges us not only to define what the Macalester community opposes, but also to articulate what it is that we support. They propose that we take a public stand against Sudanese genocide through divestment from PetroChina, and that we take a stand in support of low-income neighborhood development by investing the College's operating funds in a local community bank, such as University National Bank.<br /><br /> I believe they are right on both counts. I have written previously about the need for the College to screen out investments in corporations that profit from, for example, GLBT discrimination, slavery, and production of nuclear weapons, so let me instead focus on Robson and Thompson's latter point.<br /><br /> Depositing College funds in University Bank ( is a great idea. Since 2001, the U.S. Treasury has designated University Bank as a Community Development Financial Institution, which requires the bank to put at least 60% of its loan portfolio in low-income neighborhoods. Investing in programs like University's Urban Revitalization Fund not only provides competitive interest rate returns, but also allows us to have a visible impact in the Twin Cities. Not only should our students be engaged in the urban environment; our money should be too.<br /><br /> Furthermore, social responsibility can attract top faculty. Two of the last three job candidates I interviewed cited Macalester's stated commitment to social responsibility as important to them. And it helps retain students. Last year two of my top students dropped out because they were fed up with a College that they felt was unwilling to take even small steps toward social responsibility. And more are considering leaving.<br /><br /> Robson and Thompson's question deserves an immediate answer. How much PetroChina stock do we own?<br /><br /> Paul Dosh<br /><br /> Dept. of Political Science<br /><br /> l l l l l<br /><br /> News article or press release?<br /><br /> To the Editor:<br /><br /> I object to Patricia Bass's praise-filled news (if you can call it that) article on alumnus Jesse Mortensen's attempt to secure the Green Party nomination for House District 64A. Her reporting is one-sided and she fails to adequately address Mortensen's on-campus record. She does not include that Mortensen was an LB representative, or that he lost a re-election campaign as a sitting Social Sciences Representative to a write-in candidate. This type of loss is unheard of at Macalester; how can anyone rally behind someone who could not even win a seat representing less than a hundred Macalester students? Bass's piece is more suited as a press release for Mortensen's campaign than the travesty of a news article that it pretends to be.<br /><br /> Rachel Tenney '06<br /><br /> l l l l l<br /><br /> Shout out to soccer fans this season<br /><br /> To the Editor:<br /><br /> In response to Nate Oglesbee's article, "Macalester is wonderful: A look back on four years of soccer, sports and obsessions," I personally want to say thank you. Not only to Nate, but to all the wonderful, loud, crazy fans (parents, students, faculty, roommates) that supported the men's and women's soccer teams this season. Thank you for doing the jigalo (107 times for some), counting down to 4:20 (which consistently confused our opponents), and keeping the soccer tradition at Macalester alive. You make the season a success - we run around for your entertainment. You are the best!<br /><br /> Katie Pastorius '06<br /><br /> Member of the women's soccer team<br /><br /> MPIRG has its supporters<br /><br /> To the Editor:<br /><br /> I was slightly perplexed to read Matthew Won's Dec. 2nd article, "Unbeknownst to many, statewide org gets MCSG funding." Won suggests that Macalester students don't know what MPIRG does, and that "some have begun to question" the value of MCSG's relationship with MPIRG. I almost got the impression that the author was trying to argue a certain case rather than fairly present a news story.<br /><br /> If someone were to argue that MPIRG doesn't deserve the funding it receives from MCSG, I think it would be good to present a more fair case. In reality, MPIRG events are very well-attended by the Macalester student body. Sure, some students don't know or don't care about it. But many of us do. I think you'll find that for the vast majority of students, the more they know about MPIRG the more they like it.<br /><br /> Andy Haug '06<br /><br /> l l l l l<br /><br /> Value of MPIRG is understated<br /><br /> To the Editor:<br /><br /> As an Alumnus of both MPIRG and Macalester, I would like to echo Matthew Won's message that many on campus do not understand the purpose or intent of MPIRG. MPIRG is an indisposable asset to Minnesota universities. Historically it has been, so to speak, a place where the future leaders of the state meet to learn from each other. Among its alumni are a handful of notables: the most powerful Republican in the state (Governor Tim Pawlenty), the third most powerful Democrat in the state (House Minority Leader Matt Entenza), and in a year perhaps the most powerful Green in the state (Jesse Mortenson, candidate for State Representative, 64A, your district!). Should Macalester offer this sort of opportunity to our future leaders or are we above statewide politics? Is it wise to ignore local responsibilities and engagement and opt instead for an exclusively international focus? This is a recurrent theme and question that the Macalester community will have to discuss and answer for itself.<br /><br /> Ben Mearns '05<br /><br /> l l l l l<br /><br /> Show the women's basketball team the support they deserve<br /><br /> To the Editor:<br /><br /> Mac should be proud of its women's basketball team.<br /><br /> I watched them play Simpson College of Indianola, Iowa, Dec. 1. Simpson is a perennial Division III power in many sports, so it was no surprise that the score was not close.<br /><br /> But the "gritty Scots" and their cheering section (my daughter Kat05 and I) saw the fledgling team (there wasn’t even a team to field last year) fight hard and never give up. Their fundamentals were very good, and they played very tough defense and stayed within their abilities and game plan. They really try hard to represent us well. Go out and support them.

John Sprole ’71

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